Global awareness of bitcoin has spread like wildfire in the past decade. Still, much confusion persists over how this digital currency works, and the implications it might hold for all of us in the not so distant future. The new documentary The Blockchain and Us isn't a dry or overly technical exercise that seeks to explain every nuance of this complex monetary system. Instead, the film calls upon the expertise of financial wizards and technology geeks from around the world to expose its potential for shaping a brave new world.
Invented in 2008 by an elusive figure or entity known as Satoshi Yakamoto, bitcoin is an experimental currency which is traded through the digital stratosphere. All transactions are completed on a peer-to-peer basis, which eliminates the need for banks, brokers, or any other intermediaries. These transactions are all stored for public view on a blockchain, an endless digital spreadsheet that is secured by unbreakable military-grade encryption.
This revolutionary system turns our traditional currency into digital assets, and it could transform the way we conduct all levels of business in our daily lives. At this time, the system is too young and volatile to challenge our current monetary exchange system, but banks and other businesses are beginning to take the technology seriously nevertheless. Many feel it's just a matter of time before the bitcoin system irons out its kinks and becomes the norm, so there is a sense of urgency on their part to evolve into it or risk irrelevancy.
According to each of the film's esteemed interview subjects, the blockchain network could usher in a new era that is more inclusive, diverse and humane. Currently, over 70% of the world's population functions without any connection to the financial services industry. Blockchain opens the door for their involvement, and unleashes a massive global demographic for existing businesses. This dynamic could fundamentally change the lives of billions across the globe, and significantly narrow the margins of income inequality.
The future of bitcoin might be uncertain at the moment, but its possibilities are limitless. The Blockchain and Us is an effective primer on an exciting new phenomenon that will continue to drive debates and innovative thinking for years to come.