Hello Alice

 

Once Upon A Time

Satoshi Nakamoto ‘mined’ the ‘genesis block’ on the Bitcoin network on January 3rd, 2009 which included a ‘block reward’ of 50 bitcoins and contained the text:

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.

Article Link here: thetimes.co.uk

At it’s very inception Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain were intimately linked with a protest of the social, political, and economic structures that led the world to the brink in 2008.  It’s important to understand that beginning because it will give you perspective.  As you explore Wonderland you’ll encounter a bizarre landscape where the sockpuppets and madhatters conspire, the spellcasters make magic money, and crypto kitties delight in the frenzied glory of eternal spring.

But don’t be fooled Alice! Time works differently here in Wonderland there’s no need to fear missing out or yield to doubts and uncertainty.  Instead take your time like wise bulls do and walk down the hill into the green fields of Wonderland.

Now watch this documentary about the origins of Bitcoin.

Banking on Bitcoin

Banking on Bitcoin is a great documentary about the origin of Bitcoin that considers the ideology and people who laid the groundwork for Bitcoin.  It’s important to understand the founding principles of opensource money.

 

This video is a quick historical summary of money.  It lays out the software proposal for Bitcoin as ‘money’ in about 5 mins.

Ethereum: Smart Contracts and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

Now that we’ve got a grasp of this thing called Bitcoin let’s take a look at Ethereum the first evolution of Bitcoin.

As people began to embrace Bitcoin as a currency and accepted the underlying blockchain as a secure solution to facilitate transactions developers began to propose other uses for the technology.  One of these developers Vitalik Buterin along with others proposed a new kind of cryptocurrency that would power an open blockchain platform where developers could build ‘decentralized applications’ (Dapps) of various kinds and ‘smart contracts’ that could facilitate more complicated financial transactions.  One of the first smart contracts was the Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO an Ethereum smart contract that would basically function as a decentralized venture capital fund that would operate entirely on the Ethereum blockchain.

Here’s a quick video from TechCrunch about Ethereum:

Fast Forward to Today

Ethereum took blockchain to the next level and stimulated a lot of development by building a framework that inspired programmers and could facilitate their creativity.  The Ethereum community is one of the strongest developer communities in cryptocurrency and blockchain.  However, as the race continues many more blockchain builders and cryptoprojects have emerged to tackle their own vision of blockchain and crypto.

Many of these new projects chose to raise funds through a crowdfunding mechanism known as an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).  In 2017, ICOs flooded the cryptocurrency marketplace with hundreds of ‘alternative coins’ (alts) many of which were built on the Ethereum blockchain.

This is why the noise level is so high right now in cryptocurrency.  That’s a problem if you’re an investor or just someone trying to understand cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Here’s Mark Suster a Venture Capitalist breaking it all down in 45 minutes. If there’s only one video you click on this page pick this one.  Mark gets pretty technical in this presentation which is a good thing and gives good perspective on how to think intelligently about this wild west show.

Alright now you’re all caught up!

Where’s this Jabberwocky headed?

Here’s Charles Hoskinson from IOHK|Cardano talking about his project.  I’m posting this here because I think this presentation actually gives a really good overview on what the major technical hurdles are for cryptocurrencies and blockchains in 2018.  Charles is obviously bullish on his own project and frames the talk from that perspective but he’s also enough of a professor to keep this talk really informative.  This is a great look from the mind of someone deep down the rabbit hole in the Infrastructure Underland.

Scalability, Interoperability, Sustainability can these foes tame the beast?