The Far Reaching Implications of the Bitcoin Protocol

It’s tricky to imagine a world where smart phone technology is ubiquitous, and there are still individuals who don’t have access to ample financial institutions. In these present times there are roughly six billion individuals with limited or perhaps no access to banking facilities. Difficult to fathom, right? Regrettably this is the truth for a lot of people in developing countries. Coupled with corruption, limited modes of transportation, and high transaction fees, bank accounts are a luxury that lots of people can’t afford. Enter Bitcoin into this equation and financial freedom is simply the beginning.
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Bitcoin is not only money for the internet; it’s a programming language that allows for the decentralization of any information system. As said by Andreas Antonopoulos (2014), “Bitcoin is the world wide web of money.” In order to understand this let us use the analogy of the net; which in turn allows any individual admission to a global info and communication network instantaneously. In this same way, Bitcoin is allowing individuals’ instantaneous access to a free global financial network. The implication of a decentralized financial network free of the corruption of third party moderators is overwhelming. Ponder for a moment introducing 6 billion potential consumers to the global marketplace. The possibilities for economic growth and innovation are exponential. This exists because Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, chose to create open source software program that gave all users equal say. The performance of the Bitcoin network is its users, which currently exceeds the combined computing power of the top 600 super computers on Earth. This equates to a network, that is for all intents of purposes, impenetrable. In essence, each individual computer acts as a voting node. These nodes vote on the validity of the current Bitcoin equation, actually known as the block chain. In order for the block chain to be verified, a greater number of the voting nodes must corroborate whether the equation is performed properly. This process happens in nanoseconds, meaning only some voting nodes will participate in every given block chain verification.

Bitcoin is generally thought of in the west as popular, a means along with cutting edge technologies of accruing wealth. Lately, the global acceptance for crypto currencies has grown rapidly within investment circles, hedge funds, and among the technologically inclined due to its rising value. Though Bitcoin is utilized predominantly inside these above mentioned groups, current buzz surrounding Bitcoin millionaires as well as the public hearings in York that is new regarding future regulation have catapulted the currency into the mainstream (NPR). Nonetheless, limiting the Bitcoin protocol to these previously mentioned industries is extremely short sighted given the genius of Satoshi’s underlying goal. Remember, the Bitcoin protocol can be put on to any information system, such as the process of voting. When applied to voting, there’s no longer the need for a third party organization to verify an election as this is done by each individual voting node. This completely eliminates voter fraud and voting machine tampering. Individuals would be ready to vote from the comforts of their own homes, using verifiable identification codes, through a transparent voting system.

We have noticed that the Bitcoin protocol not only has the ability to shape the future of our global financial network, but of our voting, our phones, and the cable television of ours. Any strategy which is based on an unbiased third party mediator can be replaced by implementing the Bitcoin software. As the application is policed by all participating members, the possibility of corruption, or hacking the system is minuscule. Regardless of whether Bitcoin the currency ever blossoms into a genuine mainstream form of financial transaction remains to be seen, however the revolution in software that Nakamoto has unleashed has only just begun.