When asked what an irony is, I always like to say ‘Bitcoin came into the world’.
Why irony you wonder?
Well, Bitcoin came into the world in November 2008 as an academic paper sent by Satoshi Nakamoto to his friends in a forum of familiar cryptographers.
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System said its title - a digital cash system based on a peer-to-peer network. The irony lies in the fact that 2008 was the opening shot for one of the biggest financial crises the world has seen, affecting us even today, almost 10 years later - and here now, comes a decentralized digital currency that brings back some of the power to the public.
Imagine that you are sitting with me on a bench in a public garden, and on the bench opposite even sit 2 adults watching us. I hold an apple and you have two shekels. You are interested in buying the apple from me for two shekels.
I agree to the deal, we both know it happened - and we even have two more witnesses to it. Now, imagine that the apple is a digital apple. You correspond with me by e-mail, and offer me 2 digital shekels in exchange for my digital apple. At no point, you can know for sure that I do not have the same interaction with 2 other people, and that I can not encrypt the digital apple in any way, so I will receive 6 digital shekels (from the three negotiators with me), but at the same time I sent the digital apple to the three of you. And only one got it.
This problem is called the double waste problem, and until Bitcoin - no solution has been found.