Most people still don’t know what blockchain is. Let that sink in for a moment and remember what you learned in grade school about the five eras of human history: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Industrial Revolution, and Digital Revolution. The last stage of history has yet to happen. But it will usher in the rise of o’block chain for sale technology and cryptocurrency as we know it today. This new way of exchanging value is already disrupting industries like finance and healthcare by putting more power into individual hands—and could be even bigger than the Internet when it comes to transforming how we work together every day.
1. The Internet Of Value
In his book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World , Don Tapscott describes blockchain as “the second era of the internet.” While that isn’t entirely accurate (the internet is decentralized, while blockchain is distributed), it does describe how this technology is changing how we exchange information. And that it will soon be replacing our dependence on banks and middlemen in the way we exchange value in the same way that Google did with information in the 90s.
2. The Ledger Of Value
The best way to understand blockchain is to think of a spreadsheet. But this is not just any ordinary spreadsheet: it’s distributed on thousands of computers across the globe and constantly updated in real-time by its users. Every time a transaction occurs it gets added to the chain, creating a public ledger of transactions that anyone can view but cannot change (hence the “crypto” in cryptocurrency). This means we no longer have to rely on banks or other institutions as trusted third parties—which puts you, me, as well as big corporations more power when deciding who’s trustworthy and who’s not.
3. The Token Of Trust
Each digital record, or “block”, on the blockchain is secured by a cryptographic signature that is unique to each user and verified by the community. To make a change to any one block would require an enormous amount of computing power and risk breaking the blockchain for everyone else. This means that no single person can alter or hack the ledger or falsify transactions without the entire community becoming aware—and immediately shutting it down.
4. The Cryptocurrency Of Money Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency
It was created in 2009 as a new kind of money controlled by its users, rather than governments and banks—a decentralized currency based entirely on mathematics. Bitcoin created the first decentralized digital currency—and gave rise to blockchain. Today there are more than 1,500 different cryptocurrencies in circulation, with a total value of over $200 billion. And each one was built on a blockchain
5. Minds in Sync
To create value you need to work together with others. When we trade money for goods or services it’s only used as a method of exchange—the real value we get from our money is its ability to connect us with others in our community. This is why you see so many failed startup companies that never launched their product: because without users, their products have no value.
6. The Currency of Community Property
When you send someone a payment using cryptocurrency, it’s the same as sending them a message—only unlike the messages we send via Facebook Messenger or Gmail emails that go through centralized servers, cryptocurrency transactions actually happen immediately. Imagine if every time you wanted to send a message to your best friend, there was no need to sign up with Google or Twitter and verify your identity first. And instead of having to pay for an Internet connection, your best friend simply pays you a small fee for it. That is the future of money
7. Future of Work
The first blockchain was used by Bitcoin to create a decentralized payment system. Today, the same technology is being used to create decentralized versions of all kinds of services we use every day, like Uber and Airbnb. That means that instead of having to rely on an intermediary like Uber or Airbnb to cut out the middleman and collect fees, users can connect directly with each other—creating a more efficient and trustful way of doing business. And that doesn’t just mean people exchanging money for goods—it also means companies exchanging value with each other in the form of data.
8. Trust In Data
The centralized servers we use today are powerhouses for data storage. But all that data is vulnerable to getting hacked—or it’s collected by third parties to sell to advertisers, who then get access to your info. With blockchain, there are multiple copies of the same data stored across a network of servers, making the data safer and accessible for users around the globe (i.e., decentralized).
9. Friend In Data
Data can be sold for profit and made accessible for users. But it can also be used for social good—and that’s what we see happening every day in areas where there are few or no governments or services, like refugee camps and disaster areas. In fact, blockchain is being used to create new digital identities for refugees who have lost all of their official documentation. And because their data can be stored on a blockchain, there’s no longer the risk of it getting lost, stolen, or falsified by corrupt government officials like we saw in Haiti’s 2016 elections
10. The Future Of Tech
If history is any indication, we won’t have to wait long for blockchain technology to evolve into something even bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine today. Facebook took less than 10 years to go from connecting Harvard students to creating a social network that connects over 2 billion people.