The World Before and After Crypto
Today, we hear the words “crypto” and “Blockchain” very often and we take them as a normal part of our lives. We have been preparing for this normality, ever since 2009 when Bitcoin appeared, and people started to give it their attention and money to this burgeoning industry.
Early Attempts at Digital Currencies
However, as surprising as it may sound to us, the crypto adventure did not start with Bitcoin in 2009, but a few decades earlier.
Before the birth of bitcoin, there were a few attempts of creating another “kind” of money: electronic money. Let’s see which are the most relevant try-outs and what was special about each of them.
Gas station cards in the Netherlands
The earliest record we have about this comes from the Netherlands in the late 1980s, when the petrol stations were a target for robbers, as they knew there are money being kept overnight. As a consequence, the owners of the stations decided to create smart cards that hold a sum of money on them, and the drivers would pay for the gas using these cards, instead of cash.
The “flooz” e-currency
Another good example of early electronic money is the flooz e-currency which was initially launched as part of the company’s marketing campaign. The value of 1 flooz was 1 USD and users received flooz tokens for purchases made on the flooz website; the flooz tokens could also be used to buy additional items on their website. The idea is now quite common for us, but at that time, it was revolutionary and ahead of its time.
In the late 1990s, developer Wei Dai proposed an electronic money system that was supposed to be anonymous and distributed, and also private. It was called B-Money. The remarkable idea here is the proposal to use a decentralized network — which we now know is embraced by many crypto fans around the world.
There were also some other attempts at digital alternative money, and I will name them briefly: Blinded Cash, Hash Cash, Digi Cash. There were also some ideas involving gold: Bit-Gold and e-Gold. Even if they were not successful in their time, they all paved the road for Bitcoin and today’s crypto and Blockchain ecosystem.
Then, in January 2009, Bitcoin entered the game and marked the start of the crypto era as we know it today. Or to be more precise, the Blockchain era, because Blockchain technology is the gamechanger and the use cases of the Blockchain technology are quite many, in addition to the cryptocurrency field, like in science, gaming, environmental protection, crop production and many more.
Below is a list of the most popular Blockchain applications:
- Cryptocurrency exchanges
- Money transfer across borders
- Original content creation (NFTs are a good example here)
- NFT marketplaces
- Voting systems
- Secure sharing of medical data
- Smart contracts with applications in insurance, finances, real estate, etc.
- Supply chain management
- Copyright management
- Musical royalties management
- Financial data recording and management
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Besides the many applications of the Blockchain, it’s evident that we are still in the dawn of the Blockchain era.
Basically, wherever there is a need to make sure that the recorded data is kept safe and unchanged, that is a potential use-case for a Blockchain application. Today, we can see Blockchain technology as a method to prevent fraud and ensure complete transparency for everyone involved. Blockchain is making sure that the game is fair for everyone.
What we can do for now is keep forward towards the future, because the Blockchain is going to be a big part of it.
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Article written by Aurel Rusu — owner & founder @ investeo.ro
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