Megatrend Bitcoin Zahlungssystem Zukunft Digitalisierung Arnheim
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The Mega Trend Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralized network. The system is formed by a world-spanning network of nodes that take on equal roles. Nodes are all computers connected to the peer-to-peer network that communicate with each other. Among other things, this principle de-centrality ensures that the Bitcoin payment system is so secure. This makes Bitcoin a child of its time, because decentralization has become a mega trend.

Mega Trends Are Changing the World

Mega trends permeate all sectors of society. They influence social values, politics, and economics and advance through to the lifeworld of the individual. Futurologist Mathias Horx describes mega trends as “processes of change that change the world in the long term, sustainably and complexly”, and he coined the picture of “avalanches in slow motion”.

The Institute for Trend and Future Research (ITZ), Heidelberg, defines five major mega trends: decentralization, health, globalization, mobility, neo-ecology. Broken down to concrete questions, these trends are reflected in the topics of the current social debate. Anyone opening a daily newspaper or reading a news portal will find these topics on every page. Connectivity, Decentralization, Interconnectedness

With regard to the mega trend of decentralization, it becomes apparent that it is accompanied by equality on the one hand and individualization on the other. Hierarchical, authoritarian systems, centrally controlled, seem to have survived, at least in Western societies. Horx speaks of the mega trend connectivity, others of networking. Together with decentralization, they describe the same phenomenon. The strongest technical drivers of this development are digitization and the Internet as a communication medium.

The decentralization of information takes place on a broad basis in social media. For a long time now, the classic mass media are no longer the gatekeepers of information, but everyone has the opportunity to speak out publicly via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other services. Economic organizations, for instance, show decentralization in their so-called “flat hierarchies”. In principle, they are nothing other than the decentralization of hierarchical, centralized structures.

The increasingly widespread practice of the home office can also be seen as a visible decentralization of the working world. The development of decentralization in the energy sector means on the producer side to generate electrical energy where it is consumed. This leads to the avoidance of line losses. In the wake of the energy transition the trend is becoming increasingly important.

Decentralized Systems Are Stable and Secure

Bitcoin is another result of this mega trend. The Bitcoin blockchain makes the so-called ‘trusted third parties’ superfluous. It is the institutions that control the interaction between two parties. In the case of money, it is the central and commercial banks. Due to the principle of equality among the nodes as well as the elimination of banks, the system Bitcoin is tamper-resistant.

If one or more nodes fail – for whatever reason – the Bitcoin system will continue to operate without any impairment. The number of nodes involved in the system is not constant at all, but rather constantly changing. This can be seen in the hash rate, the total computing power of the Bitcoin system. It is subject to constant fluctuations.

Even if nodes were to attempt manipulations of the system by feeding invalid transactions into the network, it would become obvious immediately, since nodes control each other. At the same time, censorship or manipulation of transactions are excluded, even in retrospect. Control over the network is not subject to individuals, organizations, or interest groups, but to the entirety of the nodes and the blockchain algorithm.

This looks quite different in a centralized system controlled from one central point. If the central point is manipulated, it works incorrectly or fails completely entailing serious consequences for the entire system. This has been demonstrated in the major economic crisis that began in 2007 as a financial crisis in which the central function of the banks was impaired or failed.

Not surprisingly, Goldman Sachs describes Bitcoin itself as part of a technological mega trend that could change the underlying mechanisms of transactions in a report titled “The Future of Finance: Redefining the Way We Pay in the Next Decade.” According to Goldman Sachs analysts, Bitcoin’s most important feature is that it allows us to transfer assets without a central clearing authority. “Distributed networks are inherently safer and more reliable because of their open source nature, and there is not a single point of failure,” notes the report. Bitcoin itself agrees with Goldman Sachs’ assessment, because the report was published in 2015 and Bitcoin has grown successfully in the past four years.

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References

Guest Author at NEWS BTC. (2015). Bitcoin is a Megatrend, says Goldman Sachs. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.newsbtc.com/2015/03/12/bitcoin-is-a-megatrend-says-goldman-sachs/.

itz: Institut für Trend- und Zukunftsforschung. (2018). Megatrends. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://www.zukunftsinstitut.de/dossier/megatrends/.

itz: Institut für Trend- und Zukunftsforschung. (2018). Über uns. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://www.zukunftpassiert.de/über-uns/.

Möser, M., & Pesch, P. (2015). Bitcoin: Auf Innovation programmiert: Kryptografische Währungen wie Bitcoin stehen für eine neue Ära digitaler Transaktionen – mit enormen Innovationspotenzialen. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.zukunftsinstitut.de/artikel/bitcoin-auf-innovation-programmiert/.