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Bitcoin comes of Age

Friday 8th December, 2017

With Bitcoin very much in the press, and news that it broke the $17,000 mark today, we wanted to give an overview of the currency and how it may impact our business world.

Bitcoin is a type of unregulated digital currency that was first created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Also known as a “cryptocurrency,” it was launched with the intention to bypass government currency controls and simplify online transactions by getting rid of third-party payment processing intermediaries. Of course, accomplishing this required more than just the money itself. There had to be a secure way to make transactions with the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin transactions are stored and transferred using a distributed ledger on a peer-to-peer network that is open, public and anonymous. Blockchain is the underpinning technology that maintains the Bitcoin transaction ledger. With blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, shared databases, where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision.

In this environment every agreement, every process, every task, and every payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared. Intermediaries like lawyers, brokers, and bankers might no longer be necessary. Individuals, organisations, machines, and algorithms would freely transact and interact with one another with little friction. This is the immense potential of blockchain.

We'll be covering this potential and how it is likely to impact business next week.