Monthly Archives: February 2018

Bitcoin & the blockchain – what’s next

Many are asking what is the future of Bitcoin? That is a very good question after the wild ride in its price.  After nearly touching $US20,000 just before Christmas it has since fallen to around $US8,000.  Some have made eye watering amounts based on when they got in and out; others have lost spectacular amounts.  There are more than 1,000 crypto currencies and most of those have also seen wild fluctuations in their price.  Bitcoin has certainly been subject to speculation. It’s rise was larger than that of the Dutch tulip bubble of the 17th century.  Arguably it’s more at risk than other famous asset price bubbles as nothing underpins the currency as does say the Reserve Bank to the Australian dollar.

The creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto (or at least his/her pseudonym) announced Bitcoin to the world as “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer with no trusted third party.”  There is certainly appeal to such a system.

What interests me far more is the blockchain, the system which underpins Bitcoin. The blockchain is an encrypted open ledger which records all transactions.  There is no central storage system; it’s an open ledger system that is verified every ten minutes and in which every transaction is date stamped.  With transactions cleared every ten minutes, funds can knowingly be received on average in five minutes – makes a three day cheque clearance seem slow doesn’t it!

The co-founder of Netscape Marc Andreessen has been quoted as saying that the blockchain is one of the most fundamental inventions in the history of computer science. I think that that is an under-statement.  With seemingly everyone tapping to pay for even the cheapest item and with a verified transaction base, the ATO may seek to receive GST at the time of sale.  Various world governments are looking to store anything and everything on the blockchain – including such things as land titles.  Kodak, arguably the camera company most affected by the digital camera explosion last month had its share price surge some 70% after it had announced it was developing a crypto currency where the underpinning blockchain would enshrine photographers’ copyright.

I keenly await to see how others adopt the blockchain to revolutionise the way we do things.

At MRS, we will spend today planning for your success tomorrow.