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The first obvious thing is that the flow of money and information is: 1) global; and 2) near instantaneous. Those flows have been speeding up for a long time but have now reached the limit of instantaneous. You just can't get any faster than that.


Money has ceased to be a tangible thing. It is just more information to be transferred. Seldom does tangible money change hands any more – just information about who it would belong to if it existed. So, even when we talk about the transfer of money, we are just talking about the transfer of information. We can talk about information and consider money a subset.


The people, institutions and businesses that control information and the flow of it hold tremendous power that trumps military might and wealth. That shifts the power centers of the world from those who have, to those who know. They may be one and the same, but that is far from a forgone conclusion at this point.


From "Money is Intangible in the Information Age",  Sense & Nonsense, November 21, 2010

Bitcoin and all currencies, including the US dollar, are just digital entries in a digital ledger. So, what is the difference? The difference is that Bitcoin does its own accounting automatically and instantly without any human input other than the transaction itself.

It does not require banks (central or otherwise), laws, regulations, accountants or any of the other overhead to keep track of who owns every fraction of every bitcoin ever created. The mathematics behind this self-accounting system is called a Blockchain. It can be applied to any collection of information.

Bitcoin introduced the Blockchain to the world in a controversial way. Public discussion centered on whether Bitcoin was real money or not instead of the mathematical underpinnings. Discussion was further diverted from the Blockchain because Bitcoin uses encrypted private keys to define ownership and transaction privileges. Encryption is a separate technology from Blockchain.

Those in the forefront to the Information Age are very aware of the connection between Blockchain, information organization, control and power. It is truly a revolutionary change that will, in time, transform the way people interact and organize. For some ideas on how it might be used, see "The Coming Digital Anarchy" by Matthew Sparkes or "Enter the Blockchain: How Bitcoin Can Turn the Cloud Inside Out" by Jon Evans.


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