in Waardevol

Blockchain en crypto in begrijpelijke taal

Seth Godin is zo’n beetje het ultieme voorbeeld van iemand die iets troebels1 helder kan verwoorden. Meestal ook nog in een paar rake zinnen.

Deze keer heeft hij het over de blockchain en crypto. En daar heeft hij voor zijn doen heel veel woorden voor nodig maar zet de basisgedachte achter deze nieuwe technologie goed en helder neer.

Why the blockchain matters

Seth Godin – 10 mei 2021 – link

But first, let’s understand some words…

Bitcoin is not the blockchain. If the blockchain is a printing press, Bitcoin is a kind of paper money. There are countless things that one can do with a printing press, in fact, it changed the world, but the invention of paper money isn’t even one of the top 100 most important outputs the printed press created.

Cryptocurrency has a terrible name. Most people associate “crypto” with spies and secrets. And a currency is generally backed by a nation, with a treasury, an exchequer and banks.

It’s more accurately thought of as a token.

If you went to an amusement park, you might buy a bunch of tokens or tickets to go on the rides. And if you run one of the rides, you collect the tokens, which at some point, you can trade in for a different sort of value, probably currency.

Okay, so what’s the blockchain?

It’s a database.

Unlike most databases, it’s not controlled by one entity and it’s not easily rewritten. Instead, it’s a ledger, a permanent, examinable, public database. One can use it to record transactions of various sorts.

The distributed nature of the blockchain, combined with this novel way of funding early contributions means that the network effect may very well bring powerful new databases to the fore, creating new ways for us to interact.

For the typical user, the existence of the blockchain itself won’t matter, just as you don’t need to know how many volunteer editors Wikipedia has to benefit from using it.

The reason the blockchain matters is that it is an agent of change. Just like the transistor and yes, the printing press, when an agent of change shows up, it often leads to shifts that we probably didn’t expect.

Uit een stuk van Seth is moeilijk een quote te halen zonder dat het weer minder begrijpelijk maakt, dus lees het vooral in zijn geheel.


  1. en veel dingen zijn dat in het leven

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