The Feed #8 — What the heck is the Blockchain?
[This article originally appeared in the email blog The Fintech Feed.]
Feedsters, I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day for those of you stateside and a great final weekend of summer! It’s looking like we might have our last week of hot weather here in New York which I’m very excited about!
Now, let’s get into the feed…
First things first, props to you, Feedsters! Last week we shared a travel app called Hopper. Apparently you, and a bunch of other people, liked it because Thursday it was in the App Stores “Best New Apps”!
How neat is that!
Now, on to a topic that is shrouded in confusion, difficult to understand, and will impact the course of global economics for the foreseeable future.
Let’s talk about Bitcoin.
Don’t fall asleep just yet! We’re actually going to focus on the Blockchain, the digital infrastructure that makes Bitcoin possible. You see there are many people who think that the blockchain protocol will do for economics and finance what the TCP/IP protocol did for communications.
Alright I know that probably made your eyes glaze over. Suffice it to say that what the Internet did for communications, media, entertainment, and content generation the Blockchain will do for every facet of economics.
To which I’d say, “Freaking sweeeeet!” and to which you’d say, “NERRRRRRRRRRD!”
Btw, If you’re curious about how the Internet works and what the heck the TCP/IP protocol is, follow the link in the picture of Jack Sparrow above for a nice explanation video. Did you watch it? You’re now more knowledgeable about the Internet than 90% of the world (source: pulled out of ass).
But, moving on…
What is it about the blockchain that makes it so important? And why should you care?
Well rather than try to convince you with statistics about all the banks that are slowing down, and all the FinTech startups that are taking off, I thought I’d turn it over to someone who might help you dream.
You see, there’s a large crowd that says, “Bitcoin was this thing that was valuable for a while ($1,216.73 USD at one point) and now it’s not ($244.52 USD at time of this writing, $363.04 at the time of this republication). If only we could get it up to $300 USD our problems would be over.”
Then there’s another crowd, a much smaller crowd, that says, “Bitcoin isn’t valuable anymore, the end value will be $0” (regurgitating inflammatory comments like the kind you find on the Internet).
But there’s a third group, a smart group, my group, that says, “Bitcoin is valuable and it should be valued at near $0 because that will provide more value to the world than anything we’ve seen before!”
I think Adam Ludwin is in that third group. Adam is the CEO of a company called Chain (chain.com) which partners with leading organizations to build blockchain networks that transform markets. He wrote an article back in May about the value of the blockchain and how it could impact global economics and finance.
I’ve been delving into Bitcoin and the Blockchain for many years now and Adam’s article is the best and most inspiring synopsis of a blockchain enabled world I’ve been able to find. It can get dense at times but I encourage you to push through to the end. You may begin to see why so many of us are more excited to be a part of this boom then the Internet boom of the 90’s.
So, rather than hawk some cool app I thought I’d take this week’s Dirt to give some entertainment and value and a peek inside who inspires me.
I’ve been asked by a few people where the idea of Clouds and Dirt comes from. While I’d love to take credit for it as having evolved it out of my obsession with econometrics (again, NERRRRRRRD!) it isn’t my concept.
It comes from a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk.
There’s a lot about Gary that I identify with, and that I WISH I could identify with. Bottomline, he’s one of those guys who gives me a picture of what my grandpa would look like if he were building his business today, in the age of social media, hustling his face off while still being at home building relationships with my dad and his siblings and embodying the values that have come to define our family.
Gary had a video made about his “Clouds and Dirt” philosophy. Take a look and hit him up on Twitter if you get something from it.
That’s it for this week! It’s 1:39 AM, I’m coming off working Sunday and Monday of a holiday weekend but I love you all and want to help you be smarter and provide you with great content. On that note I have a favor to ask of you.
Would you let me know how I can help you this week? A newsletter is great but it doesn’t build relationships. The fact that you took 10 minutes out of your obnoxiously busy life to read this is something I’m insanely humbled by and I hope I never take for granted.
So shoot me an email, a tweet, a Facebook messenger, a carrier pigeon, whatever, and let me know what you wish you could change this week. My only requirement is that it’s not related to FinTech! Let’s get deep in the Feed and see what we can do together. I love you all.