The IT Gamechanger for Business: Ethereum or Web 2.0

February 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

This week I came across a new technology that will be a gamechanger for the web. Basically it is a framework for an improved web, especially in relation to business transactions.

In 2008, an anonymous programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto,  published a white paper proposing the creation of currency designed for the digital age using blockchain technology. He also created the website The direct result has been the creation and use of the now famous Bitcoin, of which some $14 billion are now in circulation.

What is more significant is that the underlying technology, “blockchain,” has a broader application. Enter the young Russian researcher and programmer, Vitalik Buerin, who wrote his own white paper proposing an improved version of the same kind of technology with wider applications. This platform allows for the creation of not only of new cryptocurrencies such as Bicoin, but also such things as “smart contracts,” improved legal documents such as land titles, pricing and trading with platforms that are immune to many of the hacks, tampering, spam and fraud that web 1.0 is so vulnerable to.

Even though it has no direct and immediate application for the PAK7 initiative and mission agencies generally, it will be useful for such tasks as creating more secure platforms, creating and using contracts and secure, free transfers of funds. These things can be done now, but it will take time before they become standard business practices.

Forward looking businesses such as Microsoft, IBM and Goldman Sachs have recognized the potential in blockchain and have moved to try to get in on the action early.

For the more technically minded folks, Wikipedia describes Ethereum as follows:


Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality.[1][2] It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a value token called “ether”, which can be transferred between participants and is used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to prevent spam on the network and allocate resources proportionally to the incentive offered by the request.[3][4][5][6]

Ethereum was initially proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale during July–August 2014.[7] The system went live on 30 July 2015.

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