Rise of Decentralized Technology: Introducing Bitcoin to Startup Weekend Vancouver
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
In the beginning, it started out as a movement, discussed about only by the early adopters and the most inquisitive of minds. Today, decentralized software and bitcoin are the talk of tech and startup communities across the world.
To give Startup Weekend Vancouver participants an opportunity to understand these new technologies, organizers are working with multiple individuals and companies within the field to make dapps (decentralized apps) and bitcoin technology a major feature of the event. Before we get started however, there’s some explaining to do.
What’s the big deal behind decentralization?
Aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley are working hard to understand and embrace the idea of decentralization for very good reasons. Decentralization allows contribution and sharing of ideas by people and entities from around the world. Wikipedia, Linux, Ubuntu exist today due to the combined endeavour of various people and entities unbound from centralized authority to correct and censor their work on a common project.
Expanding the scope of projects, dapps can be truly impactful and positively change how society operates. "The tech can be used for various purposes such as voting, issuing stock, creating decentralized organizational models, and even incentivizing a completely decentralized internet," states Cameron Gray; a member of Decentral Vancouver, an incubator powered by ideas behind bitcoin. Dapps and decentralized software, utilizing the unique talents and backgrounds of each individual, has the potential to truly be the work of geniuses.
Wait.... bit what?
For the uninitiated, bitcoin is an online payment system where balances are kept using a wallet software consisting of public and private "keys".
"Public keys" (comparable to a bank account number), serve as an address number published to the world and which others may send bitcoin(s).
"Private keys" (similar to the function of a debit card/credit pin), is used to permit bitcoin transmission and thus kept private.
How are bitcoins regulated and what advantages are gained using bitcoin?
The balances and bitcoin transactions between the public and private keys are kept on public ledgers calculated and verified by a decentralized network of computers owned and operated by various individuals and entities. The networks used to keep and verify the public ledger are also known as "miners".
Miners are incentivized to lend their computing power by earning transaction fees (paid in bitcoin) as well as release of new bitcoins. Miners are the decentralized authority as they contribute computational power to verify ledgers and ensure the credibility of the network. This makes bitcoin a self regulating currency without the need for third party mediation thus lowering the transactional costs between the balances of various bitcoin keys.
To regulate bitcoin value, production is limited to 21 million. Bitcoins are released at a fixed but periodically declining rate until the production cap has been reached.
Sounds complicated, how’s Startup Weekend Vancouver going to implement this?
Easily. Organizers and volunteers will help curious participants set-up their own bitcoin wallet to purchase drinks at the event. "The exercise will serve as a gateway to bitcoin tech where participants may use it as the foundation of their idea or incorporate it as a feature," exclaimed Freddy, also a member of Decentral Vancouver.
Mentors within the bitcoin market will be onsite to educate and mentor teams that have an idea related to the topic. The possibilities are endless.
Vancouver Community Bitcoin Block
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