An Introduction to Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology
Counsel Greg Xethalis discusses the impact of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, as well as Kaye Scholer's primer on these exciting new IT breakthroughs.
Trying to explain Bitcoin in short form is no easy task, but it greatly helps when one understands what it is—and what it is not.
Bitcoin is both an information technology breakthrough and an intangible unit of account underpinning a decentralized computer network of users. Bitcoin is not a company or company product, and contrary to many news reports, it is not anonymous and was not built for bad actors. Bitcoin technology began to enter the public discourse in 2011, largely through the association as an anonymous payment system used on illicit and underground websites. As with most innovations described first in tabloid format, the story mischaracterized the breakthrough and failed to touch on the most important and varied potentials of what Bitcoin and its associated "Blockchain" technology promise.
This primer will attempt to reboot your introduction to Bitcoin and convey some of the reasons why many in the information technology and financial sectors are excited about the area and its promise. A glossary of common terms also appears at the end of the primer.