How Bitcoin Changed the Game

13 Sep

By: Michael Morton
Bitcoin

     Since the dawn of mankind there have always been uniquely rare individuals who never stop pursuing their dream of a better world. It is the age-old calling of finding greatness in ourselves and in others that consequently drives new revolutions of understanding, innovation and growth. The Gutenberg press historically changed education. The Internet transformed everyday communication. Now, bitcoin and blockchain technologies will revolutionize everything including business, finance, government, cloud computing, the Internet, big data, education, transportation, even health. In order to summarize all the ways bitcoin and blockchain technologies will transform society, first one needs to understand a few simple computer programming concepts.
 
     Basically, bitcoin is a denominated limited supply of symbolic data tokens designed to give incentive for bitcoin enthusiasts to power bitcoin’s network, otherwise known as the blockchain. For the first time in history, the blockchain allows computers to measure analogue time in data through an ever increasing chain of verified data blocks. These data blocks are a record containing an orderly predetermined amount of data and transactions. The connected data blocks (from the first to the present) compose the backbone of the entire blockchain. By randomly proving transactions in the current data block they were received, relative dating without time can be achieved. The same concept is used by paleontologists establishing the particular time periods of dinosaurs by measuring and comparing the depth of their fossils in rock formations.
 
     Massive specialized bitcoin computer equipment ensures encrypted transactions in the current data block. These computers generate trillions of guesses a second to solve unique signatures given by the most recent transactions. This produces hack-proof relative time that can be determined by the number of the block. The bitcoin experts who buy specialized computer equipment to power bitcoin’s blockchain are called bitcoin miners. These miners prove the limited supply of bitcoin and authenticate bitcoin transactions by what is known as a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. Bitcoin’s PoW algorithm uses encryption (SHA-256) to confirm authentic ownership and transactions in the blockchain ledger. In summary, bitcoin is a specialized data token that gives bitcoin miners the incentive to power bitcoin’s blockchain. The blockchain then authenticates transactions creating a full open book ledger of every account and transaction in that blockchain’s history.
 
     An important concept to grasp is that since the conception of bitcoin, there have been other blockchain networks designed to run slightly differently depending on their purpose. These complex networks still provide the same secure network to authenticate transactions as any blockchain network would. The data tokens that power blockchain’s separate from bitcoin are called altcoins. Thousands of altcoins now exist since they are easy to replicate. As long as there is only one computer powering a blockchain network, then the network is alive. Most altcoins fulfill many different purposes and are powered by different blockchain algorithms. Some are as revolutionary as bitcoin, however most are tweaked slightly for selfish monetary reasons. Warning: it is extremely important that if you are interested in buying altcoins you know, without a doubt, what you are purchasing. While bitcoin was the first blockchain (and arguably the most secure), altcoins offer a variety of differences in both network structure and purpose. This is why it is common for computer programmers to think of bitcoin as electronic gold and altcoins as the new fiat currencies, only way more useful depending on the altcoin. Now that we have established bitcoin, altcoin, and blockchain basics here are some examples of how this technology will radically change our future.
 
Finance: The first and most obvious change blockchain technologies will imprint on society is as a substitute for monetary transactions. Similar to how an arcade owner creates their own physical tokens for their independently controlled micro-economy, anyone will be able to issue their own tokens, stock in their companies, or a redeemable electronic receipt for a physical product. Any person can accomplish this by either hosting their own blockchain network or running their network on an already existing blockchain. When a blockchain is added to one already existing, such as bitcoin’s blockchain, it’s called a Side chain. Side chains rely on their root blockchain to power transactions in their network. Master Coin and Counter Party are two examples of altcoins that use bitcoin’s blockchain to power their network ledger. With all the functionality bitcoin and altcoins give us as a monetary substitute, no banks or third party transactors (like Visa or MasterCard) will be needed by the year 2020, if not sooner.
 
Business: The blockchain will also revolutionize business by automatically managing employees and all paperwork. Thus, in the future, companies might consist of owners, shareholders, board of directors, and employees, but no managers for the employees. Their job can be done with advance programs running on specially designed blockchain networks. Businesses with such a decentralized, automatic, non-hierarchical business model (accomplished through computer programming) are known as Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DACs). With businesses being that much easier to run and no managers required, world GDP will grow at unprecedented record levels. Just as Moore’s Law predicts the doubling of transistor’s efficiency every two years, Morton’s Law predicts the doubling of world GDP every 10 years which will continue well throughout the 21st-century (assuming no negative human error such as war that would lead to an obvious decrease in world GDP). Ethereum is an example of such an altcoin that would offer unlimited possibilities in programming business models or contracts. With all business transactions and electronic paperwork available to be searched by everyone in the blockchain open book ledger, corrupt corporations will only be known to exists in the “barbaric” times before blockchain technology made all business practices clearly transparent.
 

 
Government: With self-enforcing business contracts, our legal system will see a severe drop in business related court cases. On top of that, if governments were to use open source blockchains to automate bureaucratic paperwork and other governmental services, then current governments could be reduced to a minuscule fraction of what they are now. Citizens would have to guide a peaceful downsizing of their government’s authority and budget, but billions of dollars would be saved while ensuring no corruption as long as the blockchain’s ledger is publicly view-able. Bitnation is a current altcoin prototype that is being developed to fulfill this exact purpose of decentralized governmental services controlled by the people. There is a real danger if governments use blockchain technologies for nefarious purposes like spying on citizens. If a government were to ever force citizens to use one of their closed source blockchain networks then that will inevitably lead to an Orwellian police state. Every new generation would forget little by little what true freedom means until all memory of freedom dissolves through the ages of corporate slavery. From this perspective, one should view the blockchain as equal to the discovery of nuclear energy. Endowing the ability to drastically improve everyone’s lives if used properly, but if abused, could lead to a world fate worst than nuclear winter.
 
 Big Data: With the invention of computers inevitably came the era of big data research. Knowledge has always been valuable, but historically could only be spread by manual reading and writing. Now with the help of computers, big data analyst can find comparisons between unimaginably vast data sets forever changing our perception of what data is. For instance social media has constantly helped corporate advertising by providing companies with the tools to collect personal information for more direct advertising. Incorporating blockchain technology would not only increase previous records of data collection, it also has the ability to time stamp when information was input or output. In the case of confidential information, the blockchain could be programmed to determine who creates or views data on a specific blockchain network. One example where this could be useful is DNA sequencing. Doctors could use big data to greatly accelerate medical research while guaranteeing anonymity of research participants.
 
Education: In the future, physical classrooms will only be available to the brightest and wealthiest students. All other students will be educated through free online courses, where online classmates will work together to learn without the need of help from teachers. Their education profile will automatically build their resume by the students’ performance of those courses. They will find jobs matching the courses they accelerate in, and send electronic resumes to multiple public job listings. As a result, the world unemployment rate will continuously drop throughout the 21st-century. Due to highly efficient networking, finding a job would only be a matter of choice. The blockchain would make all of this possible by providing centralized online credible schooling networks. This would allow business owners to look at employee academic records basing credibility of past work.
 
Internet: Since blockchain user accounts are in a ledger format with the ability to time stamp the transaction of information, Internet providers could regulate the Internet by the cost of data being transmitted instead of charging a monthly fee. Regulating the internet this way will be incredibly important in the future as the amount of data transmitted through the internet becomes increasingly unmanageable. This problem can be solved by the blockchain giving Internet providers the opportunity to regulate transacted data similar to how a city regulates water use in a metered city plumbing system. A metered data system would help avoid massive hacking attacks and transferring too much data in one area for what the current Internet could handle. Correctly managing this task without corruption would drastically reduce the cost of internet access around the world without the need to pay a monthly subscription plan. Hence, by striping power away from monopolistic corporate enterprises, a decentralized, cheap Internet providers would be established for everyone. Not only will Internet access be more economical, it will be nearly hack-proof thanks to one of the best altcoins on the market named Maidsafe. The Maidsafe network is designed to take all information transferred or stored on the internet, encrypt it, grind it up to smaller bits of data and then randomly disperse all those tiny packets of data through many interconnected Maidsafe computers, much like wind blowing sand across the beach. Later the user can recall where all their microscopic data packets are located to reassemble the original file. Operating in this way, the more a public website is viewed, the amount of tiny data packets being requested on the network increases. This, in return, loads common websites at increasing speeds proportional to how popular they are, while saving much of the Internet’s bandwidth by recycling already used data.
 

 
Cloud Computing: One of the most recent computing innovations stemming from big data is called cloud computing. Simply put, cloud computing processes all computer tasks on a centralized server rather than a personal computer. The blockchain will drastically affect cloud computing by offering an easier way to secure data storage on public or private networks. Soon most people will chose to start using cloud computing in their everyday lives as it will become the easiest and safest option for anyone that is technologically challenged.
 
Transportation: Automation of the transportation industry has already begun. From Google’s driverless car to Amazon’s experimental drone package delivery. Transportation as we know it is undergoing massive disruptions. Applications that power DAC’s (Decentralized Automatic Corporations) such as Uber will continue to make transportation more economical until most people won’t even want to own a transportation vehicle. Whether it is a car with moderately better mpg or a flying electrogravitic space ship designed by the Keshe Foundation. More DAC’s like Uber will flood the transportation market once blockchain technology can cheaply power those DAC’s complex networking systems. Without the blockchain authorizing vehicles, hackers could potentially take control of any self-driving vehicle. Blockchains prevent this by adding more security to both the transaction of data and marking a clear time stamped order of operations for the transportation vehicle to follow.
 
Health: As mentioned before, the power of big data and the blockchain will profoundly improve health care research. In the future, there will be specifically designed medical treatments to an individual person’s DNA, genealogy, history and environment. With the proper multi-signature configurations, users would be able to share their personal medical information with whomever they chose, while reserving the option to block any data they do not wish to share. Folding Coin is already using the intense computer power of the blockchain to research how our bodies fold proteins to help fight all kinds of diseases. This may not seem like a big deal to anyone other than medical professionals, but you can bet the words disease, cancer and illness will only be read in future history books to show the challenges human beings had to overcome before life in the 21st-century.