Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Black Community: A New World of Digital Trust

Johan Greene
Feb 17, 2018 · 6 min read
Image courtesy of PixelBloc

Welcome to the new world of digital trust. What we now call the Blockchain is a socio-revolutionary framework that creates a disruptive decentralized paradigm. Bitcoin is responsible for birthing this technology in 2009, followed by other cryptocurrencies that build upon the Blockchain. Now, we notice members of the Howard University community contributing to the revolution and educating those around them.

The blockchain is the technology that underpins and enables cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. A blockchain is an immutable digital ledger which records transactions in a decentralized network format. Bitcoin, a currency without a government, is a digital cryptocurrency which distributes power away from a central authority, powered by a vast computer network.

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Although Bitcoin has incredible security, tamper-resistance, and censorship-resistance technology, the decentralized payment system (the technology built around it?.. Cause the blockchain is virtually impenetrable) is vulnerable to third-party attacks. Bitcoin has experienced countless cases of security intrusion that date back to 2009. Most recently, last month hackers stole over $500 million from a cryptocurrency exchange based in Tokyo, Japan.

Bitcoin’s technology nonetheless launched the world into the second internet wave, where the social aspect plays an integral component in the internetization of things. For instance, traditional pipeline businesses that develop their product or service in-house and then present to a the world, are being out-performed by platform businesses. Social media businesses or platform businesses like Facebook are the new competitors. Such companies allow the consumers to create the product or service and distribute it amongst themselves.

Blockchain technology enables both pipeline and platform business models to function without central power.

Reggie Middleton, an entrepreneurial investor, world-class martial artist and perpetual student obtained his BBA in business management at Howard University in 1990. Reggie is a self-taught technology buff and a student of financial evaluation. He has noticed this rapid shift in business models through the successes of platform companies like Facebook. Reggie intends to build on that success by utilizing Blockchain technology. His firm, Veritaseum, has a laser focus on out-competing legacy financial institutions such as Wall Street banks.

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In one of the videos on his YouTube channel, he goes on the record for saying “distributed trust transactions are here to stay.”

He argues against banks frequently, saying “Banks, as they exist now, are obsolete and will not exist as we know them in 10 years. Period. Without a doubt. We’ve seen this movie before. Is anyone using Delphi? CompuServe? AOL? What did they have in common? They tried to retrofit the Internet’s HTTP technology into their systems. They tried to force everyone into their closed loopholes. It worked, temporarily. You had a jump in revenues and profit, and then everybody found out you can deal directly with the source. You don’t need them They’re gone. The banking system is trying to do the same thing.” — Reggie Middleton

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Blockchain enabled contracts, known as smart contracts, may be the most transformative blockchain application at the moment. Smart contracts help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman. For example, a smart contract may send a payment to a supplier as soon as a shipment is delivered. A firm could signal via blockchain that a particular good has been received or the product could have GPS functionality, which would automatically log a location update that, in turn, triggers a payment. Researchers have already seen a few early experiments with such self-executing contracts in the areas of venture funding, banking, and digital rights management. If you want to learn how to build a smart contract from a developer’s perspective, check Gerald Nash ⚡️.

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The institutional, governmental, and technological problems of developing countries create a formidable barrier for most of their citizens partaking in a modern economy. Underdevelopment can be understood as both a cause and consequence of institutional impediments to individual opportunity. While still a technology in its infancy, Bitcoin offers a blueprint for how billions of the world’s poorest nations can partake in international, modern capitalism without having to reside in countries with supportive, modern institutions. Bitcoin could be life-changing to those individuals and could also offer competition to national monopolies in financial services, currency issuance, judicial systems, and credit provision.

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The decentralized model is tailored for Africans to succeed in business. Although the technology is being developed in a centralized manner, a move from centralized planning to decentralized planning will enable Africans to contribute earnestly to the new world of digital trust. In a Blockchain-enabled world, Africans will be free to design and manage their industries. In a fully revived world, filled with new ventures, globalist migration, exponential technological advancement, and the dreams of the African community people. The world has stumbled upon a revolutionary advancement.

As cryptocurrency soars, African Americans do not want to be left behind.

“By creating micro-exchanges and leveraging Blockchain distributed ledger technology for robustness and low cost of operation, our African-American community can now focus on value creation and establishing a true free-market system.” — Ed Dunn

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It is vital for us, as people of the African Diaspora, to utilize the latest technology in ways that benefit the conditions of our people. Instead of being consumers, we seek to build a platform that helps the community.

The Blockchain does not ask for ethnicity, nationality, zip code, or socioeconomic status. All that is needed to participate is an internet connection.

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Howard University Blockchain Lab (HUBL) is a student-run organization that aims to serve as a central resource for education about Blockchain technology, entrepreneurship, and investment. “HUBL exists to bring Blockchain education to the Howard University community.” the organisation reported. Their diverse team allows them to stretch into both technological and financial applications of Blockchain technology. (Follow Alston Clark for more on HUBL.)

While Blockchain is probably not an ultimate solution to community underdevelopment, it does show great potential to impact the people that need help the most; and for that the Howard University community is excited.

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