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Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, to put it another way, which came first, the cryptocurrency or the infrastructure? The answer to that question isn’t as clear cut as it first appears. The natural response is to think that an infrastructure needs to be set up and established before applications can be built out. But the process is far more iterative and not nearly as linear as it seems.

The classic example is the light bulb, which was invented before the electric grid was put in place. The electric grid wasn’t necessary to light up a light bulb: electricity could be generated locally. However, it was necessary to build electric grids before broader consumer adoption of light bulbs was possible. Broad consumer adoption then led to a profusion of new and different kinds of light bulbs. …


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Photo by Guillaume LORAIN on Unsplash

The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

What’s the single most revolutionary aspect of blockchain technologies? Arguably, it’s their potential to catalyze a shift from centralization to decentralization.

What do I mean by this? Consider the most powerful institutions in our current reality: governments, major corporations, and the like. They all rely on centralized power, with identifiable headquarters and clear leadership structures. Even supposedly decentralized organizations often rely on centralization if we scratch the surface.

Take Wikipedia, for example. Wikipedia is supposed to be a community-generated encyclopedia, right?

Wrong.

It’s the centralized, crazy stepchild of Web 2.0’s attempt to create a free and open information source. I might get harassed, blacklisted, or worse for writing this, but f*ck it. …


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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

Over the past few decades, the globalization of supply chains has gone from being a radical outlier to a commonplace. The simplified version of the story runs that, as communications technologies connected us globally, and transport technologies enabled the shipping of parts, local supply chains morphed into global ones. Now, we think nothing of purchasing electronics from Japan, avocados from Mexico, and toys from China in a single visit to the supermarket.

My father’s business was in retail and became involved in a number of different products: toys, patio equipment, chemicals, and so on. His company was one of the first, back in the eighties, to outsource offshore manufacturing to China. This was early in the trend of connecting with overseas firms to scale production, which coincided with the advent of the computerization of inventory management and other large-scale business processes. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

If you’re old enough, you probably recall the formative years of the internet, and the competition between different browsers that ensued. Remember how the first version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer attacked and decimated the much-beloved Netscape Navigator? Both constituted different protocols, or — to put it simply — ways of accessing the web.

At this point in the development of blockchain, we’re seeing the creation of many different protocols, and we’re probably going to be entering a period of protocol wars. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

If you’re new to blockchain and bitcoin, you may be wondering who else frequents this mysterious and fascinating world. These are revolutionary technologies, so — as you might expect — they attract forward-thinking people from all walks of life.

The types of people who get involved with bitcoin are highly varied. There’s no way to do a “typical user profile,” as these people are anything but typical. …


The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

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Fifteen years ago, most people were a little suspicious of providing payment details through the web. Now, we’ve gotten used to the idea that internet transactions are secure, and many of us do a large percentage of our shopping over the internet.

At the other end of the spectrum, many of us are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of data the likes of Google and Facebook collect about us as we use their services. Despite this unease, we may not see much alternative to complying with their rules. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

With a technology as new and controversial as bitcoin, it’s inevitable that some people will resist its implementation. These people are known as no-coiners, and two of the most prominent are Warren Buffett and Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Another early, adamant no-coiner was Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan. Then he turned on a dime, so to speak, and JP Morgan started investing heavily in bitcoin. They produced an enterprise fork of Ethereum, called Quorum, that many enterprise-grade blockchain companies use as infrastructure. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

Like any innovation, bitcoin has attracted its share of critics. Some of this criticism centers on the idea that the currency makes it easy for lawless people to purchase illicit goods on the so-called “dark web.” Some people even assert that bitcoin was originally created as a means of facilitating illegal activities such as drug deals, clandestine payoffs, and even assassinations.

Let’s not duck the issue. It’s possible, even probable, that such “dark” transactions are taking place. However, the deeper impulse behind blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies it enables is to fight the good fight of empowering individuals through truly disintermediated peer-to-peer networks. In other words, it’s highly likely that some people use bitcoin for seriously dodgy purposes. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain.

Every movement has a figurehead, right? Gandhi led the campaign for Indian independence, Professor Xavier was the driving force behind the X-Men, and Rosa Parks defined the struggle for civil rights. In the case of bitcoin, decentralization is one of the most important tenets of the movement, so it makes sense that no one knows — or, at least, no one is saying publicly — who founded the currency.

Bitcoin and blockchain were created by a cryptic — pun intended — pseudonymous figure named Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi’s real identity is still unknown, although there are many theories about who it might be. …


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The following is adapted from Bitcoin Pizza: The No-Bullshit Guide to Blockchain by Samantha Radocchia.

Nowadays, bitcoin and blockchain have become buzzwords. Everyone and their dog has an opinion about them, and will quite happily tell you whether to buy, sell, or ignore crypto as a bubble.

This is common to any movement. As it becomes more popular, it attracts a wider range of people. I believe that many of the people who make up blockchain’s core constituency, however, those who were interested in bitcoin way back before 2011, come from a gaming background. …

About

Samantha Radocchia

Emerging Tech Entrepreneur | Anthropologist | Author | Speaker| Blockchain | Forbes 30 Under 30 | Prev. Co-Founder at Chronicled

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