Topics: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain|
Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain topics are discussed. Bitcoin is a digital currency which operates free of any central control or the oversight of banks or governments. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority. Blockchain is a system in which a record of transactions made in cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. The presenter discusses the history of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain.
The currency that is used today is Fiat currency. The gold standard was abandoned by US President Richard Nixon in 1971 and money became Fiat. When currencies were backed by gold, there was a limit to how many currencies the government would print. In 2008, an anonymous person, or a group of people called Satoshi Takemoto, published a document outlining a peer-to-peer currency system that solves the problem of traditional currencies. Bitcoin themselves work on the blockchain, which would mean that each transaction on the network is stored on the blockchain ledger, which means that anyone on the network can see the transaction. However, when transactions are transparent, no one can know who added the entity, preserving privacy. Anything stored on the blockchain ledger is immutable, which means that knowledge can create new things. Anyone can download a copy of the blockchain and it should be noted that these transactions are not inherently linked to real life identities. The balance recorded on the blockchain controls the associated private key, and therefore allows the signing of transactions. Blockchains are also distinguishable from a database difference through how the data is structured. A blockchain collects information together in groups, known as blocks that hold sets of information while a database usually structures its data into tables, whereas a blockchain, like its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are strung together. Blocks have certain storage capacities and when they are filled are closed and linked to the previously filled block that will form a chain of data known as the blockchain. All the new information that follows that newly added block is compiled into a formed block that will then also be added to the chain once filled. This data structure makes an irreversible timeline of data when implemented through decentralization. When a block is filled, it is set in stone and becomes a part of this timeline. Each block in the chain is given an exact time stamp when it is added to the chain. This is possible because of blockchain technology. This would leave a much lower carbon footprint than existing currency technologies.
Although Bitcoin has had its criticisms over the years, it’s going into mass adoption with institutional investors and merchants accepting it as payment. BMW, Microsoft, and PayPal are a few companies that are used. Experts are saying that it is a better store of value than gold, which could possibly conclude why huge investment bankers and hedge funds are against inflation.