From www.technologyreview.com -
What is bitcoin? Boosters of Bitcoin commonly call the digital currency the future of money. But even if it doesn’t turn out to be, a growing group of investors and entrepreneurs are convinced that the idea at the center of bitcoin could revolutionize industries that rely on digital record keeping.
It might replace conventional methods of keeping track of valuable information like contracts, intellectual-property rights, and even online voting results.
Bitcoin’s real promise, they say, is not the currency. It’s the underlying technology, in which thousands of computers in a distributed network use cryptographic techniques to create a permanent, public record of every single bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred (see “What Bitcoin Is and Why It Matters”). Investors are betting that this record-keeping system, called the blockchain, will be valuable for many other things besides tracking payments.
It’s become common for enthusiasts to compare where bitcoin is now to where the Internet was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Joel Monegro, a venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures, says the
Avant Loans funds your loans in up to 24 hours. Learn more now...
♦ What is bitcoin? I still don't know and there's no shame in that. But one thing that I enjoyed about this article was the comparison of the open-source technology that creates the bitcoin blockchain to the open-source protocol that is the basis for the internet.
For many years, before the internet was mainstream and even kids could use it, the technology was understood by few and accessible to a small group of technologically-advanced individuals. But as time went on, the technology was made more accessible and understandable to the common person. Many bitcoin enthusiasts think that the same thing will happen for bitcoin. I certainly hope so, because right now, bitcoin is over the heads of many people. The average Joe doesn't understand bitcoin, what bitcoin is or how to use it. It's even a challenge for people who are currently using it.
♦ I can honestly say, I have no clue if bitcoin trading will become mainstream or if the very foundation of the bitcoin system will hold up through time. Because of the difficulty level to get involved, I'd have to bet against it. But I definitely would love to see it succeed because it opens up another avenue in the world of fintech and is useful for exchanging funds across borders. But it absolutely must be "dumbed down" in order to thrive in the real world, even fintech geeks are confused about it.
♦ I found an interesting point/counterpoint interaction in the comment section of the article that didn't help clear anything up for me in regard to bitcoin and how viable it is in the future, but it was snarky and made me laugh (good enough for me). Check it out below.