Bitcoin 101: Understanding the Real Value of the Blockchain

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One of the biggest challenges the Bitcoin community faces is figuring out how to educate people on why this is such a special invention. Part currency, part decentralized public ledger, part payment network, it’s easy to confuse newcomers when they start asking questions about how it all works.

A beautifully animated new video entitled Bitcoin Properly seeks to ease this frustration. The result of a collaboration between designers Patrick Loonstra and Sebas van den Brink, and entrepreneurs Lykle de Vries and Rutger van Zuidam, Bitcoin Properly points to the blockchain’s ability to replace trusted third parties, a necessity for worldwide commerce, as the key component in what makes this such a revolutionary discovery. You can view the video below:

In a press release for the video, the creators explained how the Blockchain “ensures that the essential functions of the ‘trusted third party’ are fully automatized through the internet” and that “this way, these functions are as freely available, accessible, and programmable as the internet itself.”

The video talks about applications for the blockchain beyond economic transactions and how this is made possible by the programmability of individual bitcoins. These include voting rights, shares in a company, automated health care allowances, and transparent government budgets. It also delves into use cases integrated with “the internet of things” where machines, like delivery drones and vending machines, purchase, re-stock, and verify new products automatically.

More than anything else, Bitcoin Properly is focused on the efficiency gains that people around the world can realize by cleverly utilizing the automatization features of Bitcoin. They say that this will allow us to “completely rebuild and innovate our financial sector and our administrative processes making them more efficient and transparent, and significantly decrease bureaucracy.”

Bitcoin Properly already seems to be accomplishing its stated goal of spurring constructive and critical discussion. A posting of the video on /r/Bitcoin gained over 800 upvotes and 166 comments and an ex-boardmember of the Dutch National Bank has posted the video on his site. It will also be competing with seven other films in the Animation category for the 2014 Bitfilm Awards.

The video is available in both Dutch and English and (if you didn’t realize from the names of the contributors) is a product of the Dutch Bitcoin community. Contributor Rutger van Zuidam, founder of, explained that part of the motivation for making the video was to positively impact the Netherlands’ tech sector. He said that the country has “all the assets to become Europe’s Silicon Valley of financial technology” and “the technology behind crypto currencies like Bitcoin plays an essential role in leveraging these opportunities.”

Fellow contributor Lykle de Vries added a global vision, saying that:

“Bitcoin is not the new money for internet, but it is the new internet for money, value and ownership in all forms. Crypto currencies like Bitcoin are the next step in the emancipation of all world citizens, and can help create a new dynamic for democracy, society and economy.”

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A beautifully animated new video entitled Bitcoin Properly seeks to ease this frustration. The result of a collaboration between designers Patrick Loonstra […]


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