Note: This is a prologue to my next post “Demystifying Bitcoin/Blockchain: How it Actually Works.” I will also be exploring the brilliance and short-comings of Bitcoin/Blockchain, from the perspective of someone who did not understand it three months ago. Special thanks to Andreas Antonopoulos,Pascal Bouvier, Vitalik Buterin, and Simon Taylor, whom I have not met but whose intellectual generosity has accelerated and deepened my understanding of the subject.
The post could also be found on Linkedin Pulse.
Overview of Bitcoin/Blockchain – Where it All Began:
Invented in 2008, Bitcoin is not just a currency or a payment system. Andreas Antonopoulos, author of “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrency,” provided a well articulated definition:
It is “a network-centric protocol and platform for recording [and transferring] ownership and trust on a peer-to-peer basis.”
Blockchain is quite topical recently given hyped up interests by financial institutions; it was also featured on the October 31st cover of The Economist. However, Blockchain by itself is just a boring ledger distributed or replicated among all the participants in a P2P network, it is only with the protocol/incentives (in purely mathematical forms) integrated into the Bitcoin system that Blockchain becomes a powerful trust machine. One cannot understand Blockchain and its full potential without understanding how Bitcoin system as a whole works – Blockchain is Bitcoin. Continue reading “Prologue to “Demystifying Bitcoin/Blockchain””