The story of blockchain began with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009 by an unknown person or group using the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto." Bitcoin was the first decentralized digital currency, which means that it operates independently of any central authority or institution. Bitcoin uses a technology called blockchain to secure and verify transactions on the network.
To understand the context of the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, it's important to understand the history of the US dollar and the role of the Federal Reserve bank. The US dollar has been the dominant currency in the world since the end of World War II, but its history dates back much further. The US dollar was first established as a currency in 1792, with the passage of the Coinage Act.
The Federal Reserve bank was founded in 1913 to address financial crises and provide a more stable monetary system. However, the Federal Reserve's role in the US economy has been controversial. Critics argue that the centralized authority of the Federal Reserve has led to the manipulation of the money supply, contributing to inflation and devaluation of the currency.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not backed by any government or institution. Instead, their value is determined by the market demand for them. This makes them more volatile than fiat (government backed) currencies, but also more resistant to inflation and government manipulation.
Created in 2015, Ethereum was the first blockchain platform to enable the development of smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements with the terms of the agreement written directly into the code. This capability has enabled developers to create decentralized applications (dApps) on the Ethereum network, including decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, prediction markets, and more.
Cardano represents a major advancement in the capabilities of blockchain technology. Launched in 2017, Cardano was designed to be more sustainable, scalable, and secure than Ethereum. Cardano uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which makes it more environmentally friendly than Bitcoin's proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism and less likely to become centralized over time.
Cardano's developers have a deep respect the scientific method and peer-review process. This has drawn together an eclectic global community of blockchain enthusiasts who view the network as a more secure and balanced version of Ethereum with a higher chance of sustainability in the long run.
Blockchain has enormous potential to disrupt and transform a wide range of industries. The blockchain's transparency and security make it an ideal solution for tracking the provenance of goods, reducing fraud and corruption in government, and even potentially eliminating the need for traditional financial intermediaries.
Cardano enables the development of dApps that will change the world for the better. Every person holding ADA (Cardano's native currency) in a secure digital wallet owns a piece of the network's vast capabilities.