The invention of the printing press in the Middle Ages was probably the greatest turning point that humanity experienced until the invention of Bitcoin and the Blockchain. The irruption of the printing press allowed a very simple fact: books could be copied with a speed never seen before and their impact was incalculable. It was a definitive death blow to the absolute powers, monarchies, and the Church, spreading knowledge to make it available to the people, something that the centralized powers kept to themselves during the ten centuries that the Middle Ages lasted.
The printing press completely changed the Western culture and world history, allowing the elimination of centralized powers that seemed immovable. Until the invention of the printing press in 1453, knowledge was transmitted through manuscripts made by monks in closed monasteries and totally isolated from the people. The printing press allowed the process of copying at a speed never seen before and in a matter of a few years, the writings reached a huge audience thanks to the dissemination of knowledge and the lowering of production costs.
While monks had the power to control writing throughout Europe, literacy rates were negligible. When the copying of books began to be carried out by the printers, they were governed by the subjects that were most requested and printed on request. Once the previous censorship was overcome, there was freedom to print books on different topics and this circle was opening over the years.
When the church and absolute monarchies lost the power to control absolutely everything that was printed, the spread of ideas contrary to feudalism and established religion spread throughout Europe.
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The invention of the printing press revolutionized culture by expanding the number of potential readers, as more books were available at very low cost. Literacy received a huge boost, never seen before.
But probably the most significant and revolutionary event since the invention of the printing press was carried out by an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther, who started one of the greatest revolutions in history in Germany.
Luther published a few writings called Questioning the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (the famous 95 theses that Luther apparently nailed to the doors of the Wittenberg Palace church) in 1517, ushering in a new era whose effects on religion, culture, sociology, and economics are still present today.
Luther's ideas would have remained an anecdote had it not been for their dissemination quickly and cheaply thanks to the invention of the printing press. The printing press made the 95 theses spread throughout Europe in a few months.
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The printing press served as a tool to bring the Bible closer to the faithful. Until that time, the reading and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures was a monopoly of the clergy. From the moment the reformers began to defend a direct dialogue between man and God, it became the right of all believers.
If Protestantism reached our days, and today about 900 million faithful make it the second most important branch of Christianity, it was thanks to its political importance. The challenge to papal authority was combined with the challenge to imperial power represented in Charles V. Many German princes saw in Luther an opportunity to free themselves from the control of Rome, embroiled in intrigues and alliances, and from the imperial control itself. Unfortunately, this division, the Schism of the Church, would lead to the wars of religion that bled Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Wars due to an invention for peace such as the printing press. Human stupidity knows no bounds.
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And of course, many of you must have already made an analogy between the printing press and blockchain.
In the 90s, we had another quiet and little understood revolution. Although the first computer network in the world was the ARPANET, created in 1968 by the United States Department of Defense, we had to wait until the 90s for the Internet, the “new printing press”, to become the new cultural paradigm of humanity. The Internet as we know it today has a fundamental underlying technical idea, which is the open architecture network. A key concept of the Internet is that it was not designed just for an application, but as a general infrastructure in which new applications can be conceived, as with the World Wide Web later became clear.
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Unfortunately, some 30 years later, the Internet has become an oligopoly of companies that, in some cases, are much more powerful than many countries. Human stupidity has no limits, although in this case, the disease of power is the main cause of encompassing and devouring. The information was supposed to be available to anyone with a device and an internet connection. But the cost is very high, the person has to hand over his/her data and his/her privacy to the giants that supposedly make a better world available. The fallacy of equality is latent on the Internet.
In any case, the Internet was the tool that allowed the conception of a decentralized world in which people can really participate on equal terms. But that only saw the light in the second decade of the new century, with the invention of the technology called a blockchain.
On November 1, 2008, a person (or group of people), identified by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, sent a message to a cryptography mailing list describing a project to create a digital currency that could serve for accounting and for a transfer value. In this way, Bitcoin was born.
At the end of 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a research article explaining the fundamentals of bitcoin, a new digital currency based on open-source software and P2P technology. In the document, he included an email address through which he exchanged emails for two and a half years with the community that helped him develop it. The system was intended to eliminate banks from the economic equation, eliminate commissions, preserve privacy in transactions and facilitate micropayments between people.
At the moment, there is a direct relationship between blockchain and cryptocurrencies, or, rather, between people who know the least about the subject, between blockchain and Bitcoin.
Just as the common man of the Middle Ages could not realize the revolution that the printing press was setting in motion, the common man of 30 years ago could not imagine where the new Internet technology was leading us, and the same is true today with blockchain technology. People think, spurred on by a hostile television in the hands of concentrated corporations that are about to lose all the power they have due to the invention of the blockchain, that "this whole blockchain thing is for drug dealers to launder money" or that " It is a bubble that is going to burst and everything is going to return to normal”.
It doesn't help many charlatans like Elon Musk who prefers to receive order cancellations for his Tesla cars by speaking inaccuracies about the environment and scaring thousands of uninformed ignorant people who had bought crypto to get rich. Musk, did you calculate how much the 25,000 bank branches spend daily on electricity plus the transportation of all employees to the branches to fulfill their obnoxious banking functions? Are you a mere market manipulator?
The truth is that the direction that things are taking is overwhelmingly auspicious, considering the projects that are underway and those that are to come, taking advantage of the talent distributed throughout the world of developers who are making contact with the new technology every day. The tree of possibilities that blockchain opens up to us is so great that no one can predict what will be the next course of humanity.
Taking BTC and ETH out of the analysis, the panorama that opens with new daily projects speaks to us of a future that is worth living.
Basically, any type of information that needs to be preserved intact and that must remain available can be stored on the blockchain in a secure, decentralized, and cheaper way than through intermediaries. In addition, if this information is stored encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, since only those who have the encryption key can access it.
For example, let's imagine what motivated entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world can do by developing applications on distributed platforms that are already underway such as MATIC, ARK, ANT, ELA, ALGO, HBAR, ELROND, OCEAN, WAVES, AKRO, SOL, ZILLIQA, ONT. Each with its own consensus algorithms and distinctive features that allow scalability, security, and decentralization to be expanded. Here, developers owe us easier access ramps, to allow anyone who does not know the intricacies of technology, can still access its use, in the same way, that a smartphone can be used by anyone without having any idea of how does it work.
Let's imagine the union of the fiat and crypto universes with projects like SWIPE.
What will be the future of art and artists when they begin to fearlessly handle projects like AUDIUS, THETA, and WAX, called the king of the NFTs?
What will the world be like when people begin to understand that household appliances are interconnected to each other to feed artificial intelligence algorithms and improve the performance of family units and the urban complex? Projects such as IOTA, CLA, HNT, and several others work for this.
The storage and ownership of the data will have a totally different format with decentralized solutions such as FIL and IFPS.
The criticized and controversial insurance industry can take a totally different path from controversial to collaborative with a project like NXM. A 180-degree change that takes power away from the large financial corporations that are dedicated to the insurance industry.
What will happen if unique, controversial and totally different cryptocurrencies like STA and AMPL grow in acceptance?
What will trading be like once millennials and youngsters start trading through decentralized exchanges like ViteX, FTX, 0x, LRC, and SRM, breaking the centralized model of the traditional financial industry?
One of the most complex and misleading industries, such as the mass advertising industry, is on the way to a total remodeling with blockchain-based projects such as BAT, PRE, and ADX.
The oracles have served for the moment to bring information from the real world to the typically closed systems of a blockchain. But a project like UMA apparently can diametrically change the way oracles work.
As the process of mass adoption of crypto progresses, retailers around the world, the hotel industry, the passenger transport industry, the entertainment industry will have no choice but to accept the currencies that will be used the most to trade in the day by day, like BCH, DASH, and NANO.
The tokens of exchanges such as BNB and KuCoin will become a currency of daily use for the enormous amount of transactions that young people will make in the next ten years, being that the use of decentralized exchanges will become a daily necessity, to make compatible the various types of payments that they will receive in the new work modalities that will employ them.
And what will happen to the current DeFi star, and to currencies like YFI, FARM, and CAKE? YFI has issued only 30,000 coins and today a YFI is worth much more than a BTC! Is DeFi a new unknown state of international finance?
And what about “secret” cryptocurrencies like Zcash and Monero? Will they be accepted for "secret transactions"?
Let's not forget that fiat money is a debt of the state to us, while cryptocurrencies are assets, they are not a debt of anyone against anyone. This is the great paradigm shift of money. A traditional market is a simple clearinghouse in which debts of both parties are flushed, while a cryptocurrency market is an exchange of assets. Nobody owes anybody anything.
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As usual, none of the things written in this post are financial advice and are not intended to replace personal research.
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