Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 442, where Brian Behlendorf explained the Hyperledger Project of which he is Executive Director. An excellent show, with many interesting branching-off points.
Hyperledger is a project to maintain a platform for distributed ledger projects and the toolkits and apps that support and use them. It’s intended for building private systems where everyone participating can be identified, so does not have an associated proof-of-work token or the “cryptocurrency” aura that goes with it.
It may be the tool that finally re-decentralises the Internet. By taking away the shiny gold, people can finally see the power of a distributed ledger whose authority is established by consensus rather than heirarchy. The book Simon mentions, “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando de Soto, is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
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I’d be curious how a distributed ledger differs from a Mercurial repository you happen to put only financial records in 🙂 Both use the same mechanism – the hash of the child incorporates the hash of the parent so you get a bulletproof audit trail.