Technology: a work in progress

It is May 2019 and I feel I understand Bitcoin technology much more than I did it back in 2017 when I started this journey. In 2009 when the first crypto currency was born, despite my early adopter attitude, I could not grasp the meaning and the potentiality of this revolutionary tech.

but why others did understand earlier?

It is really interesting trying to answer this question, rewinding around 10 years from today trying matching historical tech developments like solving a puzzle.

10 years ago we were moving the first steps in the online world, facebook was just 5 years old and the Square was invented “The device plugs into a smart phone, allowing customers to virtually use the smartphone as a register”.

This was a particularly pivotal invention for small and local business owners. Now shops could take their businesses on the go and make the payment process easier for customers. Allowing them to pay with a card or cash.

iPhone was about 2 years old and the iPad would be born one year later in 2010. Kickstarter is also a child of 2009.

Kickstarter is a non-profit website which allows users to create pages to fund different projects, or really anything. Their mission is to “bring creative projects to life”. The impact this company has had on our society is tremendous and it only continues to grow. Artists can support each other without necessarily knowing each other. It gives those who feel like they don’t have anything a chance to grow and achieve their dreams.

QRcode was invented long time before, about 14 years ago in the field of auto motor industry but time has brought this tech from cars to money

In 2008, a Japanese stonemason announced plans to engrave QR codes on gravestones, allowing visitors to view information about the deceased, and family members to keep track of visits.

QR codes have been incorporated into currency. In June 2011 The Royal Dutch Mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt) issued the world’s first official coin with a QR code to celebrate the centenary of its current building and premises. The coin can be scanned by a smartphone and link to a special website with contents about the historical event and design of the coin. In 2014 the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a 100-naira banknote to commemorate its centennial, the first banknote to incorporate a QR code in its design. When scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, the code goes to a website which tells the centenary story of Nigeria. In 2015, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation issued a 100-rubles note to commemorate the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. It contains a QR code into its design, and when scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, the code goes to a website that details the historical and technical background of the commemorative note. In 2017, the Bank of Ghana issued a 5-cedis banknote to commemorate 60 years of Central Banking in Ghana, and contains a QR code in its design, which when scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, that code goes to the official Bank of Ghana website.

and meanwhile the music industry got a taste of future starting with Napster (first P2P) to iTunes passying by Bittorrent.

Lastly I will add the last puzzle piece to this experimental journey by adding Whatsapp and indirectly I am also referring to Kakao Talk, Telegram and Line.

It is too easy to see the whole picture now from the privileged “aerial view” 2019 . Not impossible thou, smart people could follow the path of digital revolution and bet their money or their time into the right product.

Who bought Bitcoin back in 2009-2010 is either a genius or just a gambler. (I wish I could be one of them).

For the “average” people the puzzle could be noticeable once half or almost done. The fascinating idea of this puzzle is to perceive a “vector” that opens up new frontiers.

We could not understand Bitcoin if we had not become familiar with instant messengers.

We could not phantom the idea of permission less money moving across the globe for 0.0001 $, if we had not experienced Amazon, PayPal and eBay.

You and me, could never imagine all of this if smartphones were not created.

We could not be able even picturing a blockchain network without first using emails and cloud file sharing service like Dropbox.

and of course, nothing could exist without the internet.. and the computer and the electricity!

That is too obvious but it is not so obvious to understand that Bitcoin needed PayPal to open the gate to crypto currencies.

In 2019 the crypto users are still a very tiny fraction of world population. The majority of people still do not understand or trust it and while Blockchain has a better reputation than Bitcoin it is still really the beginning of the industry.

My perception is that this year will be pivotal for the crypto adoption because there are very important pieces added to the puzzle.

I am referring to the spreading of money apps to our smartphones by conventional financial institutions and national players.

Wechat is the leader of cashless app, in China everyone goes around scanning QR codes to pay. In South Korea where I live, Kakao Talk has launched Kakao Pay and I have been using for the last weeks.

As Kakao Pay user I can tell to you, it is really fun using this service. The app allows you to send money to anyone on your friend list, to bank accounts (so I don’t need anymore internet banking), and to pay scanning QR codes at shops. Also when I pay at Starbucks, 7 Elevens and other shops, clicking pay, the app shows a bar code that cashier scan it to get the payment. Moreover when you pay to a store that offers membership points, the process is automatic and you will get every message in your Kakao Talk to track payments and membership scores. It is really really well done.

The diffusion of the new cashless tools will make the transition to Bitcoin quite easy, but one question arises:

Why would you need to use Bitcoin when you can pay everyone with your phone in such easy way?

I have thought about this for few days and I found my conclusion. It is in a way connected to the topic of this article. We could not grasp social media before the email had become daily routine.

Then I think the next evolution is: the way we conceive value. We cannot understand yet what is so important of Bitcoin, we think it is about sending money but it is not.

Bitcoin is about signing information in an immutable ledger.

I believe the best way to understand Bitcoin is to understand the concept of public and private key in cryptographic signatures like PNG

It is about owning a piece of information, it is still a puzzle we are trying to solve. The entire world can achieve the adoption of a tool that enpowers each individual freedom and ownership.

This can be achieved faster if we move forward the crypto casino gambling idea of the exchanges to the more important process of building utility for the world immutable ledger.

Leave a Reply