Digital Disruptors

New Kids on the Blockchain – Inside the Cryptocurrency Revolution

Fascinating documentary on the continuing global disruption driven by the Blockchain.

This video revolves around the Cryptocurrency Revolution in which Michael Moynihan, a Vice Correspondent, meets and talks to the very people who are driving this revolution.

Genesis Ethereum Mining Facility

At 00:26, he starts by introducing their trip to the Genesis Ethereum mine in Iceland, one of the world’s largest largest cryptocurrency mining facilities.

He is visiting the Genesis Mining facility with its co-founder, Marco Streng. Streng talks about how he started mining bitcoin in his dorm and nearly a decade later, this 28 year old digital currency enthusiast, established a lucrative crypto mining empire. Streng describes the Enigma facility as the largest Ethereum mining facility in the world. He talks about how years ago they started their foundation here and now are expanding because of an ever-growing demand.

At 01:22, the narrator mentions how you can either buy cryptocurrency or earn it by running a cryptocurrency mine, a network of computers that serve the backbone of the crypto economy. He talks about how Bitcoin grew by 10,000% in 2018. Streng explains how the machines in the facility are mining cryptocurrencies and validating the transactions made on blockchain. They go on to talk about how much the computers cost and how many are installed in a single warehouse to be able to perform these transactions.

At 02:23, the narrators explains how a pseudonymous programmer, Satoshi Nakamoto, created Bitcoin in 2009 but had to create blockchain to track the ownership of each Bitcoin. Streng talks about how there isn’t a single entity that validates transactions but miners all across the world who do so and this is making a central entity obsolete. Streng then talks about how some cryptocurrencies may actually be a scam and can fail but the underlying technology for Bitcoin and Ethereum is phenomenal and it’s quite unlikely that they will fail.

Russia’s outlook towards cryptocurrency

At 04:21, the narrator talks about how most governments are on to regulating digital currency and trying to build policies to centralize them, but countries like Russia have a very different perspective and are instead trying to integrate digital currency in their own economy.

The Ethereum Blockchain founder, Vitalik Buterin is introduced who is now creating awareness for his creation and it’s uses in business across the globe. Moynihan and Buterin sit down to talk about how the Russian Government hopes that Buterin’s technology is transformative for their finances. He goes on to talk about how in Feb 2011, he did a freelance project and got paid in Botcoin which developed his interest, he talks about how it gives a lot of options for interacting with each other without the use of banks.

At 09:00, Moynihan asks Taliya Minullina, the Head of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency, as to why they consider blockchain so important. She talks about how they want to create another Silicon Valley in Tatarstan for Russia and Buterin here is considered an IT hero for young people. Buterin meets with one of Putin’s powerful surrogates, Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan. The President had arranged a hackathon for Buterin where he was supposed to be one of the judges and the Star Guest as well, to help inspire a new generation of Russian Tech Leaders.

At 11:00, Roman Shaykhutdinov, Minister of Information and Communications, tells Moynihan about the high technology park that intends to support the IT industries and startups. They hope to produce people who can produce companies that can further produce technologies. He talks about the amount of IT people in the Russia and how Russia suffers from a brain drain as most of these talented people move to the US to work. He hopes that Russia can lead in blockchain. The narrator tells how in 2016 Putin was on the verge on banning cryptocurrency but suddenly took his decision back because he saw the hostility turn to opportunity that an anonymous, untraceable currency could help evade crippling international sanctions.

At 12:24, to conclude, US law makers figuring a policy out to regulate, Russia making major moves to integrate to avoid sanctions and also to undermine the power of the US dollar in international trade. Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Russia’s largest state investment bank, Vnesheconombank, recently signed a deal with Buterin to establish a new blockchain research institute. He tells Moynihan how essential it is for commercial banks and economies to evolve and not only accept but also integrate cryptocurrency otherwise they will end up in the Stone Ages in about 30 years from now.

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