Blockchain and Bitcoin Explained in Five Minutes
Statement: “Blockchain technology will drastically change our lives“
In the coming years, Blockchain, the technology behind crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, will inevitably and radically change the role of traditional trusted parties such as banks, accountants, notaries, and governments. The animated video about Blockchain and Bitcoin that was released today on http://bitcoinproperly.org is the first to specifically address the technology behind Bitcoin: the Blockchain. Within five minutes, it is explained how the essential functions of the “trusted third party” can be automatized through the Blockchain as well as what the implications of this are.
From Bitcoin hype to Blockchain revolution: an internet of trust.
With the arrival of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, everyone around the world can trade with each other without any involvement from traditional third parties such as banks, notaries, accountants, and governments. Trade is a fundamental pillar of our economy and society, and traditional trusted parties play a crucial role in this.
The technology behind Bitcoin making all this possible – the Blockchain – ensures that the essential functions of the “trusted third party’, are fully automatized through the internet. This way, these functions are as freely available, accessible, and programmable as the internet itself.
The animated video, available in both Dutch and English, explains how this works, also mentioning practical applications. The implications are clear: in the coming years, the role of the traditional trusted parties will inevitably and drastically change, strongly impacting our daily lives.
The creators of this animated video invite its viewers to think about and discuss the fundamental and radical innovations made possible by crypto currencies.
Rutger van Zuidam founder of Dutchchain, organizer of the Dutch Blockchain Hackathon: “The Netherlands have all the assets to become Europe’s Silicon Valley of financial technology. It is possible for the Netherlands to position itself favourably in comparison to the US and UK, who are currently still ahead. The technology behind crypto currencies like Bitcoin plays an essential role in leveraging these opportunities. We hope that the animated video about the technology behind crypto currencies will positively affect this development.”
Lykle de Vries: ”Bitcoin is not the new money for internet,but it is the new internet for money, value and ownership in all forms. Crypto currencies like Bitcoin are the next step in the emancipation of all world citizens, and can help create a new dynamic for democracy, society and economy.”
About the creators
The animated video is a non-profit initiative by designers Patrick Loonstra (www.patrickloonstra.nl) and Sebas van den Brink (sebasvandenbrink.nl) and entrepreneurs Lykle de Vries (ThesisOne.com) and Rutger van Zuidam (DutchChain.com).
Brief Introduction to Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies, sometimes called virtual currencies, digital money/cash, or tokens, are not really like U.S. dollars or British pounds. They live online and are not backed by a government. They’re backed by their respective networks.
Technically speaking, cryptocurrencies are restricted entries in a database. Specific conditions must be met to change these entries. Created with cryptography, the entries are secured with math, not people.
Restricted entries are published into a database, but it’s a special type of database that is shared by a peer-to-peer network. For example, when you send some Bitcoin to your friend Cara, you’re creating and sending a restricted entry into the Bitcoin network.
The network makes sure that you haven’t not the same entry twice; it does this with no central server or authority. Following the same example, the network is making sure that you didn’t try to send your friend Cara and your other friend Alice the same Bitcoin.
The peer-to-peer network solves the “double-spend” problem (you sending the same Bitcoin to two people) in most cases by having every peer have a complete record of the history of all the entries made within the network.
The entire history gives the balance of every account including yours. The innovation of cryptocurrency is to achieve agreement on what the history is without a central server or authority.
Entries are the Representation of Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies are generated by the network in most cases to incentivize the peers, also known as nodes and miners, to work to secure the network and check entries. Each network has a unique way of generating them and distributing them to the peers.
Bitcoin, for example, rewards peers (known as miners on the Bitcoin network) for “solving the next block.” A block is a group or entries. The solving is finding a hash that connects the new block with the old one. This is where the term blockchain came from.
The block is the group of entries, and the chain is the hash. Hashes are a type of cryptologic puzzle. Think of them as Sudoku puzzles that the peers compete to connect the blocks.
Traditional Cryptocurrencies Characteristics:
- They’re irreversible. You cannot retrieve Cryptocurrency once sent and confirmed by the network.
- Cryptocurrencies are one way, no chargebacks.
- They’re anonymous. Anyone can open a wallet, no ID required, and have varying stages of anonymity depending on which token you utilize.
- They’re fast and globally accessible. Entries are broadcast across the network immediately and are confirmed in a couple of minutes.
- They’re built to be very secure. Cryptocurrencies use the latest cryptographic techniques, but they’re in early development.
- They have a controlled supply limited by the network.