What is Bitcoin ?
Bitcoin, you probably have heard about it by now. If not, we are going to explain to you the most exciting, the most interesting, and probably the most important technological invention in computer science of the last 20 years.
Bitcoin is much more than digital money
Saying bitcoin is digital money is like saying the internet is a fancy telephone. It’s like saying that the internet is all about email. — Andreas Antonopoulos
Bitcoin is many things. It’s a currency, it’s a technology, and it is an international network of payments and exchange that is completely decentralized. It doesn’t rely on banks or any other government.
It is a technological revolution, but also a social and political revolution in the making.
Bitcoin is money
Bitcoin is money just like the Dollar, the Euro or the British Pound. Only it is not owned by any government, or anyone. You can send this money across borders instantaneously anywhere in the world securely, and for minimal or no fees at all. Created in 2008 as an invention by a person called Satoshi Nakamoto. He (or She, or They) published a paper where he posited that he had found the way to create a decentralized network that could achieve consensus, agreement, without any central controlling authority.
Bitcoin is not a company. It is not an organization. It is a standard or a protocol just like TCP/IP, or the internet. It’s not owned by anyone. It operates by simple mathematical rules that everyone who participates in the network agrees on. Through this simple mechanism, through this invention of Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is able to allow a completely decentralized network of computers to agree on what transactions have occurred on a network, essentially agreeing on who currently has the money.
So if you send me bitcoin, it’s just like sending an email, there is no one in the middle.
The bitcoin blockchain
Every ten minutes, the entire network agrees on what transactions have happened, without any centralized authority, by a simple election that occurs electronically. To know more about blockchain read this article.
Currency is just the first app
Don’t you ever underestimate this technology by thinking that bitcoin is just money, money is just the first app. Bitcoin is a protocol and can be used in so many cases, that we yet have to discover. No one could have predicted Facebook, or Twitter in 1994 when the internet was just starting. Bitcoin creates the possibilities for decentralized organization on a scale never before seen on this planet.
A blockchain is a database accessible to people all over the world and operating without a trusted third party. It uses advanced cryptographic techniques to reward those who process and secure this data (in the case of Proof-of-Work). Since the Ethereum blockchain, this database has become programmable with the implementation of Smart-Contracts, decentralized applications (Dapps), and decentralized organizations (DAOs).
Today the art market represents more than 14.58 billion euros in transactions. Most works of art have an extrinsic value, which is mainly based on the certificate of authenticity provided by third parties: the artist himself, but also gallery owners, art dealers, auctioneers, museum curators, and private experts. However, according to Bloomberg, nearly 10% of the value of transactions on the art market comes from forgeries.