The Far Reaching Implications of the Bitcoin Protocol

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It is hard to imagine a world where smartphone technology is ubiquitous, and you may still find people who do not have access to enough financial institutions. In these present times there are roughly 6 billion individuals with limited or perhaps no access to banking facilities. Difficult to fathom, right? Unfortunately this is the truth for many people in developing countries. Coupled with corruption, limited modes of transportation, and high transaction fees, bank accounts are a luxury that many people cannot afford. Enter Bitcoin into financial freedom and this equation is only the beginning.

Bitcoin is not only money for the internet; it’s a programming language which allows for the decentralization of any info system. As said by Andreas Antonopoulos (2014), “Bitcoin is the internet of money.” In order to fully grasp this let us use the analogy of the web; which allows any individual admission to a worldwide communication and info network instantaneously. In this same way, Bitcoin is allowing individuals’ immediate access to a totally free global financial network. The implication of a decentralized financial network free of the corruption of third party moderators is overwhelming. Ponder for a moment introducing 6 billion potential consumers to the global marketplace. The possibilities for economic development and innovation are exponential. This exists because Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, chose to create open source software that gave all users equal say. The performance of the Bitcoin network is the users of its, which currently exceeds the combined computing power of the top 600 super computers on Earth. This equates to a network, which is for all intents of purposes, impenetrable. Basically, each individual computer acts as a voting node. These nodes vote on the validity of the current Bitcoin equation, normally known as the block chain. In order for the block chain to be verified, a vast majority of the voting nodes must corroborate whether the equation is conducted correctly. This process happens in nanoseconds, meaning only some voting nodes will participate in every given block chain verification.

Bitcoin is largely thought of in the west as popular, a means and also cutting edge technology of accruing wealth. Recently, the global acceptance for crypto-currencies has grown rapidly within investment circles, hedge funds, and among the technologically inclined thanks to its rising value. Though Bitcoin is utilized predominantly inside these above mentioned groups, current buzz surrounding Bitcoin millionaires and the public hearings in York that is new regarding future regulation have catapulted the currency into the mainstream (NPR). Nevertheless, limiting the Bitcoin protocol to these previously mentioned industries is extremely short sighted given the genius of Satoshi’s main goal. Remember, cryptocurrency can be put on to any kind of information system, like the technique of voting. When applied to voting, there is no longer the necessity for a third party organization to verify an election as this is done by each individual voting node. This completely eliminates voting machine and voter fraud tampering. Individuals will be able to vote from the comforts of their own homes, using verifiable identification codes, through a transparent voting system.

We have seen that the Bitcoin protocol not only has the capability to shape the future of our global financial network, but of our voting, our phones, and our cable television. Any strategy which is based on an unbiased third party mediator can be replaced by implementing the Bitcoin software. As the application is policed by all participating members, the possibility of corruption, or hacking the system is minuscule. Regardless of whether Bitcoin the currency ever blossoms into a genuine mainstream form of financial transaction remains to be seen, however the revolution in software that Nakamoto has unleashed has only just begun.

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