Setting the Cyrptocurrency Record Straight

The Global Blockchain Summit comes to Colorado April 19 – 20

It's getting to the point where you can't go anywhere without hearing someone talk about bitcoin. Equally strong, heartfelt opinions can be found both supporting and denouncing bitcoin – and all cryptocurrencies for that matter. With all the excitement, enthusiastic debate and unprecedented media coverage, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. And by "big," I do mean the elephant in the room. 

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency. And like all currencies, it can prove useful when you want to exchange valuable consideration for other forms of deferred benefit (deferred valuable consideration). Instead of a pocket full of IOUs, you can carry legal tender that allows you to later exchange whatever you earned, exchanged or traded for something you want to purchase – indeed, a major improvement from our foundational barter system. What makes cryptocurrencies different from flat currencies is they are all in the form of bits and bytes, and they are not backed – typically – by some government authority. While this is generally seen as a downside of cryptocurrency, there are upsides as well; namely privacy, trustless trust, super low fees and an unprecedented "access for all" reality.

There is another issue with bitcoin.

All cryptocurrencies have a tendency to fluctuate wildly in valuation. Millions are made and lost as the price of cryptocurrencies rise and plunge with reckless abandon. 

Considering these factors, it's easy to see why bitcoin is the shiny object that catches our eye – and the mind share of the masses.

But about that pesky elephant…

NO Bitcoin actually stands for "Not Only" bitcoin, because underneath cryptocurrency is a technology that makes all of this possible. It's called blockchain and it's poised to change the world. Blockchain is basically an automated platform that allows thousands of participants to write down the same thing, at the same time. This makes it easy to confirm whatever they are writing down.

Picture a hockey stadium. In that stadium are thousands of people sitting with notebooks and pens. Someone enters through a door and on the side of the stadium shouts: "Pat Jones borrowed $500 from Sam Brown," and leaves. Everyone in the stadium writes it down. They all write the same thing. This is a massively distributed ledger, a public audience, where each person has the same thing. They did not copy it from anyone, and each one captured the exact same thing at the same time.

This makes for a record of the event (or capture of some other data) that is permanent (immutable), trusted – regardless of whether you trust any specific individual in the room (trustless trust), and always available (there are thousands of them). Now you can imagine all of the places where this type of capability might be useful. Banking, health care, real estate, politics, the law actually, just about everywhere, for everything. Some of the most exciting applications of blockchain we can think of deal with democratization, equality, leveling of the playing field, diversity, inclusion, privacy, control of your own digital identify and the disintermediation of just about everything.

When you see or hear anything about bitcoin, think “NO Bitcoin” (Not Only Bitcoin) and focus instead on the amazing technology underneath it; the blockchain distributed ledger.

Want to learn more about blockchain?

April 19-20 head to the Global Blockchain Summit 2018. The conference will be held at the Summit Conference and Event Center in Aurora, Colorado, just a short drive from downtown Denver and will feature some of the world’s most prominent blockchain and distributed ledger experts — many of which are headquartered right here in Colorado.

A core focus of this year’s event is on diversity, equality and women in blockchain featuring Carolina Abenante, Founder of NYIAX, Pamela Norton, Founder and CEO of Borsetta, Youngsook Park, Co-Chair of the Global ICO Association and Emily, CMO of ShapeShift AG. Hear from over 50 experts on a cross section of blockchain topics.

Register here the code “Press” for a $50 discount.

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Categories: Finance