Blockchain, bull and bears
You probably know by now that Facebook is planning to launch a new currency based on blockchain early next year.
The first online record of blockchain was back in 2008, on a mysterious technical paper, written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The technology was to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
But seeds were planted before that. In 1999, Nobel Prize American economist Milton Friedman proclaimed on this interview: “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing, (…) is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A, the way I can take a $20 bill hand it over to you and then there’s no record of where it came from”.
However, blockchain is more than just bitcoin and will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life, or so says Dominic Frisby in Aeon Magazine, while explaining how it actually works.
Perhaps it will also change the lives of poor communities. Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, is setting up a blockchain-based decentralised ledger system to let poor communities record both their formal and informal property rights permanently.
It’s not all roses in the blockchain world, and there may be a catch or two:
Catch number 1: Bitcoin and oil have more in common than you might think, including devastating environmental impact. Some can’t help but wonder whether
Catch number 2: We can’t always trust the technology.
Is the start of a shift or the beginning of the end? Are you feeling bullish or bearish about the future of blockchain?