Money for the digital age, managed on decentralized platforms, with access to all, and without the state: the concept has been proven. The technology is known. It works. It represents a path for reforming the world’s monetary and legal systems. It points to a bright future.
It is all the more wonderful to consider the glorious way in which Bitcoin has outsmarted the experts. No one institution is in charge of them. No one can consistently outthink them. Markets keep us humble. They constantly remind us that even the most astute and prescient observer can be surprised, even shocked.
What is the blockchain?
Blockchain technology is profoundly affecting the security of your ownership rights now and in the future. Banks are adapting. Title companies, state agencies, registrants of all sorts are exploring this new way of doing things. It is changing even the most fundamental issue of money itself, all over the world. The desire to know the immutable truth is what’s driving this.
The White Paper of the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, issued in October 2008, proposed a new solution to a universal problem: clarifying ownership rights. The ledger that records rights should be part of a distribution network that can be downloaded and hosted by any node. Changes in the ledger can only be made through strict rules, proof of work or stake, and community consensus. The result of this new cloud-based, decentralized ledger is an immutable record that requires no systems of third-party trust to operate.
The headline invention was, of course, Bitcoin. Actually, it wasn’t a headline. Hardly anyone paid attention until the dollar/Bitcoin exchange ratio started rising higher and higher, beginning in 2013. Only then did this remarkable new money started getting attention. Even then, most people missed the point. What many people have missed during the great bull market of Bitcoin is that this new monetary tool was only the most conspicuous fruit of a new and powerful infrastructure with applications to financial markets, contracts, and ownership titles all over the world.
As it turns out, it wasn’t just about Bitcoin, which is indeed truly amazing. Just as spectacular was the value of the ledger service of blockchain technology itself. In the 21st century, the sophistication of our economic structures has outstripped many institution’s ability to keep track of claims. That’s where beautiful, scaleable, truth-telling blockchain is making all the difference. Now that the solution is known and operational, retooling and adaptation constitutes a major technological, economic, and financial agenda for the future.