You might have heard from many blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts that blockchain revolution is coming. But what that exactly means? To answer this question, we first need a quick history lesson of the internet and then understand how it transformed the the world the last 30 years.
From Nikola Tesla and Tim- Berners Lee to blockchain revolution
Long before the technology existed to actually build the Internet, many scientists had already anticipated the existence of worldwide networks of information. Nikola Tesla toyed with the idea of a “world wireless system” in the early 1900s, and visionary thinkers like Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush conceived of mechanized, searchable storage systems of books and media in the 1930s and 1940s. Still, the first practical schematics for the Internet would not arrive until the early 1960s, when MIT’s J.C.R. Licklider popularized the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists developed the concept of “packet switching,” a method for effectively transmitting electronic data that would later become one of the major building blocks of the Internet.
The first workable prototype of the Internet came in the late 1960s with the creation of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, ARPANET used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate on a single network. The technology continued to grow in the 1970s after scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf developed Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a communications model that set standards for how data could be transmitted between multiple networks. ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet.
The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While it’s often confused with the Internet itself, the web is actually just the most common means of accessing data online in the form of websites and hyperlinks. The web helped popularize the Internet among the public, and served as a crucial step in developing the vast trove of information that most of us now access on a daily basis. (1)
Blockchain is like e-mail but for money
You are going to ask “How these two things are correlated to each other?” and that is a very good question. First let’s see what are the common characteristics in those two technologies.
Both e-mail and blockchain are disruptive technologies respective to their field. Both technologies have what we call “network effect“. The network effect is a phenomenon whereby increased numbers of people or participants improve the value of a good or service.
E-mail services essentially replaced paper mail and fax machines. This enabled users to communicate almost instantaneously with any part of the globe, fast and easy, as long as there is an active internet connection. Both technologies weren’t that much better in terms of usability and and speed in their early time compared to their predecessors. Those are some of the characteristics e-mail and blockchain have in common. Yet, e-mail have succeeded. Even people who couldn’t understand it at the beginning, are now using it everyday.
So why blockchain has to be any different? Just like e-mail revolutionized the way we communicate, blockchain will revolutionize the way we send money to each other. And it doesn’t stop there. It can revolutionize the way we do business, voting, supply chains, real estate and pretty much anything that uses databases with the difference that it will more secure, transparent and global.
The blockchain revolution have started. Are you really ready for it?