We can find first traces of the idea of a blockchain back to the 90’s. In those years, Cyberpunks and libertarians were spreading the ideology of a free an anonymous internet.
These two groups were both sceptical about the government authority. So their aim was not only to navigate anonymously, but also to send value and documents without being tracked.
Cyberpunks were a group of people who used technology as means to identify themselves, and helped them to rebel society, while libertarians were just searching for a method that can maximize the autonomy and the power of the individual over the governments.
The Technologies That Supported The Ideology
The blockchain was born thanks to the combination of three technologies created during the 80’s:
· Peer to peer networks: this system serves as alternative for the classic client-server model. It allows each computer to share its computational source and is both consumer and suppliers of the “energy of the system”. This can happen thanks to the symmetric communication among the “nodes” that implies self-organization and automated control among the system.
· Cryptography: this technology permits to encrypt and decrypt a document or file. The encrypting algorithm make a file a compressed alphanumeric string that is impossible to compute back. The result is called “hash”.
· Digital timestamping: This technology determines the exact time and order in which a document was created or modified. Combined with the hash of a file, it not only optimizes the encryption and decryption algorithms, but also creates the basis for the consensus in the system, since everyone could track the story of each document.
The beginning of the blockchain
The combination of these technologies and ideologies led to the first prototype of a blockchain in 1992, thanks to the models of Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. In 1992 they designed a system that allows to incorporate documents in one block.
These were the basis for the “Bitcoin Whitepaper”, a document issued in 2008 by a person (or a group) called Satoshi Nakamoto.
In the whitepaper you should find all the features and objective of a cryptocurrency.
Indeed, this white paper explained step by step the combination of the three technologies mentioned above plus the “Hashcash”. The latter is a feature that permits to sign a block without a centralized signature.
Adding what is missing: Ethereum smart contracts
In 2013 the visionary Vitalik Buterin realized what the blockchain really missed. Vitalik, a very skilled blockchain programmer, understood that the blockchain needed an environment in which people could freely add functions through codes.
These programs, called “smart contracts”, allow users to make transactions on determined conditions.
Since smart contracts process information from external factors to the blockchain, users have been able to create “decentralized applications” (dApps), of which smart contracts are at the core.
Vitalik thought of Ethereum not only a system, where people can exchange value, but also contracts and assets.
The TaoDust ideology
At TaoDust we aim to create an equity crowdfunding platform, in which people from all over the world can invest. In consequence we create a liquid and boundless market.
We believe that everyone should be able to invest without barriers, so we use the blockchain technology to democratize investments and make investors free from third parties.
This is the first part of a series on the history of the blockchain. Read part 2 here
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