The Blockchain and Us

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The Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1903. When they flew it for the first time nobody could have predicted that one day there would be over 500,000 people travelling by air at any given moment in time. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin and the blockchain. His invention made it possible to send money around the globe without the intervention of banks, governments, or any other intermediaries.

Much like the Wright brothers, Satochi solved a problem that had been previously deemed unsolvable. Whenever this happens what usually follows is a lot of inspiration and innovation as minds are opened to see the future from a totally different perspective.

Blockchain has two main components: asymmetric cryptography and distributed systems. Once you are able to understand these two ‘ingredients’ then it makes it easier to understand all the technical details that bitcoin or blockchain are all about. The blockchain are networks that have the potential to transform the structure of financial services even though it started as a grassroots movement introduced by the technology sector and not by established businesses.

This is going to eventually affect every single industry much in the same way that the internal combustion engine and the Internet did. It’s one of those big generational technology shifts that require a quick response; otherwise you run the risk of getting left behind.

There are a number of financial institutions whose business models are threatened by the blockchain. So of course they are trying to do whatever it takes to slow down or water down the possibilities that this technology offers because of the revolution or disruption of the decentralization.

Other banks will no longer be each other’s competitors. They will be dealing with a generation of a ‘bank of one’ that owns a digital asset that wasn’t issued by a financial institution or government.

According to the World Bank about 74% of the world’s population does not have access to basic financial services such as savings accounts, checking accounts, or credit cards. This technology could reduce poverty and at the same time allow more people to engage in global commerce.

How long will it take before this becomes the norm and before many of the tasks that were previously handled by individuals and institutions become fully automated? Some experts suggest that it could all happen within a decade or two.