I wrote this article back in 2016 because I was curious about Bitcoin, and what I discovered was that Bitcoin is driven by a technology called the Blockchain, and is only a small part of it. It will have many and various applications and will disrupt and revolutionise many industries. To say that 'Bitcoin is the Blockchain', is a bit like saying ... 'Email is the Internet' - we all know that the internet is a lot more.
In years to come, Blockchain technology will speed up commerce and get rid of many outdated systems, as well as getting rid of online fraud and will have other benefits, so here is an update of my article with some more intelligent people helping out and all fully attributed as I am no expert
So, read this first and then the updates, because in writing about Bitcoin, I was unwittingly writing about its platforn, the Blockchain
HOW BITCOIN WILL IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS?
I came across an affiliate site using Bitcoin the other day and, as with all new, disruptive technology I thought I had better look into it, at the risk of missing out on something or getting left behind, so what follows is the little bit of research that I have been able to do on it (and I stress “little” ) – I recommend that you do some of your own. It’s obviously here to stay!
The site that I am talking about is an Australian site called Bitify. (www.bitify.com).
You can buy and sell anything that is legal and you can be an affiliate, but you can only pay and receive in Bitcoin or as they described it "BITCOIN BTC AND LITECOIN BTC".
You mean there is more than one? I don't even know about the first one yet!
How do I Get Some of These Bitcoins?
Rather than try and write my own informed, or otherwise, account, I checked out a couple of websites to see if I could find a simple explanation.
So here are a couple of articles with links to their websites:
Still Don't Get Bitcoin? Here's an Explanation Even a Five-Year-Old Will Understand
Nik Custodio (@nik5ter) | Published on January 9, 2014
We’re sitting on a park bench. It’s a great day. I have one apple with me, I give it to you.
You now have one apple and I have zero. That was simple, right?
Let’s look closely at what happened:
My apple was physically put into your hand. You know it happened. I was there, you were there – you touched it.
We didn’t need a third person there to help us make the transfer. We didn’t need to pull in Uncle Tommy (who’s a famous judge) to sit with us on the bench and confirm that the apple went from me to you.
The apple’s yours! I can’t give you another apple because I don’t have any left. I can’t control it anymore. The apple left my possession completely. You have full control over that apple now. You can give it to your friend if you want, and then that friend can give it to his friend, and so on.
So that’s what an in-person exchange looks like. I guess it’s really the same, whether I’m giving you a banana, a book, a quarter, or a dollar bill …
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back to apples!
...let's say I have one digital apple. Here, I’ll give you my digital apple. Ah! Now it gets interesting.
How do you know that digital apple which used to be mine, is now yours, and only yours? Think about it for a second. It’s more complicated, right? How do you know that I didn’t send that apple to Uncle Tommy as an email attachment first? Or your friend Joe? Or my friend Lisa too?
Maybe I made a couple of copies of that digital apple on my computer. Maybe I put it up on the internet and one million people downloaded it.
As you see, this digital exchange is a bit of a problem.
Sending digital apples doesn’t look like sending physical apples.
Some brainy computer scientists actually have a name for this problem: it’s called the double-spending problem. But don’t worry about it. All you need to know is that it’s confused them for quite some time and they’ve never solved it.
Until now. But let’s try to think of a solution on our own.
Maybe these digital apples need to be tracked in a ledger. It’s basically a book where you track all transactions – an accounting book.
This ledger, since it’s digital, needs to live in its own world and have someone in charge of it.
Just like World of Warcraft, say. Blizzard, the guys who created the online game, have a “digital ledger” of all the rare flaming fire swords that exist in their system. So, cool, someone like them could keep track of our digital apples. Awesome – we solved it!
ProblemsThere’s a bit of a problem though:
1) What if some guy over at Blizzard created more? He could just add a couple of digital apples to his balance whenever he wants!
2) It’s not the same as when we were on the bench that day. It was just you and me then. Going through Blizzard is like pulling in Uncle Tommy (a third-party) out of court (did I mention he’s a famous judge?) for all our park bench transactions. How can I just hand over my digital apple to you in the usual way?
Is there any way to closely replicate our park bench transaction digitally? Seems kinda tough …
What if we gave this ledger to everybody? Instead of the ledger living on a Blizzard computer, it’ll live in everybody’s computers. All the transactions that have ever happened, from all time, in digital apples, will be recorded in it.
You can’t cheat it. I can’t send you digital apples I don’t have, because then it wouldn’t sync up with everybody else in the system. It’d be a tough system to beat. Especially if it got really big.
Plus, it’s not controlled by one person, so I know there’s no one that can just decide to give himself more digital apples. The rules of the system were already defined at the beginning.
And the code and rules are open source – kinda like the software used in your mom’s Android phone. Or kinda like Wikipedia. It’s there for smart people to maintain, secure, improve, and check.
You could participate in this network too – updating the ledger and making sure it all checks out. For the trouble, you could get like 25 digital apples as a reward. In fact, that’s the only way to create more digital apples in the system.
I simplified quite a bit … But that system I explained exists. It’s called the Bitcoin protocol. And those digital apples are the bitcoins within the system. Fancy! So, did you see what happened?
What does the public ledger enable?
1) It’s open source, remember? The total number of apples was defined in the public ledger at the beginning. I know the exact amount that exists. Within the system, I know they are limited (scarce).
2) When I make an exchange I now know that digital apple certifiably left my possession and is now completely yours. I used to not be able to say that about digital things. It will be updated and verified by the public ledger.
3) Because it’s a public ledger, I didn’t need Uncle Tommy (third-party) to make sure I didn’t cheat, or make extra copies for myself, or send apples twice, or thrice…
Within the system, the exchange of a digital apple is now just like the exchange of a physical one. It’s now as good as seeing a physical apple leave my hand and drop into your pocket. Just like on the park bench, the exchange involved two people only. You and me , we didn’t need Uncle Tommy there to make it valid.
In other words, it behaves like a physical object.
But you know what’s cool? It’s still digital.
We can now deal with 1,000 apples, or 1 million apples, or even .0000001 apples. I can send it with a click of a button, and I can still drop it in your digital pocket if I was in Nicaragua and you were all the way in New York.
I can even make other digital things ride on top of these digital apples! It’s digital after all. Maybe I can attach some text on it – a digital note. Or maybe I can attach more important things; like say a contract, or a stock certificate, or an ID card …
So this is great! How should we treat or value these “digital apples”? They’re quite useful aren’t they?
Well, a lot of people are arguing over it now. There’s debate between this and that economic school, between politicians, between programmers. Don’t listen to all of them though. Some people are smart; some are misinformed. Some say the system is worth a lot; some say it’s actually worth zero. Some guy actually put a hard number on it: $1,300 per apple. Some say it’s digital gold; some say it's a currency. Others say they’re just like tulips. Some people say it’ll change the world; some say it’s just a fad.
I have my own opinion about it, but that’s a story for another time.
Hey kid, you now know more about Bitcoin than most.
Bitcoin was invented as a peer-to-peer system for online payments that does not require a trusted central authority. Since its inception in 2008, Bitcoin has grown into a technology, a currency, an investment vehicle, and a community of users. In this guide we hope to explain what Bitcoin is and how it works as well as describe how you can use it to improve your life.
What is Bitcoin?
Since anything digital can be copied over and over again, the hard part about implementing a digital payment system is making sure that nobody spends the same money more than once. Traditionally, this is done by having a trusted central authority (like PayPal) that verifies all of the transactions. The core innovation that makes Bitcoin special is that it uses consensus in a massive peer-to-peer network to verify transactions. This results in a system where payments are non-reversible, accounts cannot be frozen, and transaction fees are much lower.
Where do bitcoins come from?
We go more in-depth about this on the page about mining, but here’s a very simple explanation: Some users put their computers to work verifying transactions in the peer-to-peer network mentioned above. These users are rewarded with new bitcoins proportional to the amount of computing power they donate to the network.
Who controls Bitcoin?
As we mentioned above, there is no central person or central authority in charge of Bitcoin. Various programmers donate their time developing the open source Bitcoin software and can make changes subject to the approval of lead developer Gavin Andresen. The individual minersthen choose whether to install the new version of the software or stick to the old one, essentially “voting” with their processing power. It is in the miners’ best interest to only accept changes that are good for the Bitcoin currency in the long run. These checks and balances make it difficult for anyone to manipulate Bitcoin.
How to get started with Bitcoin.
The best way to learn about Bitcoin is to get some and experiment. We have written articles about how to set up your own Bitcoin wallet, how to acquire bitcoins, and how to use bitcoins to help you get going. We have also written about a number of other Bitcoin topics if you prefer a hands-off approach to learning. If your questions remain unanswered, please contact us and ask us anything you like.
Wikipedia Had a Go at It, Too - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin ..
…..and here is the Wikipedia Version (only the summary – use the link above to see the full research).
Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto introduced the idea on 31 October 2008 to a cryptography mailing list, and released it as open-source software in 2009. There have been several high profile claims to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto; however, none of them have provided proof beyond doubt that back up their claims.
The system is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.:4 These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain, which uses bitcoin as its unit of account. Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, the U.S.Treasury categorizes bitcoin as a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency, although prior systems existed[note 5] and it is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency. Bitcoin is the largest of its kind in terms of total market value.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into a public ledger. This activity is called mining and miners are rewarded with transaction fees and newly created bitcoins. Besides being obtained by mining, bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. When sending bitcoins, users can pay an optional transaction fee to the miners.
In February 2015, the number of merchants accepting bitcoin for products and services passed 100,000. Instead of 2–3% typically imposed by credit card processors, merchants accepting bitcoins often pay fees in the range from 0% to less than 2%.Despite the fourfold increase in the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in 2014, the cryptocurrency did not have much momentum in retail transactions. The European Banking Authority and other sources:11 have warned that bitcoin users are not protected by refund rights or chargebacks. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators,legislative bodies, law enforcement, and media. Criminal activities are primarily centered around darknet markets and theft, though officials in countries such as the United States also recognize that bitcoin can provide legitimate financial services.
…………………..anyway, there you have it – it looks like it’s here to stay –
I know you get them by Mining, whatever that means, but I still have no idea how to do that , but I will find out, so I encourage you to read up about it and help me out with any useful comments.
Here’s to your success! Tell us what you think.
,,and then I came across this one that puts it into perspective...
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN IN AGRICULTURE?
Thanks very much to the guys at CODE HEROES for this useful article, that is helping me to open my eyes to the blockchain They are web developers based in Brisbane, Australia and have a lot of achievements under their belts. Check them out if you need help with a project
Blockchain has been revolutionary for agriculture enabling both consumers and farmers to see the entire journey of their produce and track it at any point. Currently, a lot of trade in agriculture is still recorded on paper which is prone to fraud, loss of information, or just incorrect information.
The three major benefits of blockchain to the agriculture industry are:
The method through which the data is stored has ensured that blockchain is computationally too expensive to crack. This creates a completely secure environment without taking away any control over the data from the industry.
Transparency of all information within the blockchain creates a competitive advantage by beating international companies that masquerade their products as Australian produce. When consumers are informed, they won’t buy from companies claiming to be something they are not. This keeps Australians buying local produce. They already want to buy locally and ethically but don’t know which brands to trust. Blockchain is a trusted way for them to tell the difference.
Blockchain speeds up transactions and ensures accuracy by enabling the customer to interact directly with the farmers or companies, without the need of a subjective third party who may have their own interests in mind.
Blockchain increases transparency and traceability; once information is logged in the blockchain it is unchangeable, making problems like fraud a thing of the past. This enables customers to see where their produce comes from and enable them to actually buy from locals through transparency.
Louis Dreyfus Co. is a trading company that buys and sells soybeans. Their processing time for transactions took around 2 weeks, slowing down business for selling soybeans. The system relied on paper and faxes, where things such as a typo could set back the process days.
The system to exchange these soybeans was extremely complex, dealing with rules and regulations on how the goods should be handed over, when and how to pay, and receipts going to multiple people. Blockchain was able to mitigate common problems within the previous system including identifying errors in the data, and ensuring each stakeholder had the appropriate documents in a matter of minutes. Shipments could be tracked throughout the whole process and factors such as temperature could be closely monitored and adjusted with both selling and buying parties informed if any issues occurred.
Recently blockchain has been used to reduce food waste and also fraud, and also help to monitor crops and animals.
They managed to cut down their processing time from 2 weeks to only 1, doubling their efficiency. The time taken for paper-based logistics was reduced by 80%, meaning communications was faster and people got paid quicker.