David Schwartz is the CTO for Ripple, which has seen a lot of progress in the last few months. CoinDesk has been trying to bring more attention to the cryptocurrency world and its progress lately with a series titled, “Bitcoin at 10: The Satoshi White Paper.” Schwartz recently became a part of the series with a new opinion piece called, “Bitcoin’s White Paper: The Blueprint for a Payments Model T.”
In the piece, he starts off with a discussion about a 1991 patent, which was submitted by him for a “multi-level distributed computer network.” At the time, the project he was working on required more PC power, so he aimed to disperse the tasks amongst multiple computers in a network, which was a “complicated task” as he worked on the development of that system.
He credits Satoshi’s whitepaper as the reason for not having that issue in the current industry. He called his reaction to the publication “enamored,” explaining,
“Outlined in the paper was a peer-to-peer payment system poised to disrupt the financial industry, one that gave people the power to conduct transactions across a distributed network without the need for trusted middlemen.”
He saw this as a reemergence of the original patent he filed, and he was “excited” to find that the market was ready for such a concept. He said,
“At the core of this white paper was the chance to democratize value exchange. It has the ability to protect consumers should another financial crisis hit by allowing them to continue exchanging money without high interest rates and inflation. Using cryptocurrency also prevents expensive transaction fees and promotes financial inclusion, especially in developing countries.”
He calls the ability to promote a decentralized network a major reason it was a “revolutionary concept” to the world. Rather than having to trust that every single transaction will go through properly in the financial work, Satoshi granted users “the ability to know where their money was every step of the way.” There was no need to trust any single entity, because every move was available for the world to see.
The reason that the article refers to this whitepaper as the “blueprint for a payments model T” is explained at this point. He wrote,
“I often compare this disruption to that of the Model T. Before it was created in 1908, cars were seen as a luxury item that most could not afford. The Model T was a practical and affordable option, democratizing the car industry. Soon after, others followed suit and started to create different types of affordable – and sometimes better – cars. Likewise, bitcoin was a catalyst for the industry, and thousands of others have since been inspired by it and iterated on blockchain technology.”
Still, Schwartz maintains a realistic perspective. It is possible that bitcoin could eventually fall by the wayside, but it is also possible that it could take over the world’s financial system. There is not any way to predict this right now, but there is an opportunity for more than one player will win, considering the many variations that have come from this single whitepaper.
Right now, the way that the world adapts to this current is truly the only catalyst that drives the world into what it will be. Even though Schwartz points out that the crypto world could never have been what it was without both Satoshi and Bitcoin, this industry is still nascent technology and a nascent market.
Schwartz concludes by saying,
“It’s always hard to imagine what applications the future holds for new technologies, but there is a clear pattern emerging in cases where technology has drastically increased the speed of something while simultaneously decreasing its cost.”
He points out that the internet and blockchain both did this for data exchange and payments, respectively.
Schwartz theorizes that, if this pattern remains the same,