At first glance you’d be excused for thinking that the topic of this post is a morbid one, focused on morgues and all things related to the afterlife. Well, rest assured, it isn’t. It’s about the rapidly growing sensation known as block-chain technology and crypto-currencies. Specifically it’s a brief introduction into the phenomenon which has the potential to completely overhaul the global financial system as we know it.
Most seasoned surfers of this intricately weaved web of the world will have heard of Bitcoin and will have some relative background information regarding the various ‘booms’ which made millionaires overnight, but do not fully understand what it actually is or why it is becoming of such a high value (£3,666.36 at the time of writing this article).
As I understand it, the value of Bitcoin (and any other crypto currency for that matter) is entirely reliant on the system which it utilises to validate digital transactions. Due to the fact that the system shares the data among thousands of computers at any one time, instead of keeping the data on one or two, it is significantly harder to corrupt or manipulate. The principle of sending data across a block of computers which act in a chain is where the technology acquired the name ‘blockchain’.
While I am by no means at all an expert on the subject, I believe that this is where the technology gets its value from. By spreading the data across a larger number of computers within a pool the information is completely decentralized and makes it much harder for one individual to control/manipulate the entire market, as is the case with FIAT (traditional) currencies.
Although the main focal point of bitcoin and block-chain technology seems to be with the monetary returns from seemingly meager investments, the beauty in the coin is the technology behind it.
Right now a number of innovative companies are using the decentralised nature of blockchain technology to combat a number of societal problems which vary from untraceable food banks (Ambrosus) to bankless citizens (Humaniq) and ticket touting (Aventus). This reminds me personally of the good old days of the wild wild web where everyone with a computer and a word processor was doing their utmost to use the technology in as many ways as possible.
Right now the blockchain society is going from strength to strength and, while I have done my best to briefly explain what it is, I reccommend doing your own research into the subject.
The links below can be very informative resources so give them a browse!