Sunday, April 21, 2019

Blockchain Technology


Throughout much of rural America, internet access lags behind current technology, but things are about to change, courtesy of the emerging 5G wireless network technology being pushed by the current administration. Once implemented, “No matter where you are, you’ll have access very quickly to 5G,” President Trump said, noting estimates that the new standard could be 100 times faster than existing networks. Internet access will be remarkably faster, but what the president has in mind is more than just so that people can stream better, or shop online faster, or communicate on social media with greater efficiency.

What the president has in mind for transitioning to 5G is the wide-scale implementation of blockchain technology to effect dramatic change in the lives of everyday people in an epic way. In order for blockchain to work, the speed of 5G network technology will be necessary. Essentially, blockchain with its intrinsic security will allow all transactions to be carried out in a safe, transparent, yet non-infringing manner.

The president stressed that the American 5G networks will be “private-sector driven and private-sector led” but touted government “incentives” to encourage U.S. companies to sprint into the 5G era before China does. “We cannot allow another country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future,” Trump said. "We are leading by so much, in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen. The race to 5G is a race America must win. And it’s a race, frankly, that our great companies are now involved in. We’ve given them the incentive they need.”

But what is blockchain? Undeniably an ingenious invention – blockchain is the brainchild of a group known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. Since its creation, it has evolved into something far more powerful and useful than originally designed. Originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin, the tech community has gone on to find other potential uses for this innovative technology.

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

So, what is so special about it and why are they saying that it has industry disrupting capabilities? The blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratized system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions.

A blockchain carries no transaction cost. (An infrastructure cost yes, but no transaction cost.) The blockchain is a simple yet ingenious way of passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction initiates the process by creating a block. This block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of computers distributed around the net. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history. Falsifying a single record would mean falsifying the entire chain in millions of instances. That is virtually impossible. Bitcoin uses this model for monetary transactions, but it can be deployed in many others ways.

Think of a railway company. We buy tickets on an app or the web. The credit card company takes a cut for processing the transaction. With blockchain, not only can the railway operator save on credit card processing fees, it can move the entire ticketing process to the blockchain. The two parties in the transaction are the railway company and the passenger. The ticket is a block, which will be added to a ticket blockchain. Just as a monetary transaction on blockchain is a unique, independently verifiable and unfalsifiable record (like Bitcoin), so can your ticket be. Incidentally, the final ticket blockchain is also a record of all transactions for, say, a certain train route, or even the entire train network, comprising every ticket ever sold, every journey ever taken.

But the key here is this: it’s free. Not only can the blockchain transfer and store money, but it can also replace all processes and business models which rely on charging a small fee for a transaction. Or any other transaction between two parties.

Here is another example. The gig economy hub Fivver charges 0.5 dollars on a 5 transaction between individuals buying and selling services. Using blockchain technology the transaction is free. Ergo, Fivver will cease to exist. So will auction houses and any other business entity based on the market-maker principle.

Even recent entrants like Uber and AirBnB are threatened by blockchain technology. All you need to do is encode the transactional information for a car ride or an overnight stay, and again you have a perfectly safe way that disrupts the business model of the companies which have just begun to challenge the traditional economy. It is not just cutting out the fee-processing middle man, we are also eliminating the need for the match-making platform.

Because blockchain transactions are free, you can charge minuscule amounts, say 1/100 of a cent for a video view or article read. Why should I pay The Economist or National Geographic an annual subscription fee if I can pay per article on Facebook or my favorite chat app. Again, remember that blockchain transactions carry no transaction cost. You can charge for anything in any amount without worrying about third parties cutting into your profits.

Blockchain may make selling recorded music profitable again for artists by cutting out music companies and distributors like Apple or Spotify. The music you buy could even be encoded in the blockchain itself, making it a cloud archive for any song purchased. Because the amounts charged can be so small, subscription and streaming services will become irrelevant.

It goes further. Ebooks could be fitted with blockchain code. Instead of Amazon taking a cut, and the credit card company earning money on the sale, the books would circulate in encoded form and a successful blockchain transaction would transfer money to the author and unlock the book. Transfer ALL the money to the author, not just meager royalties. You could do this on a book review website like Goodreads, or on your own website. The marketplace Amazon is then unnecessary. Successful iterations could even include reviews and other third-party information about the book.

In the financial world the applications are more obvious and the revolutionary changes more imminent. Blockchains will change the way stock exchanges work, loans are bundled, and insurances contracted. They will eliminate bank accounts and practically all services offered by banks. Almost every financial institution will go bankrupt or be forced to change fundamentally, once the advantages of a safe ledger without transaction fees is widely understood and implemented. After all, the financial system is built on taking a small cut of your money for the privilege of facilitating a transaction. Bankers will become mere advisers, not gatekeepers of money. Stockbrokers will no longer be able to earn commissions and the buy/sell spread will disappear.

How does blockchain work? Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.

The reason why the blockchain has gained so much admiration is that: It is not owned by a single entity, hence it is decentralized; the data is cryptographically stored inside; the blockchain is immutable, so no one can tamper with the data that is inside the blockchain; the blockchain is transparent so one can track the data if they want to

Who will use the blockchain? As web infrastructure, you don’t need to know about the blockchain for it to be useful in your life. Currently, finance offers the strongest use cases for the technology. International remittances, for instance. The World Bank estimates that over $430 billion US in money transfers were sent in 2015. And at the moment there is a high demand for blockchain developers.

The blockchain potentially cuts out the middleman for these types of transactions. Personal computing became accessible to the general public with the invention of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which took the form of a “desktop”. Similarly, the most common GUI devised for the blockchain are the so-called “wallet” applications, which people use to buy things with Bitcoin, and store it along with other cryptocurrencies.

Transactions online are closely connected to the processes of identity verification. It is easy to imagine that wallet apps will transform in the coming years to include other types of identity management.

The Trump administration, in collaberation with the Chinese and Russians, is overseeing the demise of the worldwide Central Banking economic model and the transition to a People-based economic model. Fiat currency that is not backed by real assets will be replaced by secure digital transactions through an established network of 5G blockchain technology, bypassing all middlemen. All of this will likely happen within the next five years without an economic collapse or significant disruption in the way we transact day to day business. The banking slave/debt economic paradigm is in its death throes as run by powerful Cabal interests and there is nothing they can do to avert the loss of their control or advantage. The times, they are a changing... for the good of us all.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Steve Jobs' Epiphany


“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”