It’s officially summer and now is the time we start our summer reading project. Our Mom assigned us to read The Internet Of Money, Volume 1, by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, to help us with our blockchain homeschool project.
The Internet Of Money introduces this new blockchain technology in a collection of easy reading talks the author has hosted about Bitcoin. We also like listening to his talks on his YouTube channel, @aantonop. Today, our first homeschool assignment is to write about what we have read so far, and share it with you through Steemit (a blockchain social media), and here on our Saturn Blog. Click here to view this post on Steemit.
Here is our first book report on The Internet Of Money.
Bitcoin, What’s That?
Many outsiders to the cryptocurrency world are often confused about what a Bitcoin really is. From what we’ve seen, many people think it’s some sort of funny-money or new internet scheme. And since Bitcoin is not accepted at their local grocery store, hair salon or other business (yet), many people think “What’s the point in having it?” But Bitcoin is so much more than ‘just a digital currency’. What we’ve been learning is that it is the first step in the crypto-tech revolution. As Antonopoulos says in the book;
“Bitcoin is a technology, it is a currency, and it is an international network of payments and exchange that is completely decentralized.”
Who Invented Bitcoin?
Back in 2008, someone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto proposed an idea to create a decentralized network of consensus that solved the Byzantine Generals Problem (which, in essence, is creating order without a central power being in charge). People did not believe Nakamoto and laughed at his idea and thought it was impossible. Three months later, he came out with the software and Bitcoin has been growing ever since.
No one knows the true identity to Satoshi Nakamoto. He could be a team of people, or a single person. Over the years, there have been a handful of people who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but to our knowledge, his true identity has never been confirmed. He may be the creator of Bitcoin, but it is the Bitcoin miners and adopters that keep Bitcoin going.
How Can Bitcoin Be Used Today?
Bitcoin’s most well-known use is as a currency. In the first chapter of The Internet Of Money, Antonopoulos gives a great example on how Bitcoin can be used for international business. Since Bitcoin doesn’t belong to one company, organization, or government, it can be a means of exchange, and instead of waiting for banks and middle men, people could receive funds instantly. This is a benefit because Antonopoulos also explains that today’s banking doesn’t allow for the same freedoms (domestic or international) that Bitcoin offers. He brought up a great point:
“Credit cards were made in the 1950’s, and they were most certainly not made for the internet age. Bitcoin is made for the internet age.”
Essentially, with Bitcoin, you are your own bank. And your neighbor – they can be their own bank. And the best part – you don’t need a middle man to facilitate the transaction.
What About Criminals?
Now this is an interesting argument we have heard brought up by non-adopters. Bitcoin is decentralized, not ruled by any government and bad people may use this as a tool to do bad things. But it is also important to remember that there are plenty of good people that use Bitcoin too. A car is a good example of this. There are many people who drive their car to-and-from work every day, maybe pick up their kids and drive home. A car can also be used by criminals to smuggle goods across the border, be a getaway ride for committing crimes and whatever else a criminal might do. Just like anything, it can be used for good or evil.
Here is another quote about this subject from the book:
“Bitcoin is neutral to the sender, the recipient, and the value of the transaction. That means it gives every citizen, every user of Bitcoin, the ability to innovate in terms of financial instruments payment systems, and banking.”
From what we have studied so far, we really like how crypto-currencies like Bitcoin help the average Joe have more independence and freedom. This is a lesson we are learning right now as teenagers, getting ready to enter the world as adults. Since the creation of Bitcoin, there have been many other crypto-currencies and blockchain technology projects that have popped up. Bitcoin may not be around forever, but it has inspired so many people to start building a new way of living everyday life. Another good point made by Antonopoulos in his book, The Internet Of Money:
“If Bitcoin crashed tomorrow morning, the technology is still revolutionary. Just like if a website fails on the internet, or an application fails on the internet, the internet doesn’t go away.”