One of the most debatable questions in bitcoin community is ‘What is more significant – bitcoin itself as a cryptocurrency or blockchain as a revolutionary technology underpinning it?’
Don and Alex Tapscott are committed to show that the blockchain is the main event here, not just one element of the controversial cryptocurrency. The Irish Times said in this regard: “People have missed the blockchain wood for the bitcoin trees.”
Bestselling author Don Tapscott and his chartered financial analyst son Alex prove the great potential of blockchain, as globally disruptive technology as the internet itself, in their new book ‘Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World‘.
“The real pony here is the underlying [blockchain] technology. It took a while for people to figure that out, that it’s not just about money . . . but it’s about the capacity of this ledger to do all kinds of other things,” Tapscott says.
Blockchain enables multiple transactions to be submitted and locked chronologically into the publicly accessible ledger after mathematical equations are verified independently by numerous sources. Anyone can send new transactions or check the ledger to verify that a transaction took place. The record is protected by strong encryption, so virtually unassailable and unchangeable.
Blockchain technology solves the “double send” problem that occurs when information – such as a purchase – is exchanged over the internet in a democratic way.
“If I send you €100 it’s really important that I don’t still have the money and that I can’t send it to somebody else,” Tapscott says. “So the way that we fix this problem is through large intermediaries, like banks, social media companies, credit card companies, governments.”
Don and Alex insist that one technology can be of a great importance for the whole financial industry.
“The way I would describe it is this way: you have an old paradigm and not just in financial services but many institutions. I mean, Uber is the old paradigm. It’s a centralised set of servers and it’s a $65 billion corporation in the middle between the driver and the customer. And what’s in the middle could be a blockchain app instead of a $65 billion company.”
One of the main benefits that blockchain can bring is the removal of intermediaries. Tapscott says: “Some of the ways in which this technology can help are bringing a couple of billion people into the global economy who are not going to be able to get bank accounts but who can participate fully as financial agents with blockchain applications, exchanging stuff, selling stuff, borrowing, whatever.”
Don Tapscott underlines that the revolution can take some time. “There’s lots of good momentum now, but there are lots of problems too. There’s some people who are incapable of understanding that this is a good idea. We have super-techies that dig into their own little technical perspective on something. But overall this is not irresistible force meets immovable object. This is resistible force meets movable object,” he says, laughing. The only thing that matters and can accelerate the revolution is people’s curiosity and ability to innovate.