Is the future of money at a tipping point of transformation? Maybe someday soon, but more importantly, the technology that makes Bitcoin (the original cryptocurrency) possible is transforming more than just a hard-to-wrap-your-brain-around-it alternative currency.
The blockchain technology behind Bitcoin is now being considered for many other trust-based applications, including supply chain management, identity management, health records, and even voting. Many people are saying that blockchain is as transformative as the Internet itself, and is being called "the Internet of value."
In February and March (2018) OfficeXpats hosted two events that introduced this topic, and we've collected some resources that helped us get a basic understanding of this technology and its implications. We will continue to revisit this important evolution (and maybe update this list of resources), so if you have experience or perspectives to share, please get in touch.
My Bitcoin/Blockchain Starter Kit
What Is Blockchain? https://lifehacker.com/what-is-blockchain-1822094625
Straightforward definitions with some interesting metaphors thrown in for your consideration. Blockchain is like DNA?
Blockchain: Massively Simplified | Richie Etwaru | TEDxMorristown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k53LUZxUF50
What is the one gap that a new paradigm fills for everyone? This talk compares blockchain to the printing press, the engine, and the Internet, providing fresh perspective on those past inventions as well. Some annoying color commentary, but worth the watch (try watching YouTube videos at 1.5 speed... I learned this from my son).
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
“Nakamoto’s” 9-page white paper that started it all: the specification for creating cryptocurrencies via a chain of "blocks."
Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five https://medium.freecodecamp.org/explain-bitcoin-like-im-five-73b4257ac833
A good explanation for the problem of digital exchange of value that blockchain solves, and the ledger function that is at its core (no pun intended; the explanation uses apples).
The History of Bitcoin https://www.genesis-mining.com/the-history-of-bitcoin
How Does the Blockchain Work? https://medium.com/@micheledaliessi/how-does-the-blockchain-work-98c8cd01d2ae
Smart Contracts For Dummies https://medium.freecodecamp.org/smart-contracts-for-dummies-a1ba1e0b9575
A Beginner’s Guide to Ethereum https://blog.coinbase.com/a-beginners-guide-to-ethereum-46dd486ceecf
Government Blockchain Association (GBA): https://gbaglobal.org/
Ready for some mind-blowing implications?
The Value Revolution: How Blockchain Will Change Money & the World | Galia Benartzi | TEDxWhiteCity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft8dSvdH2ek
Rethinking Capitalism with the Blockchain | Kary Bheemaiah | TEDxIHEParis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm_oGQ155gY
How To Create Your Own Cryptocurrency https://www.fastcompany.com/3025700/how-to-create-your-own-cryptocurrency
Currencies can be local! From Fast Company in 2014: "[Maybe this is] the true market for the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency: hyper-local currencies for certain neighborhoods, cities, events, venues, and groups of people that are built around a community of like-minded consumers..."
Hullcoin Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency Tied to Local Community Currency https://btcmanager.com/hullcoin-cryptocurrency-launch-tied-to-local-currency/
Of course this is my favorite. "Members of the community are able to earn Hullcoin through various methods, with the most prominent being volunteering in community programs... Shepherdson believes the introduction of this new currency is important in order to facilitate the issuance of the Universal Basic Income (UBI); as technological advancements grow so do the fears that many people will lose their jobs to automated systems or artificial intelligence."
Motivated for more research?
Getting started with Bitcoin, blockchains, and cryptoassets: https://hackernoon.com/getting-started-with-bitcoin-blockchains-and-cryptoassets-2e9c1c685576
A curated list of videos, podcasts, and other resources prioritized for the amount of time you have to dive in. Or, you can just go to YouTube and start watching TEDtalks with any keywords that resonate for you (and wonder where the time went).
Hankering for shared understanding?
Want to help me create a meetup on Bainbridge for discussing how this technology can re-invent money and our economy for good and not just speculative profit? Let me know.