Here at Futr we have a few different interests other than just creating fantastic, affordable websites for our clients. One of these interests revolves around what the world will look like in the future, and specifically regarding technology.
A client of ours sent though this very interesting TED Talk from Don Tapscott, about a thing called “Blockchain”. Don is world leader on topics such as media, innovation, and technology and it’s social and economical impacts. Don also advises a multitude of leaders around the world and has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books including the best selling Wikinomics (need to have a read), Macrowikinomics; and New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Don’s recent book, is The Blockchain Revolution, the first book to explain why blockchain technology will fundamentally change the Internet, what it does, how we use it, and both the promise and peril for our civilisation.
But what is the Blockchain?
If you’ve got no idea (which I didn’t either) you should start to get one; if you do, likelihood is that you still need some more clarification, because it’s a pretty ‘hard-to-grasp’ kind of topic! Have a watch of the TED Talk here, where Don attempts to help demystify this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, is effectively nothing less than the next generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society – so essentially the majority of the entire world!
Because Don doesn’t delve too deeply into how exactly Blockchain works (you’ll see he mentions transactions, miners, block creation, problem solving, competition, finding the truth, validating the block, blocks linked to other blocks, encryption etc.), I’ve also added a second video to hopefully more clearly outline how it all goes down.
From what I can gather after both videos, is the following key points:
- The Blockchain cuts out the ‘trusted third party middle-man’. For example; only this morning I went to a lovely networking breakfast put on by clients of mine, the wonderful Own It Project girls. In order to attend the breakfast I had to purchase a ticket online from their Mindbody App account. To do this, the trusted third parties involved include no less than; the Bank that administers my bank account, MasterCard (my credit card), the Mindbody App, and the debit transaction company that Mindbody uses – called Ezedebit, and my Accountant at the end of the year who validates the transaction for taxation purposes. All of these parties take a fee in one way or another, as a payment for the trust and service they provide to facilitate this transaction as seamlessly and easily as possible for me. The Blockchain cuts out all of them, and I simply pay the girls $25 (well it wouldn’t be dollars per se), using cryptocurrency, through the blockchain directly, and the trust is wrapped up within the security of the blockchain itself. Interesting…
- The security is provided through ‘miners’ who validate all movements/changes/transactions are correct according to contracts, or whats been asked of during the specific transaction. If anyone tries to do a dodgy then everyone involved immediately knows about it, the assailant is booted out, and the transaction continues as it originally intended.
- If a hacker was to attempt to access the blockchain to steal information, or currency, or something else, they would have to ‘hack’ not only that specific block that carries their wanted data, but also ALL of the blocks that come before it, at the same time. Apparently this is nigh impossible – and I believe Don when he says it.
Quite an interesting topic, and we’ll be keeping an eye on Blockchain as we move into the future!
How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott
The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology – The Blockchain explained
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