The Far Reaching Implications of the Bitcoin Protocol

It’s hard to imagine a world where smart phone technology is ubiquitous, and you will still find individuals who don’t have access to adequate financial institutions. In these modern times there are about 6 billion individuals with limited or even no access to banking facilities. Difficult to fathom, right? Unfortunately this’s the truth for lots of people in developing countries. Coupled with corruption, limited modes of transportation, and high transaction fees, bank accounts are a luxury that lots of people can’t afford. Enter Bitcoin into financial freedom and this equation is just the beginning.

Bitcoin is not just money for the internet; it is a programming language that allows for the decentralization of any information system. As said by Andreas Antonopoulos (2014), “Bitcoin is the world wide web of money.” In order to appreciate this let’s use the analogy of the internet; which in turn allows any individual admission to a worldwide communication and information network instantaneously. In this very same way, Bitcoin is allowing individuals’ instantaneous access to a totally free global financial network. The implication of a decentralized financial network devoid of the corruption of third party moderators is overwhelming. Ponder for a moment introducing 6 billion potential consumers to the global marketplace. The possibilities for economic development and innovation are exponential. This exists because Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, chose to create open source program that gave all users equal say. The performance of the Bitcoin network is its users, which currently exceeds the combined computing power of the top 600 super computers on Earth. This equates to a network, and that is for all intents of purposes, impenetrable. In essence, each individual computer acts as a voting node. These nodes vote on the validity of the current Bitcoin equation, usually known as the block chain. In order for the block chain to be verified, a majority of the voting nodes must corroborate whether the equation is performed correctly. This process happens in nanoseconds, meaning only some voting nodes will participate in every given block chain verification.

Bitcoin is mainly thought of in the west as trendy, brand new technologies in addition to a means of accruing wealth. Recently, the acceptance for crypto currencies has grown rapidly within investment circles, hedge funds, and among the technologically inclined thanks to its rising value. Though Bitcoin is utilized predominantly inside these above mentioned groups, current buzz surrounding Bitcoin millionaires and also the public hearings in York that is new regarding future regulation have catapulted the currency into the mainstream (NPR). Nonetheless, limiting the Bitcoin protocol to these previously mentioned industries is incredibly short sighted given the genius of Satoshi’s primary goal. Also remember, the Bitcoin protocol can be applied to any information system, such as the system of voting. When applied to voting, there is not the demand for a third party organization to verify an election as this’s done by each individual voting node. This completely eliminates voter fraud and voting machine tampering. Individuals would be ready to vote from the comforts of the own homes of theirs, using verifiable identification codes, through a transparent voting system.

We have observed that the Bitcoin protocol not only has the capability to shape the future of our global financial network, but of our voting, our phones, and the cable television of ours. Any method that is based on an unbiased third party mediator can be replaced by implementing the Bitcoin software. As the software program is policed by all participating members, the possibility of corruption, and hacking the system is minuscule. Regardless of whether Bitcoin the currency ever blossoms into a genuine mainstream form of monetary transaction remains to be seen, however the revolution in software that Nakamoto has unleashed has only just begun.
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