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Idealistic view: BTC is used to create peer-to-peer marketplaces (OpenBazaar [1]) and the underlying blockchain tech can be used to implement smart contracts that can automate systems and remove humans from the loop (Samsung/IBM ADEPT [2], Filament [3]).

Realistic view: BTC is used as a speculative hedge, and to evade currency controls in China.

[1] https://openbazaar.org/

[2] http://rethinkresearch.biz/articles/ibm-samsung-unveil-adept...

[3] https://filament.com/technology/

Can someone explain why it's a good idea to use blockchains for IoT? The example they give is of a smart washer checking to see whether the washer is under warranty when it detects a part is about to fail... but why on Earth would a blockchain be better than any old database maintained by the company? Why on Earth use a distributed ledger?

in theory the block chain can be trusted by both parties whereas the company could modify it or be malicious.....

in practice you're correct because acting maliciously would make the company lose customers and potentially get sued

That hasn't stopped them so far.

Bitcoin is definitely useful for dark net marketplaces; I doubt they would be 1% the volume in a world without a popular cryptocurrency.

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