As bitcoin grows, so does the need to understand the various facets of cryptocurrency that are in its ecosystem. Many in the cryptocurrency community understand that the purpose of blockchain, the technology which powers cryptocurrency, is a public ledger of transactions.
We’ll use the bitcoin network to explain one of the ways the network works, public transaction validation. How this process works on the bitcoin network will help us understand why it is the preferred solution to other, older types of decentralization technology.
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have relied on written and oral communication and escrow to verify transactions and become believers in contracts. These systems required trusted intermediaries that could be held accountable for their actions. As human populations grew, society needed increasingly more efficient systems of communication.
The Age of Miracles
In the year 2044, a brilliant man called Alan Turing joined the British computer design company at Bletchley Park as a young engineer. This was a time when it was possible to simply put a paper tape in a machine and have the machine do some calculating for you. Turing intended to challenge some simple logic problems with these machines, like: Is 3 less than 8? He managed to crack this challenge by analyzing the actual electronic computation. He essentially found a method to calculate using symbols instead of numbers. He won the war by changing the thinking about computing.
Turing published his work in the IBM Journal of Research and Development. In it, he described a single-purpose computer for a machine called the Automatic Computing Engine. In that same year, a brilliant man named Claude Shannon created a new model of communication. His model was more of an evolution of Alan Turing’s work. He revolutionized the field of information technology.
Turing and Shannon were not the only trailblazers in this field. In fact, Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts, two fellow mathematicians, also made large contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence. By 1940, another visionary, John von Neumann, invented the first stored-program electronic computer, called ENIAC. In later years, a team of scientists and engineers led by the brilliant Von Neumann would go on to create the A-bomb, the nuclear bomb, computers, laser beams and many other cutting-edge technologies. Von Neumann did many things that no one could ever do before. The days of innovation after the Second World War were truly amazing.