Uses of the Blockchain

This video is part of a larger online course, “From Barter to Bitcoin: Society, Technology and the Future of Money” run by Prof. Bill Maurer and Prof. Donald J. Patterson In addition to the video on YouTube there is a variety of other content available to students enrolled in the class.

“In 2008, a person calling himself or herself or themselves Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper suggesting a system for an anonymous, peer-to-peer alternative money. Bitcoin was born. Although not the first digital currency ever proposed, nor the first challenger to fiat money, bitcoin is the first to have captured the broad imagination of speculators, coders, regulators, criminals and the mass media. This course puts Bitcoin in context: how do we understand money as a social, political and technological phenomenon? From discussions of ancient transactions to the rise of state-issued currencies, we will explore the social and technical aspects of bitcoin, its predecessors and potential successors, and how its features echo aspects of many different historical transaction systems. No prior knowledge of economics or computing is required.

There is little academic writing on bitcoin. And this may be the first truly academic class on the topic. We want to put bitcoin in a wider perspective, to reflect on what it means for society, politics and economics, as well as how it helps us think about money both a social and a technical phenomenon. This class is not an advanced seminar on bitcoin–we will not be delving deeply into the inner workings of the system, but instead providing a bird’s-eye overview with enough technical detail for you to be able to put media stories, hype and hope around bitcoin in perspective. Similarly, this is not a class in monetary economics–we won’t go too deeply into monetary theory or policy, the money supply, or inflation. Instead the class invites you to think more deeply about one of the oldest systems of technology on the planet, and most ubiquitous: money, whether coin, cash, credit card or cryptocurrency, we humans have been making money for most of the past 10,000 years. How we do so in the future is a question bitcoin just maybe helps us answer.”
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Brock Pierce: Blockchain technology Get ready for the future of finance with Bitcoin Foundation chair Brock Pierce as he leads us through the exciting new world of Blockchain. Brock’s unique insight as a premiere venture capitalist and pioneer of emerging methods of finance will leave you yearning for a future with no intermediary financial institutions. Blockchain represents the epitome of disruptive technology, challenging transactions as we know it.


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ABOUT BROCK PIERCE: Brock Pierce is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with an extensive track record of founding, advising and investing in disruptive businesses. He pioneered the market for digital currency in games and has raised more than 0 million for companies he founded. Brock is an early investor in Bitcoin, founding board member of Omni, and one of the largest investors in the Ethereum crowd sale. He is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and founder and Managing Partner of Blockchain Capital, the first sector-focused venture fund that invests in Blockchain technology companies (more than 40 to date) and the Bitcoin ecosystem.
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10 thoughts on “Uses of the Blockchain”

  1. I understand what BLOCKCHAIN as used for banking, finance as well as investments. But can it be applied to store and manage information or data for any entity whether its personal, business even for a government? And if it does, how safe is it from any tempering or unwanted access by hackers, online criminals, intelligence agencies?

  2. Constantin Ursu

    Very interesting indeed. Do you, by any chance, have any other information (articles, videos, papers, etc.) regarding blockchain-based voting system? thank you

  3. The recording, registering, and tracking of assets (digital or otherwise) is already available and working in the Digital Rights Exchange (DRE) provided by Xeden Cloud Concepts. The DRE allows you to control access grants to the data lodged in your library, registered entries can be public or private, plus it's supported by other relational applications. It's currently used for registering, storing, and tracking digital art, music, software, medical records, financial and legal documents. You can check it out at

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