My first awareness of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency came early in 2010 when it was still an altogether new concept for the time, being less than a year old, and not well known or understood. My first impression was one of “wow”, this is very interesting, even amazing, and I immediately wanted to get involved.
Others I spoke with about it were very guarded, indeed less enthusiastic, in fact the common reaction was “don't do it, it’s a scam, don’t get involved”. So I waited, but not really, I went to work on researching this new technology, reading all I could find on the subject. With extensive research, my understanding grew to a level of comfortability at first and then outright excitement.
The fundamental concept of the blockchain and cryptocurrency is centralization vs. decentralization (and to use an even simpler word than decentralized - think - distributed). Our present day economy is genuinely centralized. Existing financial networks, and the banking system is concentrated and consolidated to a few large institutions, only a few large banks and institutions having the majority of the financial business.
This holds true for much of the structure of all other businesses as well. Two simple and obvious examples: social media and telecommunications.
Social media today, despite a vast amount of opportunity, consists of only a very small group of commonly used networks. Primarily (90 percent of the planet), we use one or two social media platforms out of all that exist.
Telecommunications is another example - and this is an industry that was mandated to decentralize - it did not keep the progression going toward a more even distribution among many telecom companies to upgrade service and improve benefits to consumers.
Many see blockchain and cryptocurrency as causing a disruption to the traditional, centralized portions of our economy. But what is temporarily unsettling will bring new shared structures and newly apportioned systems that are solidly trustworthy to manage and be good stewards of our data, our personal information and our money. The difference is we oversee and manage our own data.
We no longer rely on a centralized banking system to manage our money. These new, shared systems will eventually replace the Internet as we know it. Peer to peer networks will replace large telecom companies as we distribute these services for conservation and sustainability.
We no longer need large centralized systems. Granted, these centralized systems have been an important and beneficial part of our society and have performed a valuable service.
Wonderful things came from all these centralized systems as we progressed through the modern era. Many corporations evolved to work in harmony with the customer, the environment and each other.
But at this point our systems and our economy have become so centralized that exploitation and corruption is epidemic and the ability or power of a few people at the top to respond to the needs of the community has greatly diminished.
That is why I see blockchain and cryptocurrency as offering a fresh perspective, an equitable and balanced approach. It is a new ideal to help us merge into a global infrastructure where information is in visible form, yet encrypted, private and secure, existing on millions of nodes worldwide. Now what else does that mean?
Quite simply it means that any of us can be a part of the global network, and in turn, any of us can receive income for the data that we hold and share for the rest of the world. It means that the profit is mutually shared on the individual level, allowing any of us to make a viable income.
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