In case you haven’t heard, Facebook is launching a “cryptocurrency”.
There’s quite a bit of hype, and an equal amount of criticism (particularly vis-a-vis Facebook’s poor reputation for privacy). It isn’t quite clear to me though whether anyone has actually read the technical documentation.
There is a white paper here, and some technical documentation here. Probably worth a read in both cases. It’s really important to note though (discussed elsewhere on the web, but not here) that they’re actually really early in the development game. It isn’t clear whether any actual code has been written yet. Editorial correction: there’s a bit of code here. It’s very early in the dev process, and only a few commits have been made so far.
The first thing that drew my attention was a tweet that was linked from another article. Key phrase “Blockchain without proof of work or value volatility“. Now, there’s a lot of different kinds of blockchains out there, but that still sounds a bit odd. I also saw the word “smart contract” mentioned all over the place, but there’s absolutely nothing in the technical documentation about those at all – and those are difficult, difficult things to implement properly.Continue reading