Bitcoin & Data Science

In the first installment of this series I wrote about the permanent, immutable nature of Bitcoin’s ledger, the blockchain. In this post I plan to explore one of the most interesting ways in which that data is transmitted: from space. That’s right, the Bitcoin network was first extended into space in 2017 with the launch of Blockstream Satellite! Blockstream, a company that funds open source Bitcoin development and offers a number of Bitcoin-related products, streams the blockchain down from the satellites as a free service. …

Bitcoin & Data Science

Welcome! This is the first in a series of #RunTheNumbers posts I intend to write about Bitcoin where I will focus on data analysis and/or interesting topics around Bitcoin data. This also marks the first time I am writing publicly about Bitcoin!

For this first edition I want to focus on the very nature of the data stored in Bitcoin’s blockchain — immutable and timeless. By this I mean that the 1’s and 0’s recorded into each block which are independently verified and stored by thousands of nodes around the world is impossible to censor or erase. …

A Collaborative Effort with Joshua Szymanowski

Now more than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask is not only commonplace but is required to enter many businesses and public spaces. In the United States and Europe, they have become completely normalized in just a few short months to the point where the act of not wearing a mask is often shunned upon. However, you may recall that in the early days of the outbreak many top health officials publicly stated that masks were ineffective in reducing the spread of the virus, some even adamantly recommending against their use.

A now infamous tweet was made…

Ralph C. Merkle (not pictured above), born 1952, is one of the founding fathers of Public Key Cryptography. Throughout his career he has developed and contributed to a list of monumental cryptographic systems, some of which are embedded in the backbone of the online protocols and applications we rely on in daily life. In this post we will look at his work on Merkle Trees, how they function, and why and how they are growing in use.

Today information travels between computers and mobile devices at a rate which would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. How is it possible that a person in Hong Kong can tweet a photo which another person in New York City can retweet less than one second later? How can two people across the globe click a link and near-instantaneously start seeing and hearing each other in real time?

Most of us take for granted the underlying fabric that makes our constant connectivity possible, but it is important to remember how new this technology is in the scope of human…

“Password Systems in general are not a very good way to authenticate. […] They’re hard to remember unless you pick an easy one to remember, in which case it’s not secure.”

Mike Pound, CS & infosec researcher, University of Nottingham

Passwords are Hard

Passwords are so hard in fact that there are currently efforts to entirely replace them by the likes of Google, Microsoft and MIT. But until new standards are agreed upon and implemented into the tens of thousands of services which require user authentication, we are stuck with… passwords :(

If you’re anything like 2017 me, you keep a list…

The Panopticon, artist rendering.

The Digital Panopticon

The ‘Panopticon’, or the ‘Inspection House’ is a type of prison designed by the late 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Its design is such that a single security guard can sit in a central tower and monitor a large number of inmates through the clever placement of lights and mirrors, while the guard themself is invisible to inmates. Its effect is such that inmates know they cannot all be watched simultaneously, yet they cannot know when they are being watched. Creepy.

Fast forward 200+ years to the dawn of the Digital Age. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how…

Eric Blander

Data Science | Data Engineering | Python Development

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