Blockchain the Inception of a new Database of Everything?
The blockchain is becoming the new database of the internet, the new macro database and maybe as it is scaled, the new holistic global source database for everything! More than just a Fintech supra DNA driver created by the advent of Bitcoin, Blockchain is the new global innovative financial and infrastructure identity, for the advent of the Internet of Everything, some sort of technology blood circulation for data and the internet, and a sort of a single system that combines a meta-computer service / vision / platform that transforms things, data, operations in a new global open computer holistic system – a meta / supra database.
These 3 quotes highlight the power of Blockchain and its ongoing effects in the financial industry:
‘Blockchain is a really disruptive development, and banks have a lot of fear concerning this technology because in the pure theory of blockchain, a lot of processes within a traditional bank would be obsolete’. Thomas F Dapp, research analyst, Deutsche Bank.
‘Blockchain technology will not only change the way we do payments, it will change the whole trading and settlement topic’. Oliver Bussmann, CIO, UBS.
‘Blockchain technology continues to redefine not only how the exchange sector operates, but the global financial economy as a whole’. Bob Greifeld, CEO, Nasdaq.
‘In time, distributed ledgers will support smart contracts – computer protocols that verify or enforce contracts. This will lead to a wide variety of potential uses in securities, syndicated lending, trade finance, swaps, derivatives or wherever counter-party risk arises’. Santander Innoventures.
Looking at the hashtags for both Bitcoin and Blockchain one understands the power of these 2 disruptive concepts and also its popularity in social media, particularly on Twitter:
Bitcoin Hashtag mapping – the last 30 days:
Bitcoin Hashtag Twitter activity source RiteTag.
Blockchain and its ecosystem is without any doubt somehow creating the new Central Bank of the Internet and the world (big) data. So the question that leaders, technology experts, thought leaders and Fintech startups and investors need to ask is: are you ready to rewrite everything and are we looking at it seriously enough?
Blockchain Hashtag mapping – the last 30 days
The foundations of Blockchain, the beginning of the internet – the cyberpunk vision.
The foundations of blockchain originated with the beginning of the internet. In the 70’s fathers of the internet envisioned a cyberpunk vision of a new math technological concept that was taken by the technologist visionaries that created the Bitcoin and its disruptive blockchain infrastructure. That infrastructure is similar to that of a database, except that the way you interact with that database is different.
For developers, the blockchain concept represents a critical fundamental paradigm shift in how mathematicians and software engineers, are writing software applications in the present and near future.
In order to understand well Blockchain and the micro-computer revolution, one needs to grasp five key concepts, and how they interrelate to one another in the context of this new computing paradigm that is unraveling in front of us: the blockchain, decentralized databases applications consensus, trusted advanced computing, smart contracts, and proof of work/stake.
Blockchain that comes with a shift of the computing paradigm is becoming more important because it is the infrastructure catalyst for the creation of decentralized applications, a next-step evolution from distributed computing architectural constructs to a global powerful database of data and interfaces from all machines and data sources possibilities.
Blockchain – The Decentralized Database That is Breaking the Paradigm.
‘At its core, bitcoin is a decentralized protocol that enables the exchange of value among parties around the world, giving it the potential to alter the financial services landscape”.
Jay Reinemann, BBVA Ventures executive director.
The bitcoin blockchain ‘is an opportunity for Wall Street to streamline some operations that are pretty antiquated’. Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of NYSE Euronext.
‘Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts, and bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen’.
John Reed, former chairman and CEO of Citibank.
At the inception of Bitcoin and, therefore, the block ecosystem that permeates, there is a decentralized virtual infrastructure of consensus that breaks the old paradigm of centralized consensus — i.e. when one central database is used to rule transaction validity. A decentralized scheme, on which the bitcoin protocol is based, transfers authority and trust to a decentralized virtual network and enables its nodes to continuously and sequentially record transactions on a public “block,” creating a unique “chain”: this is the inception and keywords genesis for blockchain.
Each successive virtual block contains a “hash” (a unique fingerprint) of the previous code; therefore, cryptography (via hash codes) is used to secure the authentication of the transaction source and removes the need for a central intermediary. The combination of cryptography and blockchain technology together ensures there is never a duplicate recording of the same transaction.
The blockchain, and the blockchain web of services.
A blockchain is a meta database where you store any data semi-publicly in a linear container space (the block). Anyone can verify that you’ve placed that information because the container has a given signature on it, but only the person that created that bloc or a program can unlock what’s inside the container because only that person holds the private keys to that data, securely.
So, the blockchain is sort of a database, except that part of the information stored — its “header” — is available to the public. Here the public, of course, means a computer scientist or software engineer, knowing how to use it and how to access its APIs and different flows.
The best metaphor for Blockchain is that is one’s own home address using the words of William Mougayar. One can publish his or hers home address publicly, but that doesn’t give any information about what the home looks like on the inside. You’ll need your private key to enter your private home, and since you have claimed that address as yours, no one else can claim the same address as theirs.
Blockchain as a Peer to Peer Software Design.
The blockchain can also be seen as a software design approach that binds a number of peer computers together that commonly obey the same “consensus” process for releasing or recording what information they hold, and where all related interactions are verified by cryptography.
Blockchain – Smart contracts and smart property.
A scaled blockchain is something that starts proving a new global (somehow still science fiction) ecosystem. For this the smart contracts are the building blocks for decentralized applications. A smart contract is equivalent to a little program that you can entrust with a unit of value (as a token or money), and rules around that value.
So the question behind Bitcoin and Blockchain is why depend on a central authority when two (or more) parties can agree between themselves, and when they can bake the terms and implications of their agreement programmatically and conditionally, with automatic money releases when fulfilling services in a sequential manner, or incur in penalties if not fulfilled?
Vinay Gupta and a Vision of Blockchain and Global Resilience.
“(…) a small university team could pull off something like the destructive power of a large nation state: 14 nerds and a gene printer makes you a superpower, although the nanotech stuff is further out, it’s even worse.” Vinay Gupta in an interview with Vice about the potential dangers of nanotech and biotech.
Vinay Gupta represents somehow the spirit of Bitcoin and the whole Blockchain philosophy. In an interview with Vice – The Man Whose Job It Is to Constantly Imagine the Total Collapse of Humanity in Order to Save It – we understand the resilient vision of the visionaries behind the driving force of designing a new paradigm using Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Vinay Gupta, a writer and software engineer, also a disaster consultant, blockchain expert, and global resilience guru can help us understand the vision of blockchain and the vision and ambition behind it.
This great video by Vinay Gupta, at Michel Bauwens & the Promise of the Blockchain, explaining the Blockchain value and how it works going back to the early days of the computer:
Ethereum the custom built blockchain decentralized platform for applications.
Ethereum is a more advanced decentralized platform for applications that runs exactly as programmed, advancing with a solution that offers a transparent and safe system without chance of fraud, censorship or third-party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables engineers and developers to create new markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.
Ethereum is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, with contributions from personalities across the globe.
Blockchain: Trusted New Central Bank of Everything Computing?
When one aggregates and combines the full-length concepts behind the blockchain: the decentralised database, the starfish holistic consensus, the inception of smart contracts, the advent of new virtual identity, new payment ecosystem, one starts to realise Blackchain is enabling the spread of technology, not just Fintech, but broader resources and transactions, literally in a flat, peer-to-peer ecosystem, and in doing that, enabling computers and its (almost all available) data to trust one another on a deep global level.
This highlights a substantial consideration that whereas institutions and central organisations, central banks, governments are still necessary as trusted authorities, in the future, certain number of their central functions can be automated, codified via this global decentralised platforms and digital ecosystems, with smart contracts that are governed by the decentralised consensus happening in the ecosystem of the blockchain and its related applications.
Due to the blockchain’s holistic role as the unequivocal validator of global and local transactions, each peer can proceed and “trust”one another, if using the secure infrastructure. As the infrastructure of the Blockchain evolves its respective ecosystem (that emulates the financial and governmental organisation with data and automated technology networks) necessarily evolves with compliance, straight forward contracts, open law, and agreements, which are core concepts on which the technology is based.The single global data spread across the machines, opens infinite new possibilities and solutions and cuts the financial preserve “middle-men extra layers of costs” that block the process. We will all need to be ready to a new era of transparency.
Reinventing the central banks and the paper of gold as the critical commodity…???
Sources to read and think:
Understanding the blockchain, William Mougayar, January, 2015
Get serious about this blockchain thing, Chris Skinner, September 2015.
Bank-Wise Analysis of Blockchain Activity, Amit, August 2015.