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Fintech A.M.: 6-01-2018

At Holland FinTech, we like to take note of technological innovations, even when they have negative consequences, and yesterday Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post caught our attention along with the wide-reaching Spectre and Meltdown bugs.
Zuckerberg and Cryptocurrency
In a Facebook post, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that he’d spend 2018 studying cryptocurrencies in order to decentralise Facebook. He names centralisation vs. decentralisation as “one of the most interesting questions in technology right now”, and cryptocurrency and encryption as decentralising forces. He, though, isn’t alone amongst executive Facebook staff that have an interest in cryptocurrency as David Marcus, vice president of messaging products, is on Coinbase’s board. “I’ve been involved with, and fascinated by cryptocurrencies since 2012,” he says in a post on Coinbase’s blog.
The future will only tell what Facebook has in mind for cryptocurrency and blockchain, and how and if Facebook can become a decentralising force.
Bugs
David Gruss, one of the researchers that discovered Meltdown, said it is “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found,” and the global scope of this and the Spectre flaws is astounding not only in terms of reach but also regarding potential lingering effects. Patches could result in substantial slowdowns in performance and some effects caused by variants and dealing with the bugs could mean we’ll be wrestling them for the coming years. Hence, will just have to wait and see what the total damage of these bugs is, and that is a somewhat frightening proposition to everyone in our technology-dependent world.
 
Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech 

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