Explaining Bitcoin technology using weddings and fridge magnets

by Chris Speed

Marriage contracts, fridge magnets and Pokemon-style games have been the inspiration behind our research tools to help people understand the concept of blockchain technology – the underlying architecture of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Most of us have heard of Bitcoin – the (relatively) new digital and global money system currency, allowing people to send or receive money across the internet – and are used to digital transactions like internet banking and contactless, but few of us understand the technology behind it. Continue reading

Keeping Pace with the ‘Perennial Gale of Competition’

Ian Quigg is a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Surrey.

9883 Quigg

His piece ‘Keeping Pace with the ‘Perennial Gale of Competition’ finished in the top 10 of the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065 – in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE.  You can read it below:

Keeping Pace with the ‘Perennial Gale of Competition’

Who will be able to cope and thrive with the demands of living and labouring in the ‘Competition State’?

Joseph Schumpeter vividly described capitalism as ‘the perennial gale of creative destruction’. He is credited with coining the term Unternehmengeist (‘entrepreneurial spirit’) – and it is such a ‘spirit’ that everything under the sun should represent for perennial success.

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City Inc

James Fletcher is a Social Science, Health and Medicine research student at King’s College London. He saw off competition from some 70 entrants to win the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065 – in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE

James Fletcher 150x150

The competition, which marked the anniversaries of the ESRC and SAGE, asked PhD students to creatively write about their vision of 50 years from now.

Read James’ winning article, City Inc, below:

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Getting off the rollercoaster

Gemma Tetlow is programme director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ (IFS) work on pensions, saving and public finances. Her research interests include pensions, savings, asset holding and health and their interactions with later life working. Her work also includes analysis of the UK’s public finances and public spending.

Gemma Tetlow

The recent Budget was the first of the new Parliament and the first by a Conservative government for nearly two decades. Following the pattern of all other general elections since 1987, the government announced a package of tax measures raising in excess of £5 billion a year. But there were also significant changes to public spending – with new cuts to social security spending but a reduction in the planned cuts to spending on public services. Overall the effect of the measures announced last week was to slow the pace of fiscal consolidation over the next three years but to increase the size of the eventual medium-term tightening. Continue reading