From Niche Users to Reaching the Masses: Blockchain’s Rollercoaster Journey

A 40 Million Dollar Pizza

On November 1st, 2008, Nakamoto published a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Just two months later, on January 3rd, 2009, he (or she, or a group of shes and hes) began mining the first block of the chain, known as the Genesis block. The 6 day process was rewarded with 50BTC – valued at nearly 1,000,000USD during Bitcoin’s 2017 climax. Not bad for a week of work. Since then, the world has marked ten years mining – often accompanied with the thrill of major gains and subsequent fist clenching losses.

More than a year and a half later on May 22nd, 2010, a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz was able to strike a deal trading 10,000BTC for $25 worth of Papa Johns. Hence dubbed Bitcoin Pizza Day, the day is not only significant because it marks probably the only time someone has ever spent tens of millions of dollars on a single dinner (albeit with a few leftovers), but it also marks the first real-world commercial transaction powered by Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a fad

So far, the industry has faced its ups and downs. Every climax has been accompanied by technological breakthroughs and innovation in algorithms. Each ebb has been characterised by the lack of practical use cases, bad press, or regulation troubles. 

Key points on this rollercoaster include blockchain being ignored, misunderstood, outright taboo, strictly controlled, and finally accepted, imitated, and flourishing.  Where we currently lie on the journey isn’t known – but what is known, however, is that blockchain missionaries will keep pushing the word of decentralization.

At first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, and finally you win. – Gandhi

 

Where in the technology are we now?

So far, there have been two concrete eras of blockchain. Dial up and fibre-optic, flip phone and that computer in your pocket – make any comparison you want, advances have been plenty. 

Blockchain Era 1.0: Bitcoin 

The first generation of blockchain is represented by Bitcoin. It’s currently the most well known blockchain in existence – even if someone doesn’t know what a blockchain is, odds are, they’ve heard of Bitcoin. However, the mechanism that powers Bitcoin and makes the transfer of value possible doesn’t get as much attention. Bitcoin depends on a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm to verify blocks and mine coins. It is currently only used to transfer value from peer to peer and cannot support other uses. When you hear about someone pushing blockchain for business or personal uses, this isn’t the one.

Blockchain Era 2.0: Ethereum

The second generation of blockchain is represented by the advances made by Ethereum. From this point on, the uses of blockchain have been diversified greatly. Ethereum provided smart contracts and the EVM, which showed that applications could be linked to the blockchain. The ICO and rise of ERC20 tokens is thought to have pushed the price of BTC to an all time high of nearly 20,000USD, but still, we’re not where we need to be if blockchain is going to be a practical tool for everyone.

However, due to the increased amount of ICO’s taking place in 2017, currency bubbles, and overall attention garnered,  the blockchain space caught the eye of many governments. Supervision of ICOs and various powerful regulations where put in place to control the finances going in. Advances started to cool, attention waned off, and before we knew it, the Crypto Winter was upon us.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux, and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected. – George Soros

Blockchain Era 3.0: Thank you, Next.

We find ourselves increasing  TPS speeds into the tens of thousands and higher, focusing on ecological community governance, ending centralisation, and bettering the economic model for incubating various decentralised Apps.

Multiple consensus mechanisms and technical architectures have emerged, such as Proof-of-Stake and Delegated Proof-of-Stake.  IOTA uses DAG directed acyclic graph architecture, NEO and Ruibo adopt Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus algorithms, and more. However, breaking through the speed bottleneck while also remaining decentralized remains an issue.

2018 gave us many “firsts” in the public chain sphere, all competing for the next round of bull market leaders – but the issues have not been solved.

At the beginning of 2018, about forty or fifty public chain projects were launched, most concentrating on DAG architecture of Sharding segmentation technology. There projects were highly anticipated by investors, but at present, nothing has come out of them, which has exacerbated the current disappointment that is the Crypto Winter. Chains still suffer from centralization, slow speeds, and no sustainable vision. The race to get to the top has left many breathing thin air, with no supplies to set up camp. Nothing to build a future on, nothing to build communities.

Bitconch: bringing the warmth of Spring to the harsh Crypto Winter

Bitconch has offered a solution to the issues still plaguing the blockchain world. The approach uses the Proof-of-Reputation (PoR) consensus algorithm in which a quantified reputation (Bit-R) is created using three dimensions – user socialization, currency holding time, and computing power contribution. 

The parallel processing architecture know as BLAZE (Bitconch Ledger Access Zero-delay Extension) and a random selection of 30 to 500 verifying nodes, pushes TPS to more than 100,000, a hundred times faster than competitors. 

Based on the nature of the chain, it serves as an efficient platform for combating centralization, increasing speeds, and allowing all upstanding members of the community to play an equal part – not just those who have all of the resources as seen in previous chains.

Through solving the problems holding blockchain back, Bitconch is able to provide decentralised applications with a more practical and conscientious solution.

Bitconch, Proof-of-Reputation, & BLAZE – bringing an end to the Crypto Winter.

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