Saturday, September 7, 2019

How the Bitcoin Protocol 'changes everything'

How To Understand Bitcoin If You're Over 40 - Matt Hougan, Forbes:

August 15, 2019 - "Those of us who are over 40 can remember a time when the internet stunk: When you had to look up websites in a (printed) book; when email didn’t exist; when you couldn’t do much with the internet except send files ... using something called 'FTP' [or] 'file transfer protocol.'  'Protocol' is a fancy word that means a set of insructions for how to transfer information across the internet....

"In 1982, researchers developed ... the Simple Mail Transmission Protocol, or SMTP. SMTP allowed us to send email over the internet.... In 1989, we took another big step forward with the creation of Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. HTTP lets us send webpages with linked text (or 'hyperlinks'). It gave rise to the World Wide Web.

"In 1994, the Secure Sockets Layer protocol was created, better known as SSL. SSL allows us to securely enter sensitive information into the internet, like personal or credit card information. Not coincidentally, Amazon was founded later that year.... Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, created 1995, changed telecom forever; Real-Time Streaming Protocol, or RTSP, created in 1996, helped enable streaming video. And so on. From a distance, each of these advances seemed unprecedented. But in reality, they were just the next logical thing: a new protocol that expanded the way the internet can be used.

"The right way to think of bitcoin, crypto, and public blockchains is as the next step in this evolution. Just instead of sending files or email or voice or credit card data, bitcoin and crypto let us send money. Of course, there have been online banks and payment services for decades. But they’ve always been hybrids or bridges: A bank like Wells Fargo or a service provider like PayPal might put up a digital veneer, but it would actually extract each transaction and process it in the traditional, physical world....

"The Bitcoin Protocol’s breakthrough – the reason 'it changes everything' – is that it lets you send money over the internet natively, without a bank or a service provider in the middle.... If you want to wire $10 million to someone in another country today, for instance, it takes three-to-five days, they can deny your wire for any reason or create limits, and the fees are significant. With bitcoin, it takes about 10 minutes, it’s open 24/7, and is essentially free.... Instead of using lawyers and investment bankers, you can create any contract or trust or entity or set of financial instructions … for free.... That means disrupting services like escrow, debt issuance, derivatives, trust creation, fundraising, and more....

"[T]o move money around the world instantly on the Bitcoin blockchain, or to replace your investment bankers with the Ethereum blockchain – you have to own and use bitcoin or ether.... A lot of smart investors are buying up bitcoin and ether today, before everyone else figures out how valuable these new technologies can be....

"[E]very major new internet protocol has disrupted a major industry:
"By allowing money to travel over the internet, Bitcoin and crypto will disrupt the financial industry just as surely as Amazon disrupted Sears."

'via Blog this'

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