When Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer, sent the first email to himself back in 1971, who could have imagined the changes in business and commerce it would make years later.
Today, we take email and the internet for granted. In 2016, 11.7% of total retail sales were online and growing quickly. Internet companies, Amazon and Alphabet (Google) are some of the largest companies in the world.
We may very well be back in the early 70’s with the explosion of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their associated Blockchain technology. Bitcoin is the first and most widely known cryptocurrency which utilizes Blockchain technology.
Mysterious and reclusive, Bitcoin developer(s) who go by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, launched the Bitcoin Network in January 2009. Satoshi mirrored gold in his design:
- No centralized authority controls Bitcoin
- Supply of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million
- Bitcoin is “mined” by individuals and companies
- Bitcoin is a private medium of exchange between individuals
- With acceptance rising, Bitcoin’s price has been volatile to say the least.
Bitcoin Price History
July 2010 $.08
April 2011 $1.00
July 2011 $31.00
December 2011 $ 2.00
November 2012 $11.04
April 2013 $181.66
March 2014 $662.57
June 2015 $226.90
April 2016 $461.08
March 2017 $1,201.86
August 29, 2017 $4,571.00
Today, there are over 64 different cryptocurrencies using blockchain technology.
The blockchain is the key to all cryptocurrencies and it has the potential to radically change banking, insurance and commerce.
In simple terms the blockchain is a decentralized public ledger, which can be used on a peer to peer basis, eliminating the need for a middleman. Blockchain is a spreadsheet, which is regularly updated, and duplicated across a large network of computers. It is not centralized, and is an easily verifiable public record. Since there is no single data base stored in a single location, it is almost impossible to hack. Blockchain technology is robust-like the internet and has many potential applications other than Bitcoin. For example, legal or insurance documents can be shared across the internet. Currently finance and banking offer the strongest case for Blockchain technology. The world bank estimates over $430 billion US money transfers were sent in 2015 and there is currently a huge demand for blockchain developers.
Keep vigilant to these new technologies as they have the potential to change how we do business!