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Bitcoin, Truthcoin, and Augur

How does one introduce a decentralized application, such as Augur, without first discussing Bitcoin? It’s impossible.


However, understanding Bitcoin is not something that occurs over night, or even after attending a lecture or two. It is an intellectual undertaking that requires several stages of thought to understand:

  1. What is a “bit coin?”
  2. Internet money that no one controls?! Sounds like a scam to me.
  3. It’s definitely a Ponzi scheme.
  4. It has existed for six years and had virtually no security breaches and is used all around the globe?
  5. FinTech and software billionaires, foreign governments, technology companies, and the financial services industry have all enthusiastically, or at least grudgingly, accepted its usefulness?
  6. There are no transaction fees, no matter where I send it in the world, IN LESS THAN TEN MINUTES?!
  7. Okay, I might be okay with this bitcoin stuff. But, what is this “block chain” everyone is talking about?
  8. Holy $&@#!
  9. This technology is going to change the world!
  10. Oh my gosh, this technology is already transforming the world!… How do I get involved?

Somewhere between steps 1 and 10?  Excellent educational resources can be found at:
Khan Academy
And CoinDesk, among others.

For the techno-libertarian/anarchist-sect, many of these steps were passed over, and thus explain the strong ideological roots of some of Bitcoin’s early adopters. Others, such as I, were not thoroughly convinced that this technology could last. In fact, it took me over two years to embrace bitcoin (the cryptocurrency), and even longer to understand the blockchain. But it is at those final stages, when Bitcoin (the protocol) is understood, and a grasp of the blockchain materializes, that the almost cult-like dedication to the technology emerges. More importantly, this dedication leads to individuals imagining revolutionary applications for the blockchain, day in and day out.


One of the most disruptive of these ideas is Truthcoin, a decentralized prediction market platform, which was originally outlined by Yale statistician, Paul Sztorc, just over a year and a half ago. That idea is now being turned into a reality by the extremely talented team of developers at Augur.

We have six programmers, with specialties ranging from Bitcoin Core hacking to web development to cryptography, people with PhDs spanning from biophysics to mathematics. And then there’s me, Jeremy; I’ll be narrating the incredible journey that’s due to take place over the course of the next half year, as we prepare for our May Day crowdsale and subsequent software launch. I’ll also bring in guest writers from the “Bitcoin 2.0″ space, the legal field, and academia.


It’s going to be a wild ride.


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Be sure not to miss our first guest post by none other than Vitalik Buterin, the brilliant mind behind Ethereum, another amazing project being developed that I strongly encourage you to check out!

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