While Bitcoin has grabbed the attention of many as a form of speculation or by the negative press headlines, the elephant in the room remains: Bitcoin’s massive potential as a disruptive technology.
The Beyond Currency three-part series will put the Bitcoin revolution in context from both a technological and historical point of view.
Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have certainly become the hot topic in the media recently albeit being largely negative as everyone loves a good scandal. As the general public is digesting fear-mongering and sensationalist headlines from the press involving the now-infamous Mt. Gox, many Bitcoin enthusiasts, programmers, developers, and entrepreneurs have not fallen for these distractions.
Instead they are focused on fostering Bitcoin as a technology – one that would solve many of the problems we face today, beyond currency.
The concept of a disruptive technology is analogous to natural disturbances. Think of a volcanic eruption, a sweeping forest fire or a tree falling in the Amazon rainforest. These disturbances clear up room in a dense forest giving opportunity for various animals, plants, and organisms to take advantage and establish a foothold in the newly created gap. As a result, this encourages speciation and endemism within the given habitat, while making the eco-system more complex, diverse, and stable.
Disruptive technology is similar. In fact, almost every piece of tech we have today was disruptive to their predecessors at some point in time: from stone tablets to paper, and up to the telephone and the internet. And while the successor does not always eradicate the previous technology, they certainly make it less relevant. For example, newspapers still exist although they are not as popular as they were even 20 years ago with the majority shifting their operations online.