A docu-series by TechCrunch walks us through the life of Bitcoin and the blockchain.
Over the course of six mini episodes, viewers will watch the birth of this decentralized technology as it flourishes into the virtual currency we know it today. Based on Nathaniel Popper’s book, Digital Gold, TechCrunch gathered the many names within the industry, including Popper, Gavin Andresen, Bobby Lee and Roger Ver, to breakdown the highs and lows of Bitcoin.
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder and inventor, makes an appearance in the first and fourth episode. He recalls how he got into Bitcoin. Buterin said, “I had discovered Bitcoin back in 2011. Actually the first time I heard about it, my dad told me about it.” Buterin became heavily involved within the community where he eventually founded Bitcoin Magazine.
By the fourth episode, a few applications and companies admitted to being blockchain agnostic; meaning they are open to working with any blockchain that suits their platform. This smoothly transitioned into Popper’s introduction of Ethereum as a “more ambitious” vision than Bitcoin. One reason being Ethereum allows organizations and information to flow through its network.
Episode Five switches its narrative to focus on Ethereum and its blockchain. The “decentralized global computer”, as Popper describes it, operates through a network of computers that analyzes and verifies computations in order to store a wide variety of information, unlike Bitcoin which stores financial information.
The episode follows Buterin to one Moscow meetup where he says, “Bitcoin has the wrong approach. I would say Ethereum boasts features and opportunities to do things Bitcoin doesn’t. It’s like saying that a telephone can beat an orange.”
Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys, points out Ethereum will become the “decentralized World Wide Web” that we all will use. For example, someone can create a decentralized Facebook. Instead of using Facebook, which will store all personal information on centralized servers, this new decentralized Facebook will be a peer-2-peer application.
While the episode highlights the differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin, it does mention the DAO attack where an attacker legally moved $60 million into a child DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). Most organizations would see this as a downfall, but Ethereum used this as a learning experience. It would take some time for the attacker to retrieve this money due to the contract’s code, so Ethereum used this time wisely to decide their next steps. This ultimately led to the hard fork in July.
To watch the Ethereum episode, click here.