On Tuesday September 24th our Guest Speaker Fabrice was kind enough to teach us about block chains and bitcoins . High on our success from the World clean up day, there was a warm gathering in Badaboom and a beautiful Tapas was served by Lisa.
Fabrice was kind enough to explain the very basics, and to show us a small movie. As usual in these events, I always imagine the conversation going on a particular path and as usual I am always amazed with the path that it follows. We went from the practical to the spiritual. We learned what a block chain is, and what a bitcoin is.
We were also enlightened as to how the new technology could be seen as an inversion of the current state of affairs, challenging our debt ridden, masculine culture and introducing a debt free feminine one. Currently on the planet there is so much debt that all the money in the world at present couldn’t reduce it. As crypto currencies are debt free, there is the possibility that at some stage in the not too distant future they may nullify debt and provide a counter balance to the way we currently do business with banks stock markets and intermediaries.
I found myself grasping at concepts that both made perfect sense to me when I heard them, but when I tried to write about them I found myself turning around in circles. I am pretty sure it’s the same with any new technology that humanity has encountered. Speaking of which it does seem we are quicker and quicker at adapting new technologies and putting them to good use. The wheel when first invented was used for pottery, not for transport. Electricity when first harnessed took a long time to be adopted, perhaps the car was quicker. Computers were adopted quicker than cars, smart phones quicker than computers, touch screens quicker than smart phones and so on and now we seem to be in age of a cultural revolution were how we use a means of exchange that we call money, is being adopted more quickly still. We also heard that often with the invention of a new technology there is not always the foresight with the invention as to how it would be used. I doubt that when the internet first came about anyone imagined how connected we could all be on social media, and how social media, twitter, Facebook, blogs etc; are informing and changing the habits of humanity.
It’s important to point out that with all the news about crypto currencies that we don’t get confused, between a) what they really are, and b) how the current ‘scare’ economy manipulates their value on the stock market.
So how can I explain in basic detail what a block chain is?
A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.
Well rather than give you the talk that Fabrice gave, or the one we had during and after, I feel it best to send you here to understand what block chain really is.
One thing is very clear, even though the concepts around the basic facts were simple, the implications of block chain and crypto currencies are huge. I found a great easy to follow TED Talk here and perhaps if you have time, you can watch it. It might raise even more questions. We are clearly not finished with this conversation in Everyday.
Our next meet up on October 9th we will discuss, what do we mean by Care. What is it? How do we do it? Looking forward to hearing from you all Everyday.