For those beginning the Bitcoin and Blockchain learning process, a bit of history
TJ Connolly June 3, 2019
Introduction to Crypto
The emergence of Bitcoin in the year 2009 has led to the global development of Blockchain technologies. The rapid expansion of the blockchain concept is now impacting every industry. We are still at the early point in time of development, but there is little doubt at this juncture that we are experiencing the next phase of the internet, or the internet 3.0, that will revolutionize the way value is created, deployed, shared, and measured. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I do want to simply speak to what you may learn by reading the articles and ideas that populate this website.
My initial goal was to keep abreast of new blockchain solutions and to share what I was learning and what news was being released into the market that may demonstrate that a real wave of change is beginning to take place. I continue to focus on this. I do realize though, that a gap is growing where the information I am sharing assumes the reader already understands the basics of Bitcoin and the Blockchain. That is a bad assumption for many. So let me use this introduction to serve as the number one building block of education about this sector called Crypto.
After the banking crisis in 2008, a paper was released into the market that described a proposed method of commerce on the internet that did not need a banking institution between you and the store you wanted to purchase goods from. The concept was that the bank is simply a middle-man that charges high fees for their services; fees that could be avoided if we had a secure, confidential, protected environment to transfer value from one person to another. The idea also had to ensure that once value was transferred, there was no way for the original buyer to re-spend the value they transferred in another transaction. These issues were solved by the brilliance of the developer(s) of Bitcoin. Solving the security and ownership of “money” was important but there was a need for the additional strength of having an environment that was not susceptible to hacking. By using cryptography to create a secure and unhackable system where each individual had sole control of their value and where there was no central repository of all of the transactions and information about the participants, where there would be no one entity to be targeted by hackers (think of all the centralized corporations that have been hacked to steal personal information, ranging from the Democratic National Committee, to Sony, to Experian, etc), then the integrity and viability of this new system would open doors to global sharing and the movement of capital without the slowness and hindrances of the systems we grew up with. With this, Bitcoin and the Blockchain was born.
Following Bitcoin, came Ethereum, a new blockchain. Where Bitcoin represents the railroad tracks on which value (“money”) moves seamlessly across the globe, Ethereum introduced a blockchain that incorporated contract functionality within its technology. The ability to write a contract within the Ethereum platform, a contract that would execute its terms immediately upon confirmation that the requirements of the contract had been met is revolutionary. There is no middle-man, there is simply technology, secure and confidential, that allows two parties to agree on the contract and to have the contract terms fulfilled on the blockchain platform. By delivering to the parties exactly what was specified in the contract opened the doors to changing the financial industry and the business of almost every other industry.
Bitcoin and Ethereum opened the world of Blockchains to the rest of the great inventors, inviting them to join in expanding this blockchain concept, to build on the original foundations, to explore new avenues of potential, and to unleash the power of the human in an age of the internet that was only imagined before 2009. The number of blockchains continues to grow and the applications (“DApps”) that are being built on top of blockchains are exploding in number. These applications offer us an array of services ranging from banking (interest earning deposits and loans), games, fitness, token exchanges that support the trading of crypto-assets, and so much more.
Within the Joy of Investing website there are many examples of how business sectors are adopting and adapting to the benefits of blockchains. The main page you see upon entering TheJoyofInvesting.com contains my writings. There is also a menu at the top of the page that provides selections of charts, articles, videos, and other important information that may help you.
With this as the background, I hope you unleash your curiosity as you read the articles, ideas and charts that are there now, and the new ideas and postings that I will present in the future. Please ask me questions when you have them. I want you to join me on this journey, this fascinating marvelous adventure in the next age of humankind.
Thomas J Connolly