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Friday Reflections, Volume XVII

October 15, 2021

Steven McCormack

As a node operator, my understanding of Bitcoin has evolved significantly. A theoretical framework has been transformed into lived, practical experience. I monitor the Mempool to check on my Lightning channel status. I engage with other node operators to create liquidity swaps. I scroll through 1ML and Amboss to find other Lightning peers. I collect sats for routing payments. It is a vivid demonstration of my previous notion; that Bitcoin, and by extension its timechain, may just be the the final word on financial freedom.

2 mins
2 mins
From Theory, To Practice

September 20, 2021

Steven McCormack

The ideas are elegant. The ambition is impressive. But how exactly does Bitcoin work in practice? Well folks, that's what I've been figuring out for the past month. Armed with my understanding of the network, I embarked on a journey to become a full node operator (i.e. a validator of transactions and blocks). Admittedly, I wasn't quite sure I could pull it off. Even with all my prior research, this felt like a tricky technical challenge. And yet here I am, running a Bitcoin (and Lightning!) node with little fuss. How so?

1 min
Global Truth, Local Value

August 27, 2021

Steven McCormack

At this point, it is worth wondering what all this research represents. We seemingly have an answer crying out for a question. To that end, there are a few good candidates. Is Bitcoin a response to monetary distortion? Government largesse, perhaps? Is Bitcoin a dry, technical update for the internet? I would contend that it does all those things. And excellently so. But there is also a more profound, universal quandary to address.

All Things Bitcoin; Layer Cake

August 19, 2021

Steven McCormack

We have a robust protocol, but one that cares little for convenience or efficiency. And that presents a few issues for growth (and thus sustainability). It is like the British Labour Party in the 1980s; sticking true to its socialist ideals, and also completely useless at winning elections. Fortunately, an ecosystem has developed around Bitcoin that helps address the scalability conundrum. Enter the layer cake, my friends. A baking masterpiece that is worth the extra calories.

3 mins
3 mins
All Things Bitcoin; Incentive Structure

August 13, 2021

Steven McCormack

Property rights are established by consensus. Time and energy is converted into security. Transactions are transparent. This creates a formidable flywheel; legitimacy encouraging growth, which in turn generates trust, resulting in more legitimacy. And so on. But Bitcoin cannot survive alone on impressive technical credentials. After all, there is a cost to all of this auditing, blocking and chaining. So for the flywheel to keep spinning, we must introduce an economic reward for participation.

Real Estate is Broken
August 21, 2020
Steven McCormack

Consider the privileged position of the asset owner. With total control of a property, there is the opportunity to craft an occupant experience tailored to suit a particular user group; think maker spaces, start-up spaces, learning spacers, assisted living spaces, healthcare spaces. The list is endless. Coupled with the right mix of #proptech solutions, an owner-operator could provide the seamless, personalised and on-demand experience that we have come to expect elsewhere.

5 min read
Building Better Business
August 21, 2020
Steven McCormack

In its purest form, commerce acts as the great motivator, the ultimate mentor. We conduct our commercial affairs against a backdrop of economic and trading uncertainty. Our decisions and behaviour are constantly pitted against known unknowns and unknown unknowns. We are drawn to ingenuity and innovation through the actions and presence of our competitors. We observe, learn from, and adapt to ever shifting risks and opportunities.

3 min read
Life Out of Balance
February 15, 2020
Steven McCormack

I thought I'd write a little about a film that has fascinated me for years; Koyaanisqatsi. A film with zero dialogue, zero plot and zero cast.

2 min read