Haven’t posted in a while – finals week will do that to a college student. That being said, one of my finals was an academic paper on Bitcoin, which I’m thrilled to share now that it’s complete. Enjoy my analysis on Bitcoin’s present and future.
Bitcoin itself is a revolutionary technology. However, it will be how empowered individuals and startups innovate with it that truly defines how Bitcoin changes the world. This is the first of a series of blog posts – “Innovation within the Innovation” – examining people and companies using Bitcoin in ways that truly change the game.
I’ll keep this brief. We know Bitcoin itself is highly innovative, but most even vaguely versed in the technology know the currency concept is just the beginning. A startup I was introduced to recently is a perfect example of the possibility for innovation with the blockchain beyond currency. OneName is one of the first effective uses of the anonymity made possible by Bitcoin. As opposed to simply having your transactions stored in the blockchain, your entire financial identity is stored in the blockchain, and you are known simply by “one name” for your Bitcoin transactions. The possibilities here are intriguing, even if it’s as simple as you and I not having to fill out lines upon lines of billing information every time we make an online purchase. I think it potentially adds a unique layer of security to our online “identity,” so to speak. This decentralized identity concept allows us to not have as much personal information floating around the internet because of the excessive online shopping we indulge ourselves with. An identity thief will be at a loss if all the info they see is your “one name,” after all.
Curious if it’s easy to use? Check out my OneName page. It’s me, and it’s the QR code you can use to send me bitcoins. (Please do send me bitcoins, by the way.) My “identity” is stored in the blockchain, and all you see is the limited amount of info on the page. But you can still send me money for any given purpose, and given that it’s linked to my Bitcoin wallet, I get bitcoins securely without having to tell you much besides my name. I could take almost all of that information off the page, and the transactions would be damn near anonymous, but still secure. Absolutely fascinating, no?