Thursday, August 31, 2017

Blockchain Believer

Bitcoin was born in 2008. I watched it with mild fascination when it was an infant and remember the milestone of being able to buy pizza with bitcoin. But I was never persuaded that bitcoin was more than a curiosity. I had seen early attempts at digital currency come and go as far back as the early 1990s. Maybe it gained some traction because it was born out of the ashes of the 2008 mortgage fraud crisis, aka the Great Recession. It has survived many scandals, online exchange thefts, a dirty reputation as a currency for criminals, and a recent hard fork (with another one probably coming up at the end of the year). It also gave birth to a thousand copy cats, some with new and improved features.

This was the first year that my curiosity and the skyrocketing price nudged me into really researching it. I am still not persuaded that bitcoin itself will be more than a launchpad, but do believe that one of the technologies used in bitcoin, the blockchain, is destined for greatness. The way the distributed ledger works and the problems that were solved and proven over many years is genius. How it eventually evolves is hard to predict, but I am believer in blockchain technology and the promise of distributed trustworthy applications in the future.

Here is a great short intro video on bitcoin technology:

And here is a longer more technical intro from the same author:

Disclosure: I have a small wager on ethereum and own some ether coins.