Over a decade ago, a white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto was distributed to a cryptography mailing list outlining a novel proposal for a “peer to-peer electronic cash system” called bitcoin. This innovation spurred a new, global industry and asset class that has created hundreds of billions of dollars in value, and inspired a generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The advent of cryptocurrencies has led to the creation and operation of new global, decentralized networks that have been used by over 100 million people across the world to transfer trillions of dollars of value.
Bitcoin, for example, is more than just a technology – it is a powerful social, political and cultural movement that asks us to imagine money, banking and payments in new and novel ways. While cryptocurrencies are most often recognized as new monetary systems and financial networks, the public blockchain networks that they secure can be used to power diverse use cases and create new applications across industries.
These networks are constantly evolving through an opensource software ecosystem with globally distributed communities that upgrade, maintain and operate them. Innovators, entrepreneurs and engineers are rapidly building and bringing to market new products and solutions that provide access to or leverage these new networks.