You will either instantly dismiss it as something that could never work, or you will immediately understand its large potential.
Bitcoin is a new kind of digital cash. This talk will explain why it will change the world and make banks irrelevant. It is an open source project for people to safely and securely trade virtual tokens called 'bitcoins'. It's the world's first decentralised electronic currency with no single organisation or government in control.
Right now there are around 10,000 using it, exchanging around $35,000 every day. For free, without any middle men taking a cut. Across international borders. Sending Bitcoins to Eindhoven is just as easy as to Argentina. Sites are selling everything from office supplies, drugs and digital goods.
[Tried to keep this non-technical as those details are easily available. Don't mind questions]
- Visit Bitcoin homepage.
- Download the client (explain you can also use a provider).
- Run client (explain it spends 1 hour the first time running it).
- Create new addresses.
- Familiarise with interface and make a payment to somebody (in the audience).
The specks that construe this digital economy are divisible units referred to as proof of work. These bitcoins are the answer to a mathematical riddle chosen by the network. The collective hive mechanically moves together. Nodes move in and out. The big picture does not.
- Decentralised. No one can control it. It's as fair and democratic as currency can be.
- Divisible to 8 decimals (microtransactions).
- Privacy. Aren't connected to your IRL ident.
- Limited supply.
Bitcoin is a language, pre-agreed by nodal participants. And there is one software speaking this protocol aptly named Bitcoin. Google has version too named BitCoinJ. There are other modifications and derivatives built for specialised tasks.
- Gambling without goverment intervention (numerous gambling sites available...)
- Micropayments finally possible & sensible to implement (eg. http://witcoin.com/)
- Anonymous trade of illegal drugs, goods, services (check out http://silkroadmarket.org/)
- You can store & transfer money without dealing with banks
- All protection of your money. If someone steals your money, it's gone.
never ending story of money flows in the economy = block chain
Bitcoin is based of PKI. (briefly explain).
Use the software how you wish. We know the software can't be destroyed, and a widely dispersed system can't be shut down.
Bitcoin is cash. You get it the way get cash--by exchanging other cash, working or selling something. It's secure, easy-to-use and moves with the speed and reach of the internet. And that's awesome, because nothing like it has ever existed before.
Me: a personal Bitcoin story
During childhood an unlimited realm fast-tracked me to knowledge. A child of the internet. Limitless freedom. But try to expand into real-life and road-blocks are thrown up everywhere. Impossible to create a small business. Antiquated banking APIs. Punitive laws.
A few months ago, we wanted to develop a poker site. The industry has stagnated, dominated by a cartel. Anti-gambling laws punish startup sites, and give free reign to overseas mega-corporations. The quality is poor. Bitcoin became my avenue for realising our site. Along the way I've thrown my lot in, recognising the transformative power for this bartering service.
The internet is a muddy sea of mediocrity. Liquidise money and vibrant industry will develop. Even the tiniest amounts of money are game-changers. A huge quality increase.
The idea of cryptocurrency appeared in the 90s. Currency backed by strong cryptography, not laws and mathematics. Wei-Dai proposed an online currency on the cypherpunks mailing list. Several problems remained and the idea languished.
Cypherpunk are activists advocating widespread use of strong cryptography as a route to social and political change. As a movement they espouse libertarian and hack/free software ideals. In the 90s Philip Zimmerman challenged US-export laws on crypto technology by publishing a book containing the PGP sourcecode. One would than scan the book using OCR and compile the software. Books being covered by the first amendment.
Bittorrent remains undefeated, despite the best efforts of law enforcement to stop peer2peer sharing. The latest in this saga continues with Wikileaks. Attempts at closing the site are ineffective; >1000 mirrors exist and a dozen mirrors on various darknets. A cursory historical glance shows that cryptography & peering technology cannot be shut down. That's the reason we now can bank or skype in privacy.
Bitcoin was released ~2 years ago under the pseudonym 'satoshi'. We're fairly certain that isn't his real name, nor that he's even Japanese. He didn't popularise it. It remained obscure until a few months ago it was discovered, and spread like wildfire. He solved the one pertinent issue of cryptocurrency, double spending, by the clever design of a workable distributed database.
A coder can read code, how one can read Spanish. I can look at the code and see what it does. I don't need to trust Satoshi's word. Just how a professional writer can express his ideas more clearly than others, I can see Satoshi is a fairly lacklustre coder. But the idea. The idea works in every way.
Bitcoin is not about one software. It's about the idea. The protocol that enables it to function. The current client is a reference implementation. More are in the works. Google just released a version in Java, and others are writing clients in Python.
There's an entire community now with significant interest invested. Many eyes are on the source looking for bugs and problems. This is the best security policy.
How can I trust it? I can read the source.
If I change the rules, my version of Bitcoin will be rejected and my money worthless.
The very first 'genesis' block gives a clue to the intentions of Satoshi: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks."
People using bitcoin. Example of sites. Do demo of them.
- Trading sites / Stats
- bitcoinlaundry.com - launder money.
- silkroadmarket.org - illegal items over tor.
- Gambling sites - BitBet and DoubleTrouble.
Why this will help the net.
Best of all it enables the micro-economy:
- Witcoin - win money for good posts.
- Pastecoin - upload files, get paid for downloads.
- YouTipIt - reward people for content.
- BitcoinSexToys - protecting privacy.
How to accept BTC.