A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 14): Conclusion

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I’m hoping that if you’ve read all of these articles you’ll have a much better idea of how Bitcoin works technically.  This was my original aim for the series.  I also hope that you can understand why people are excited about it and the underlying technology solution, and why maybe some of that excitement is a little overdone.

Personal Opinion

If you’ve read this series of articles then you’ve probably guessed my own personal opinion by now.  I think Bitcoin is crazy genius.  It’s not a form of distributed system that I would have thought could even work.  The combination of features that I listed in the first section of this series of articles is pretty much unique to Bitcoin and its derivatives.

Having said that I don’t think that systems built on Bitcoin’s technology are a solution for all distributed computing problems, or even a major class of them.  So-called ‘private blockchains’ are much less exciting, but may prove to be more useful in the long run.

Also, in its current form I think Bitcoin is fatally flawed technically, and, worse than that, is actively evil because of the amount of fossil fuel and computer power it uses.  As long as these flaws remain then I don’t think there’s any way that Bitcoin or systems based on its technology are going to revolutionize the world.  It’s possible the flaws can be fixed.  I personally hope so.  However, there are massive incentives to fix them and no-one’s managed to yet.

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