Bitcoin and blockchain 101: Why the future will be decentralized | Big Think

Bitcoin and blockchain 101: Why the future will be decentralized
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We’ve all heard terms like Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency being thrown around in the past few years, but what do they mean? Consider this your crash course.

Experts from across the spectrum of money and tech provide a history of commerce dating back tens of thousands of years, explain what blockchain and Bitcoin are and how they work, and offer insights into the differences between centralized and decentralized systems.

Because blockchain is incredibly difficult to hack, it has massive implications for elections, banking, shipping, land ownership—any domain where corruption is rampant. While the technology may feel abstract now, programmer Brian Behlendorf compares it to explaining the concept of email to people in 1993. One day, blockchain will be a seamless part of our lives.

Check Tony Saldanha’s book “Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take Off and Stay Ahead” at https://amzn.to/36iaOCH

WENCES CASARES: It’s hard to have a rigorous discussion about Bitcoin without understanding money. And the best way to understand money, is to understand the history of money. Anthropologists agree that there is no tribe, much less a civilization, that ever based its commerce on barter. There’s no evidence, barter never happened. And that’s counter intuitive to most of us, because we are taught in school, that we first bartered and then we made money because barter was too complicated. Well, barter never happened, and that’s one of the key sort of myths about money. So then, you would ask the anthropologists like, okay so how did we do commerce before money, if there was no barter? There was no commerce? No, there was plenty of commerce. And the way that commerce would happen is that, let’s say that someone in our tribe had killed a big buffalo and I would go up to a person and say, “Hey, can I have a little bit of meat?” And that person would say, “no,” or “Yes, Wences, here’s your meat.” And then, you would go up to the person and say, “Hey, can I have a little bit of meat?” And that person would say “Yes, here’s your meat.” And basically, we all had to keep track, in our heads, of what we owed other people, or what other people owed us. And then someone would come to me and say, “hey, Wences, can I have a little bit of firewood?” And I would say, “Sure, here’s your firewood.” And now, I have to remember that I owe that person a little bit, that this person owes me a little. And we all went around about our business, with these ledgers in our minds of who owes us what, and what do we owe to whom. Very subjective system.

Often, these debts didn’t clear, or cleared in ways that were not satisfactory to both parties, until about 25,000 years ago. Someone very, very intelligent, came up with a new technology that really took off, which they came to me and said, “Hey, can I have a little bit of firewood?” And I said, “Sure, here’s your firewood.” And this person said, “This time, we’re gonna try something different. Here are some beads for you.” And I said, “I don’t want beads, I don’t care for beads, I don’t need beads.” He said, “It’s not about that. We’re gonna use beads, as the objective ledger of our tribe. Instead of each of us having to remember what we’re owed, the beads are gonna keep track for us, an objective ledger to keep track of debts.” And it was such a successful technology that it took off. And in a couple thousand years, it became impossible to find a tribe or civilization that didn’t have some form of objective ledger. In some cases it was one point shells. In other places, it was salt, in other places, rocks or beads. But, this form of keeping track of debts, with an objective ledger took off, and anthropologists go as far as saying that, if you describe a tribe’s environment in detail, they can predict what’s going to emerge as an objective ledger, as money. Because it’s always something that has six qualities, the most important of which, is that it be scarce. And it makes sense, because if it’s not scarce, we can create, you know, if we were to use tree leaves, for example, we could create debts that are owed to us out of thin air, and that wouldn’t be good, that wouldn’t be a good ledger. But also has to be durable. If it’s something that decays or corrodes, it doesn’t store the information well. It has to be divisible. It has to be transportable, recognizable, and fungible.

And this system really worked until about, 5,000 years ago, when trade began to extend a lot geographica…

Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/what-is-bitcoin-blockchain


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42 Bình luận

  1. The Rich are rich not because they look rich, but rather becAuse they possess the skills and strategies of the rich.The rich invest their money first into asset first before purchasing liabilities.the rich build multiple incOme streams to diversify thier income

  2. Long story short, a Bitcoin transaction can take anywhere from 1 minute to 60 minutes or even a day or two to get confirmed, not to mention other security issues like losing your password and hackers using it as the sole method for ransom money. Hard to see it going legit for the common man as a everyday secure money tool. May be as a speculative investment, yes like what most people are doing now .. but I would rather sink my money in gold and silver for that!

  3. A lot of part one sounds like a neoliberal projection upon societies that were generally socially minded; while their is post-alienation view is comparatively extreme individualist. The description is not accurate to anthropology, but would be convenient to neoliberal ideologues. Part two sounds a lot like reductionist economics, much of which should porbably be regulated out of existence, even according to what the speaker says toward the end (though I would suggest to a far grater degree than they do). The third is radical neoliberalism, it even opens with the notion that opinions on monetary policy being good or bad based on government decisions, suggesting that consensus will decide if governments don't, though democratically elected governments are just that, while the consensus they are referring to are exclusively oligarchs and billionaires. Part three is anti-democratic.

  4. ??? ???????? are the ledger of ????????? ????ₒ?ʇ ???????????, ?????!

    all together with scriptures and history are instructions manuals.


    decentralised digital ?????????? are the reason the nature fries it's own system,

    rather than frying ???.(the ℌuman ?ody)


  5. When Bitcoin becomes so expensive to mine, who will continue to process transactions?

    If Bitcoin mining remains profitable forever, then eventually there wil only be a handful of mining companies left, at which point is that still decentralised?

  6. ✌️ Napoleon said whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. A dude by the name of @evenkingsfall (his insta) never stops saying you have to THINK BIG to WIN BIG! Always keep that mindframe! Keep up the good content ?

  7. I was very impressed by the first guy explanation of our monetary system. However, at this point cryptocurrency is not legal tender it just seems to be nothing more than very valuable arcade tokens that everybody wants to play with. everybody seems to have a currency these days. Companies have points, miles, and Rewards that encourage you to facilitate use of there products. Its what its pegged to. I'm no expert but I'm sure no dummy. Anything that seems complex I go right back to basics. Could this possibly something similar to the 1600 when they had the tulip bubble?

  8. Des centralised invention, yet crypto industry would like to build a network. The mainstream centralised already have a network, so why would you need a new one? "Des centralised" crypto agents just want to become the new bankers in this new crypto world, and much alike those in the mainstream centralised…

  9. Read comedy of coffin on kindle written by Avijit Kabiraj. Introduction : Two unemployed boys were employed by a mafia boss, their job is to bury a dead chef in the criminal's cemetery. The chef is the pasta maker whom the boss accidentally shot dead. The boys were chased by the police, shot by a sniper, rested in a church, kidnapped by an evil doctor, electrocuted, freezed, roasted, couple of ladies didn't spare them, survived the strange graveyard but when they returned after burying the dead chef, found the boss in a coffin……

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