How Money Got Free

© Talks at Google


  • Bitcoin is a form of commodity money.
  • Its original promise was to be a truly universal currency.
  • A form of electronic cash that could be sent around the globe in minutes.
  • Transactions were anonymous, or at least were supposed to be.
  • It all happened on a network that existed independently of any government or bank.
  • Peter Thiel – When he was building PayPal, his original ambition was to create an internet currency that would replace the US dollar for online transactions. (4:22)
  • Satoshi Nakamoto – The creator of Bitcoin did, is he didn’t find a new company like PayPal. Instead, he built a decentralized system that no one would own, but anyone could participate in. (4:53)
  • The technology underlying Bitcoin is called the blockchain.
  • Blockchain is a tamper proof of ledger for recording and verifying transactions.
  • The revolutionary thing about it is that it allows for transactions to be recorded ad verified without the need for central authority.
  • businesses and services of blockchain technology can be decentralized, which simultaneously cuts out middlemen that add cost to the system.
  • When banks want to send money across borders, they use what’s called the corresponding banking system. A payment might have to make as many as five different hops to get to where it’s ultimately going across all these different financial institutions. (6:41)
  • Migrants from Sub-Sharan Africa, for instance, pay an average of 9.81% when they send money home.
  • Remittances are a $600 billion market today.
  • (7:48) The idea is that Bitcoin or maybe another digital currency that surpasses it has a chance to grab a piece of that market while putting billions of dollars back into people’s pockets.
  • Abra – A company using Bitcoin to provide cheaper remittances to more than 100 countries.
  • Many of the hottest blockchain assets today are not digital currencies at all. They’re these things called tokens.
  • They don’t have blockchain networks of their own to run on. Instead, they run on top of an existing bockchain network, such as Bitcoins or Ethereums.
  • (9:47) There’s one called Golem, which is meant to power a peer-to-peer marketplace for computation.
  • (9:53) There’s one called Augur, which is for a crowdsourced prediction market and so on.
  • Perichains – Think of it as a kind of connective glue that would allow all the different blockchain networks to communicate with each other.
  • So right now they’re isolated, but with Perchains, applications and smart contracts built on one system would be able to interact with the assets and data on the other systems.
  • So users could flow easily from one to the next to the next, strengthening the whole ecosystem.
  • Very few Bitcoin or blockchain startups are focused only on developing nations. Because crytocurrency is a tool of international inclusion.

by Brian Patrick Eha


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