We all know bitcoin is a worldwide revolution; very simply put, it is digital money. The promise of bitcoincode and the blockchain technology behind it, called blockchain, was to allow us to safely send digital money over the public internet without an intermediary (like a bank). While consumers believe that online banking and services like PayPal already enable us to perform such transactions, this is not quite accurate. That is, money doesn’t actually move directly between accounts on the internet. It simply sits in closed private networks owned by banks and governments. In essence, every time you send money to another account you’re asking these entities for their permission – and paying the required fees – to move money around in their centralized networks.
There used to be a good reason for this: the value stored in money is very different from the kinds of information typically shared online. Information like text, videos, and images can exist in many places at once. When sending such information, both the sender and the receiver are left with a copy. When value is attached, it can only exist in one place at one time. That is, when you give money to someone you no longer have it. With money it’s essential to know you’re not getting a copy. Prior to blockchain technology, there was no way to guarantee that our money was not changed or duplicated in an internet transaction.
An Internet of Money
Prior to the internet, transferring information from one user to another was relatively crude and rudimentary. In order to broadcast information, users generally had to seek permission from a corporate media entity (such as a cable television provider, daily newspaper, etc). Of course, the internet changed everything. When it became mainstream, almost any information anyone could possibly want became instantly and easily accessible.
In essence, the blockchain is creating an internet of money. It enables us to transact freely without asking permission or paying a centralized gatekeeper. In many ways, having an open global network dedicated to ensuring the free exchange of money is arguably a bigger revolution than the internet itself.
A Blockchain Analogy
Imagine an online book which is free and easily attainable. In this book, any text that is added also appears on all other copies. Now imagine that these lines aren’t just text but transaction records. In essence, the book is now similar to a database or an excel spreadsheet: a continuously growing record of all the transaction information ever added. Any transaction that cannot take place because of insufficient funds is automatically rejected by the book. And once a line is entered it can never be changed or deleted.
For security reasons, every few seconds the pages of all the books check in with each other to make sure they are in sync. And once a page is verified it’s sealed forever. The only way to destroy the database is to destroy every single book on the network. The power of such a network resides in its ability to operate reliably without any control. This protocol is what makes blockchain a decentralized network.
Unforeseen Changes Abound
Bitcoin was the first decentralized currency built on blockchain technology. It is the catalyst for a revolution of the way the world processes value. For the first time ever, there will be no monopoly on the transfer of value between people. Blockchain technology and decentralized apps enable us to customize money in sophisticated ways and with a plethora of possibilities. For instance, a currency can be created that pays taxes and thus relieves the taxpayer from having to file every year. Seniors and veterans will be able to get their discounts immediately any time they make a transaction, anywhere. After shopping at the grocery store, digital coupons will be automatically processed at checkout without the need to fumble through stacks of paper (or even mention coupons). While these scenarios reveal possible consumer benefits, the ways in which businesses operate will be fundamentally changed as well.
Consider how profit will be utilized differently on a decentralized network than on the corporate level. Without the control of a centralized entity, social media networks will be overhauled to distribute the value of comments and content to the user. Broadcast news will no longer be manipulated by media companies controlled by majority shareholders and politicians. And with intermediaries taken out of the picture, even corporate shareholding will undergo a transformation. Stock investors will eventually ask themselves why every single trade must pass through a centralized network controlled by a profit-driven brokerage house. The implications are enormous.
By decentralizing the world, blockchain technology promises to change the way we pool and share our resources. As such, It has the capacity to promote a sharing economy, one in which individuals have greater access to presently-distant opportunities. And in accordance with such sharing, society will inevitably develop a stronger consensus as to what to value.
Finally, in the midst of this grand reform, we’re going to need community-driven projects like XTRABYTES to lead the way. They offer the best planned solution for protecting blockchain technology from future security concerns. Moreover, their platform has the capability to scale in accordance with the expected growth of cryptocurrency. The XTRABYTES community is seeking out those who can confidently spread such knowledge and inform participants as to how they can take part in building a system everyone can trust. After all, while reform is not going to happen overnight, the quest to decentralize the world will continue apace as long as users keep up with the technology and help others understand it as well.