How We Got to Blockchain

On Thursday, Bill Tai, a venture capitalist, was the keynote speaker for the program, The Ascent of Crypto – Blockchain Demystified, on the IBM Watson Marketing Stage. He broke down the facts during his seminar about a new technology that a lot of the world has yet to fully grasp or understand yet — blockchain.

Blockchain is the foundation of digital currency, or cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin. It works as a digital ledger that keeps public records of transactions and, in turn, makes universal exchanges through digital currencies more transparent.

Tai was able to get into Bitcoin in 2009 and through his work has taken many companies public. He is currently on the board of one of the largest bitcoin mining facilities.

First, Tai went through the history of technology to address how we have ended up where we are now. In Silicon Valley, the Homebrew Computer Club, 1975-1986, was interested in computers in the home and had a vision for that future. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates would attend different meetings with the members of the club and trade ideas of future technology.

Massive waves of technology have since followed, and each has been bigger and faster than the one before. The first wave was creating the computer chip, that in turn resulted in the second wave. The second wave of technology was the creation of more technologically sound computers, routers and switches that then led into networks. The internet was created and connected the computers with other home systems, which then led to where we are now: the worldwide web and different media platforms. The user interfaces used today have since led to data science, and once data science became applied, it has led to marketplaces.

According to Tai, in this digital age, every business is a cloud data-based business. If businesses are not yet, though, they are likely to disappear from the marketplace soon.

Bitcoin is an example of applied data science that has become a user-to-user network of transactions.

Bitcoin mirrors history; different types of currencies existed throughout the 13 original colonies until the United States decided to make a new, country-wide currency — the U.S. dollar. Bitcoin has become the currency that the whole world can use, just as the U.S. dollar became the currency all 13 colonies could use.

Advertisers can use blockchain to their benefit for consumers. According to Tai, blockchain is the backbone for different communities of interest. Blockchain gives this industry the ability to not be defined geographically and by local currency.

Blockchain allows all those in the media industry to have access to more reliable data that can be trusted and held accountable, and the larger it grows, the more immediately affected the world of media will become.

Allysan Melby

Allysan Melby

Writer at Advertising Week
Ally is a junior at the University of Wisconsin- Madison in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, double tracking in reporting and strategic communication while earning a certificate in digital studies. After college, she hopes to work in Public Relations or in large company as a brand journalist. Ally is very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Advertising Week New York this year and hopes to return to New York after graduation.
Allysan Melby

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