It is 1984 for Bitcoin and Blockchain
Do you truly know how each and every gadget or piece of software that you use or interact with on a daily basis works? Do you really care? Maybe you do, but for the vast majority of us we just take the increasingly capable and intuitive technology for granted – click here, swipe there, google this and it all just works!
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and if you really feel like a laugh check out the video below from 1984 about how to send an email. Except it wasn’t funny then, it was exciting, revolutionary new technology. And 34 years later you basically can’t function easily in society without at least one email address as more and more of our large businesses such as telcos and banks move towards paperless interactions. Today in 2018, you actually get charged for having a paper bank statement or telephone bill mailed out to you through Australia Post. I bet if you had told the couple in the video from 1984 that they would have to pay for the privilege to receive a bill or a bank statement in paper form they would not have believed you!
So do you know how email works? You just type your message and press the send button right? Well, that’s how you send an email message but that is not how it actually works. The diagram below steps you through how it actually works.
Pretty complicated! But with the advent of web browsers in the 1990’s and the continual improvement of user friendly interfaces, today we just use Email without thinking because it has become a basic utility. Essentially, it just works.
Check out the timeline below of the major advances in Technology since the first Apranet in 1969 when the Internet was just a twinkle in someone’s eye. As we have previously reported - ** crypto adoption ** it is still very early days since Bitcoin burst onto the scene in the wake of the GFC. In essence it is 1984 again. It is just like the couple in the video – clunky, cumbersome and time consuming. It is also exciting, revolutionary new technology. We will no doubt laugh about these times in another 34 years. Imagine if it costs you more in 34 years to pay with AUD fiat currency rather than with Bitcoin? Sounds absurd and outrageous. But who is to say that it couldn’t happen?
Do you know how Bitcoin works? You might say “Yes. Use a wallet, you send it or receive it and you are done!’. But that is how you send or receive Bitcoin – it is not how it actually works. The diagram below shows how a Bitcoin transaction works.
Feels familiar doesn’t it?
Before long, we will be sending money to each other using the Bitcoin protocol with the swipe of a finger and without a second thought. We won’t need to understand how it works, it will just work.
As defined by some analysts,
“Bitcoin is a protocol. It’s just software, running on a set of rules that needs to be followed in order to participate in the network. Trying to explain the nuts and bolts of it to everyone will be frustrating because not everyone can or wants to understand all the technical stuff, yet we do it anyway because even if only one out of a hundred people will get curious and want to learn more, it makes all that effort worth it.”
Bitcoin is also not alone in this changing landscape. As we move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 many other Blockchain applications are in the process of disrupting traditional industries along with some relative new kids on the block such as Airbnb. Airbnb has been a major disruptor for the hotel industry and yet now only a short 9 to 10 years later is facing being disrupted itself! Just like Facebook, Amazon and Google, a few winners will emerge and become basic utilities for a vast array of uses from smart contracts, marketplaces, file storage, chain supply/logistics, voting and gaming/esports to name but a few. Essentially any service that requires an agreement in a trustless environment can be used through a blockchain application. See the below diagram which clearly shows the transition and disruption currently taking place. Truly an exciting time to be alive!