Where are the Bitcoin Billionaires?
I missed it! In 2009, I straight up missed the significance of Bitcoin and the blockchain mechanism that supports it. I did hear about the concept at the time and ignored what it meant.
In any case, I haven’t heard that the podcasting voices of the time, such as Leo Laport and Steve Gibson, are Bitcoin billionaires yet. Maybe they’re just keeping quiet about it.
Google trends say that interest in the concept has hit its all-time high this week, along with the price of Bitcoin. However, I think the Bitcoin bubble is a distraction. I’m confident that distributed ledgers will change how organizations authenticate documents and create official records. Allow me to explain.
Cryptography for the masses
Cryptography has emerged into general use on the Internet, and personal computing turned calculation into trivial operations. Of course, it looks like it’s the surging price of Bitcoin that is driving the current interest in the topic. However, it seems like the uptick in the Bitcoin price is happening against a backdrop of interest in applications for blockchain in a broad range of industries.
The hashing calculations that support cryptography are easy to do and hard to undo, they also disperse throughout the peer-to-peer distributed ledger system. The diffuse nature of cryptocurrencies makes them very secure and robust.
In 2009 you could get first hundreds then dozens of Bitcoin per dollar. As I look at it now, with the rate of thousands of dollars per Bitcoin I think, “Yup; hindsight is a marvelous thing.”
Since Bitcoin is worth around $2,500 right now, I often think about what would have happened if I had put some cash into Bitcoin in 2009. It’s one of my current daydreams that, in an alternative world, I would be “quite” wealthy now; I would need private bankers, accountants, and attorneys.
Apart from a beautiful penthouse condo in the sky and some bonds for income, I would put the majority into a foundation that I could use to fund my interests and the good works of others.
In any case, Bitcoin appears to be here to stay. There are an vast number of applications for the blockchain technology behind distributed ledger systems like Bitcoin.
Opening up ICO opportunities
Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, are new services that Ethereum is promoting to generate verifiable token services that organizations can use to validate transactions of all descriptions. OCIs will enable organizations to have mirror currencies and authenticated transactions without relying on centralized authority. The result is that faith in the central system is not a predicated for it to work.
This Week In Startups, the twice-weekly podcast of Jason Calacanis, had a recent episode with entrepreneur and venture capitalist Kevin Rose. Rose mentioned that he is studying ICOs as tools for distributed token systems. He believes it can support any business application imaginable. ICOs build on the Ethereum blockchain to give organizations token verification for every transaction.
You can expect blockchain-based applications to be talking points and investment magnets in the near future. Whether Bitcoin and Ether continue to deliver on their promised potential or they prove just to be transient bubbles in the digital realm, it looks as though distributed ledger technologies are here to stay and you can expect to read more about how the drama of blockchain unfolds here on this website and blog.