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The Disraeli Room is a hub for new ideas, commentary and analysis. ResPublica's blog is named after the great reforming Prime Minister of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, and welcomes contributions from across the political, academic and professional spectrum.
Before entering Parliament I worked as an electrical engineer, mainly in telecoms. I spent a lot of time in network software development, getting networks to talk to each other and exchange voice and data.
Most people I speak to regarding the Bitcoin protocol have never heard of it. Of those that have, the majority have heard of only bitcoin the ‘currency’. I put that in pretty quotation marks and italics because I am firmly in the “moonshot it will not go to zero” camp.
Users have migrated from running all their own software and storing files locally to accessing their data through cloud-based software solutions. The migration of files has also been accompanied with flows of personal information to corporations.
The latest buzzwords on everyone’s lips is FinTech; the apparently effortless splicing of finance and technology into one expression. This seamless merger belies reality as the people working in the two industries are akin to oil and water when it comes to culture and terminology.
Last Wednesday the government formally announced plans to welcome and regulate digital currency activity in the UK. The promise of research funding, police training, and pragmatic regulation are welcome first steps, but to what end?
The public image of bitcoin, cultivated by the media, is of the international criminal’s currency of choice – an anonymous, untraceable means of laundering proceeds of crime. This has made for compelling column inches, but the opposite is true.
Last week, in London – one of the richest cities in the world – the Mayor announced a “Level 7 Warning” on air pollution. High levels of pollutants like NO2 and particulates fill the air, causing a perceptible haze in areas like St James’s Park.
If you’re anything like me, in various accounts online you’ll have some pounds, some airmiles, some supermarket rewards points, perhaps even some dollars or euros. These are all forms of money – they’re tokens that can be exchanged for some kind of good or service.
In 2015, ResPublica’s work to rethink and reconfigure the case for high-speed rail infrastructure into the great City of Liverpool encompasses transport, planning, economics and many aspects of public and social policy.
George Osborne has delivered what may be his last Budget Speech, so it’s apt to pause for a little retrospective. He’ll probably be best remembered for the budget he’d most like to forget, the so-called ‘Omnishambles’.
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