As knowledge about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin moves from the unknown into the known, people are slowly beginning to realise what this really is - the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Last week, the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, said that he hopes that Bitcoin will be the world's first-ever single currency. While he was uncertain whether this would happen during the Bitcoin era, Wozniak confessed his optimism about the prospect of a global digital currency firmly taking root in today's increasingly digital economies.
Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that Bitcoin will be the world's single currency. There is a strong case to be made for long-term optimism in the broader space, as many established forward-thinkers and entrepreneurs have pointed out.
In several interviews spanning from late last year until now, entrepreneur, libertarian billionaire and Paypal founder Peter Thiel stated that he sees Bitcoin as being the digital translation of gold, partly due to its limited supply but also because of the impregnable security it offers.
Indeed, the Bitcoin algorithm has never been hacked in 10 years, even with its code being freely available for bad actors on the Internet.
Meanwhile, more key figures in the crypto universe give their insight as to why the future of money - which is essentially just widely accepted transferable value - is to be found in cryptocurrencies. Giving a speech at an Intelligence Squared debate in April, investor capitalist Tim Draper - who has gone on record to say that Bitcoin will hit $250,000 by 2022 - stated that Bitcoin's inevitable revolution is two-fold.
Firstly, he notes that Bitcoin is a currency that transcends national barriers simply due to its underlying universal infrastructure.
Secondly, he pits the traditional system wherein a trusted 'third party' like a bank or government ascertains transactions versus a network of "a hundred-thousand computers that are all focused on making sure that every single transaction is done perfectly".
"Do you think that humans are going to make sure that every single transaction is done perfectly?"
This comment hits the nail on the head, as a public and freely-available automated system has no purpose, motivation or bias other than to verify transactions on the blockchain.
At the same time, Vitalik Buterin, the genius founder of Ethereum - which is the second-largest cryptocurrency in existence - has just revealed that the Ethereum blockchain will reach one million transactions per second.
If this prediction were to come true and the scalability issue were to be solved, then we would see a tsunami of business shift towards the cryptocurrency space, not least because of Ethereum's public ledger algorithm, but also because it will have shown that its infrastructure can handle massive data loads on its network without latency or technical hiccups. In turn, this would inevitably pose as a major disruptor and innovator, further challenging the traditional standards of our current financial systems.
All things considered, be they venture capitalists or philanthropists, businessmen or software developers, every person of note that hasn't buried his head in the sand knows that this technological leap will have a rippling effect throughout our industries, and those that have yet to come into existence.
But for the time being, blockchain has its work cut out for it in finance - revolutionising the future of money as we know it. And one can't help but be excited about that.
By Nigel Green
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