From the Telegram to the internet;
From fiat cash to Bitcoins
Communications technology has come a long way from the time the first telegraph was used to send a message using an electrical signal. Although the telegraph was the most revolutionary invention of its time, The process of sending a telegram was kind of ...lets say.. slow. Relatively speaking, the telegraph was cumbersome, slow and took a lot of human energy and time to send a small message. The telegraph as a technology is not alone in the world or revolutionary devices that evolved tremendously over time.
The internet as we know it has been around for about 20 years. prior to the year 1998 the idea of logging onto the internet would sound like a technological hurdle for the average person using it today. The amount of time it took to log in, the amount of money it cost to have a monthly service, the lack of service providers and the lack of infrastructure around the internet would make it sound almost useless in today's terms. This is not to mention the fact that social media did not even exist. Just as the telegraph evolved and scaled to be useful for the masses, so did the internet. Here is something we all remember. Picture the days that text messaging was a monthly service and maxed out at 1000 messages per month before your phone bill skyrocketed to 10 cents per message....or something like that. Remember roll-over minutes? Try to explain that to a teenager a decade from now.
Although you will not find a living person who was around to tell you about the use of the telegraph in its infancy, Most people will remember the days of the internet revolution, from email to text messaging to unlimited 5g data on a smart phone today. Communications technology or tel-com is very similar in the way it has evolved to the ways of financial technology, or fin-tech.
10 years and some weeks ago, a revolutionary idea was released to the internet called bitcoin. The idea for the creation of the protocol that makes it work goes way back to the 1970s. Computer nerds have been looking for a way to make digital money work for almost 50 years. The main issue that kept digital money from being a workable product for so long is called the "double spend problem". Until bitcoins invention, digital money could not be secured enough to ensure that one user could not spend the same dollar a second time before the original transaction was processed , verified, and completed. Essentially, the problem was digital counterfeiting. The bitcoin protocol was the first solution to the double spend problem. So far in its first decade of existence, not once has any bitcoin ever been spent multiple times before it was securely transmitted to its first recipient. A 50 year old computer problem was solved by an unknown character named Satoshi Nakamoto.
This is the good and happy part for the computer enthusiast and cryptography developers. The not so good is what the average user of bitcoin experiences today. Bitcoin was created to be slow to transact. Although this issue is not going to be relevant in a short amount of time, it is the most prominent growing pain of Bitcoin.
Compared to todays standard credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, the bitcoin network can only handle a tiny fraction of the transactions that our current systems can. Todays average transactions per second on a credit card network is about 30,000 tx per second or TPS. Bitcoins is 7 TPS. A mere single digit. You might even say "why would i use such a slow system, its useless. I do just fine with my credit card, and who wants to wait hours for a transaction to go though?" " This is not an evolution but a devolution of money technology". This is all about to change.
This is where the history of the telegraph, the telephone, the internet and smartphones all come together to tell a new story about the next technological revolution. To be specific, a financial technology revolution.
Just as each of the mentioned technologies were at one point nearly useless to the average person, they ended up being indispensable and changed our entire world forever. My parents probably preferred to send a fax or make a phone call on their 20 year old rotary phone over attempting to even pronounce the word "internet", let alone try to send an email on the internet. At that time the internet was in fact the useless technology that was considered a novelty for anyone who had used a personal computer. Today, my dad sends me Memes and stuff directly to my phone!
Some experts say that in 2019 Bitcoin is in the evolutionary phase that the internet was in 1993. This may or may not be accurate. The period from 1993 to 1998 was a very fast growing point of the Internets evolution. Last year (2018) the bitcoin network was known to be able to handle 7 transactions per second, though next year it may be handling millions of transaction per second. The technology behind bitcoins lightning network will allow possibly infinite amounts of transactions at any one time. This makes Visa look like the telegraph. Dont worry, your credit card has its place in the world of money and will continue to as long as you want to use it.
We have seen mobile payment methods increase heavily over the last 5 years. Almost every cell phone on the market is now equipped with the technology to make payments directly with your phone anywhere that accepts credit cards. What may happen in the next year is this system of paying anywhere with your cellphone will evolve to include crypto-currencies. Samsung announced a hard wallet integrated into its next line of Galaxy phones launching in 2019. This is just one facet of bitcoins mass adoption. Bring an easy user interface and user experience of bitcoin storage to the best selling mobile phones on the market and increase the transaction speed of bitcoin to infinity, next year your useless bitcoin may just be that useless internet in the year 1997. The Dial-up internet was usable, but not for the volume of content the world demands every second twenty years later.
To our customers of Wylie and Murphy TX:
If you are interested in learning more about the coming financial revolution we would like to refer you to a few of our favorite sources of bitcoin education. Links to audio books provided below
The Bitcoin Standard -The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous
The internet of Money- Andreas Antonopolos
Youtube series by Andreas Antonopolous