Richard Olsen
Richard Olsen

Any colour so long as it’s open?

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 63 / Blockchain and CryptoCurrencies / January 2016

“Think of Bitcoin as paper,” says Richard Olsen, founder, Lykke. The Bitcoin blockchain is a global notary service; individual bitcoins are the record-keeping mechanism – the paper – underpinning that service. Olsen says: “I can buy a fraction of an existing bitcoin, and then use the Open Asset Protocol to add text to it, like writing on a piece of paper.” The Open Asset Protocol has evolved from the “coloured coins” concept, whereby metadata can be added to a bitcoin’s code, for example to add value to it – a bitcoin can become a theatre ticket, a bearer bond, the deed to a house. If a bitcoin is a piece of paper, the Open Asset Protocol enables writing on that piece of paper; Olsen accepts the suggested term “enhanced banknote”. Indeed, the process on writing on a bitcoin (or on a number of satoshi, which are the minimum transferable fractions of a bitcoin) is strangely similar to the process of printing a dollar bill. You think 3D...continued

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