Bitcoin is more often than not portrayed as a currency. Even more so a world currency, that has no borders and no central governing body to control it. This is certainly true and on the surface it seems to be one of the most disruptive technologies to come out since the internet itself, particularly for the payments industry. But this is truly just the beginning. As anyone who has seen my presentations can surely confirm my interest in bitcoin has grown far beyond the financial change it is currently spearheading, the true power of bitcoin is within the blockchain protocol itself.
In a world that rushes to become digital in almost every facet, we are constantly left with a question of how to integrate our analog assets into our digital properties. The blockchain may be our first true revelation towards that dream. How might you ask? Well, the blockchain has shown us the first true working system that allows a true transfer for a digital asset. To explain further, let’s apply this concept to the music and movie industry.
For the past 15 years, the music and movie industry has been fighting what seems to be a losing battle versus piracy, the unlicensed use or distribution of digital property. This was first seen with the birth of MP3 technology for music and a number of digital movie formats for film. Then, to grow the rat nest of piracy even further we find ourselves with bit torrent, which provides an easy way to distribute digital properties without relying on a single source. While this is certainly a great way to move digital goods globally, it also leads itself to a host of ethical issues regarding property rights. This is due to the simple fact that a digital property, in its current sense, can be copied without prejudice as often as someone may like. Hence we are left with a very simple way to move unauthorized digital products. Of course piracy is not a new hurdle for the music and film businesses, they have fought this battle versus VHS/cassette tape copying and even people holding camcorders in the theater themselves.
Bitcoin, or more specifically the blockchain protocol, provides a very unique solution to this long standing issue. As 2 key features of the blockchain can be applied here. First being the ability to prevent counterfeiting. As all bitcoin transactions must be approved by the majority of the network, the ability to counterfeit or copy becomes impossible. The second key feature of the blockchain involves transparency. Since the nature of the blockchain is a public ledger that tracks the transactional history of each coin, the network is able to identify the origin and current location of coin. These features create an exceptional option for distributing and maintaining digital assets. Now if you apply this to the music industry per say, digital music could be distributed in a similar format. Recording agencies would be able to distribute digital properties that cannot be copied and they could be tracked at all times. Of course this can expand far beyond just music as now this is the first time that a true single entity digital property could exist. House titles, car titles, and potentially even shares of a company could all be distributed in this format. Bitcoin is far more than a currency, it’s a protocol for change and The Coin Tree is at the center of it.
By: Andrew Durgee
CEO – The Coin Tree