Crypto, like railways, is among the world’s top innovations of the millennium
One of the greatest innovations in modern history, crypto is transforming our global economy. What were once limited to a select few have now become mainstream with many everyday purchases and businesses accepting them as payment options. Everyone from tech startups to large corporations are jumping on board this new wave of technology, but what will it really look like when we’re all using cryptocurrencies? And what could possibly happen next?
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Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that is designed to be secure and anonymous. It has been called the world’s top innovation of the millennium, but it has also been criticized for its use in illegal activities like drug trafficking and money laundering. Read more in detail here: cryptocurrency innovation regulation.
You’re about to read a humorous half-fiction narrative based on Stuart Hylton’s critique of “The Making of Modern Britain” and my perception of the blockchain’s influence on today’s world. I was struck by how well the depiction of the industrial age’s front-runner technology mirrored the modern-day wonder and horror of blockchain. Some quotations are so pertinent that substituting “blockchain protocol” for “railroad corporation” yields the same result.
Following multiple “bubbles” (so far eight) and several major announcements — remember Libra and TON? — I decided now would be a good moment to coin (pun intended) the history of the new technology that has the potential to be the most significant breakthrough in the previous 500 years.
A fascinating contrast
What’s the point? It’s impossible to comprehend or even believe the influence that the construction of railroads must have had at the turn of the nineteenth century from a distance of two centuries. A common observer is similarly caught between a Bitcoin (BTC) advocate preaching the dollar’s Doomsday and a major bank’s crypto skeptic. In truth, there is no clear picture of what distributed ledger technology will look like in the next decades.
“Great mechanical horses, breathing fire and smoke and hauling impossibly huge trains at unbelievable speeds, through a landscape altered by the embankments and cuttings, viaducts and tunnels their passage needed,” said one author. Stuart Hylton portrays the strong impact that growing industry, which is frequently frightening and speculative, has had on Britain, a subject chosen for a detailed examination.
The author kept me involved in an instructive and fascinating narrative that looked to be a paralleled flashback into the blockchain sector. As railways “changed the way war was fought and peace was kept,” blockchain has the potential to destabilize authoritarian governments and propaganda operations. Early railroads were essential in the “dramatic industrial boom of the nineteenth century,” and blockchain has the potential to change finance, which is the major artery pumping blood into the contemporary economy. Railways prompted “the state to reconsider the laissez-faire philosophy that had been its default attitude,” while blockchain is yet to emerge as the primary force in freeing people all over the globe and restoring their possessions.
Using the train analogy, here is a summary of what crypto performed for us (and the structure for my future articles on this topic).
The first crypto and the shock
Bitcoin came before electronic money and triple-entry accountancy. The blockchain attribute of a recent block employing hashing to connect to the prior one dates back to at least 1995. Then, scholars Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta proposed a method for settling intellectual property rights by timestamping digital documents. In 1991, they devised a chronological chain of hashed data to authenticate its validity, which was subsequently utilized in four New York Times issues.
Returning to the original intent of blockchain technology: Timestamping
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While the cryptographers had no intention of launching such a large project, Satoshi Nakamoto was motivated by a series of findings to develop the Bitcoin protocol as a reaction to unjust and opaque global finance. As Burniske and Tatar point out in their book Cryptoassets, crypto steadily captivated the imaginations of a wide range of individuals, from cyberpunks to dealers and traders, until a curious journalist posed the question: What exactly is proof-of-work (PoW)?
In his white paper from 2008, Satoshi never mentioned “blockchain.” In 2014, the Bank of England said that a “distributed ledger” was “the core innovation of digital currencies.” The next year, Bloomberg Markets and The Economist ran articles headlined “Blythe Masters Tells Banks the Blockchain Changes Everything” and “The Trust Machine,” respectively, to enhance awareness of the idea.
“What could be more ludicrous than the thought of locomotives traveling at double the speed of stagecoaches?” The Quarterly Review, a conservative publication, published an article in 1825.
Similarly, many individuals did not understand blockchain at first. Some welcomed it as Bitcoin’s basis, focusing on the cryptocurrency component of the technology. Others came up with reasons why it wouldn’t work. Banks, on the other hand, have been ignoring and subsequently aggressively fighting the concept of sharing their ledgers with other parties. It wasn’t long before they completely embraced the concept and joined groups like We.Trade and R3.
“We witness, in this wonderful achievement, a well-spring of intellectual, moral, and political blessings beyond all calculation and all price,” said The Quarterly Review, now on the other side of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opening in 1830.
The earliest railroads were built long before George Stephenson and were mainly used to move commodities, such as coal from mines. Because there was already a well-established canal network, some saw the railway as a bulky, sketchy, or even deadly “solution without a problem” until the steam engine unleashed the new capabilities. The Rainhill experiments of 1829 were necessary to pave the way for steam mobility in the future. It reminds me of blockchain proponents’ fight to persuade VISA and SWIFT that their days are numbered, or Andreas Antonopoulos’ victory before the Canadian Senate.
In 1864, King William I of Prussia declared, “No one would pay good money to go from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he may ride his horse there for free in one day.” “High-speed rail travel is not practicable because passengers would die of suffocation if they were unable to breathe,” said Dionysius Lardner in The Steam Engine Familiarly Explained and Illustrated, 1824.
Despite widespread pessimism, railroads continued to progress because few risk-takers could see the enormous potential of the new technology and were willing to risk their money and careers to expand on it. Suddenly, railroads presented a threat to time and space: people whose region was restricted by horse speed might be exposed to a far larger continent. In the midst of the Third Industrial Revolution, blockchain has the potential to challenge the fundamental concept of value exchange and human nature by presenting a brand new world. It’s unavoidable. So, what’ll happen next?
This post makes no investment recommendations or advice. Every investing and trading choice has risk, therefore readers should do their own research before making a decision.
The author’s views, ideas, and opinions are entirely his or her own and do not necessarily reflect or represent those of Cointelegraph.
Katia Shabanova is the founder of Forward PR Studio, and she has over 20 years of expertise developing programs for IT firms ranging from Fortune 1000 organizations to venture funds to pre-IPO startups. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a BA in English philology and German studies and an MA in philology from the University of Göttingen in Germany. Benzinga, Investing, iTWire, Hackernoon, Macwelt, Embedded Computing Design, CRN, CIO, Security Magazine, and others have all featured her work.
Crypto, like railways, is among the world’s top innovations of the millennium. The cryptocurrency market has been growing exponentially in recent years and it’s estimated that by 2020 it will be worth $10 trillion. Reference: charles hoskinson net worth.