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In this Market Forces segment, Demetri Kofinas covers the latest blockchain news with Andrew Keys of Ethereum focused Consensus Systems. While most are undoubtedly glued to the bitcoin cash news that rocked the cryptocurrency industry yesterday (August 1) regarding Bitcoin’s first “hard-fork,” Andrew continues to focus on the bigger picture at hand. As fascinating as Bitcoin has been and continues to be, particularly as the technology flag-bearer for its novel blockchain technology, Andrew’s attention has been on what he believes is the true technological panacea for everything from payment processing, contract transfers, application creation – even the future of the internet as we know it. Hence, his role spear heading business development for Consensus Systems.
Building on the innovation, adoption, and possibilities of Bitcoin, Andrew has immersed himself over the last several years, diving head first into what many people are calling Bitcoin 2.0 – otherwise known as Ethereum. Andrew turned an opportune meeting with the founder of Consensus Systems and co-creator of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin, into a role that has quickly evolved into Andrew sitting center stage as one of the world’s go-to business ambassadors of blockchain technology and the highly advanced Ethereum protocol. Andrew has been invited to all ends of the world to explain blockchain technology and Ethereum to industry titans in the worlds of finance and technology. Just this year alone, Andrew traveled to and spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the Global Blockchain Financial Summit in Hangzhou, China, meeting with executives at JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and IBM as well as top government officials from around the world.
Today, he is here with us to discuss blockchain technology, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the explosive growth of the cryptocurrency industry – where it’s been, what it looks like today – and how it has the potential to shape all of our futures. "This is ultimately about the move away from a centralized system for organizing society towards a decentralized one that is more appropriate for the technological present," says Demetri Kofinas. Indeed, the question of centralization versus decentralization is central to the framework of blockchain technology. It also speaks to the challenges of scaling the network, which was the central concern of the bitcoin mining community that initiated the recent "hard-fork" in order to create bitcoin cash. For all of recorded history, human beings have achieved scale through a bureaucracy. Empires, nation states, corporations, etc., are all built upon layers of authority and thickets of bureaucracy. Blockchain manages to overcome this by shifting the burden of validation from the center to the periphery. In other words, no central authority is required in order to approve any transaction or mediate any dispute among users of the blockchain protocol. There is no need for third-party verification (TPV). This process is achieved through consensus. Instead of requiring the use of digital right's management software in order to manage ownership rights over music, for example, users can rely on the Ethereum's blockchain network. Rather than require a central clearing house or exchange to validate a debit or credit, you can use Bitcoin to transfer value directly from one party to another. Again, there is no need for third-party verification.
The two discuss issues of security and the problem of energy consumption. They also contemplate the role of Wall Street in the cryptocurrency space, specifically its use of the Ethereum blockchain. They look at the role of government, regulations, and the adoption of blockchain technology by nations around the world. Andrew also gives his take on blockchain, and specifically Ethereum’s ability to create an entirely new Internet, built on the Ethereum blockchain.
If you have been looking for a great resource for explaining "what is Ethereum" or "what is blockchain," then you have come to the right place. One of Andrew Keys' main tasks as head of Global Business Development for Consensus Systems is to help educate potential users of this technology on how it all works. You won't be disappointed.
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