Cryptocurrency Expert Visits ISET: What Is Bitcoin and Why Will It Change the World
Tuesday, 04 December, 2018

Did you know what Georgia produces most and what the share of its production worldwide is? Wine and copper seem the obvious answers – but these would be wrong. The answer is, in fact, cryptocurrency: 15% of all Bitcoins in the world are mined in Georgia, perhaps a disproportionate figure given the country’s small size. On December 4, Andrew Thornhill, a co-founder of Spotcoin, gave a lecture at ISET entitled “What is Bitcoin and why will it change the world”.

Mr. Thornhill has built high-volume payment networks on three continents, and more than one billion dollars of payments have cycled through Andrew’s networks. Leveraging his vast experience, he is now concentrating fully on the digital currency ecosystem. ISET was very fortunate to host such an authoritative speaker on cryptocurrency.

Though people might have an idea of what Bitcoin is, hardly anyone knows why it was created. The answer lies in the financial crisis of 2008; banks that should have been the guarantors of keeping people’s money safer than it would be under their mattresses, utterly failed to meet expectations. In 2008, many banks in the US went bankrupt due to the fact that they invested in high-risk loans and other investment opportunities. Demand then emerged for a currency that would not be controlled by any intermediary. As a response, Bitcoin was created. To store a Bitcoin, you simply need to create a Bitcoin account that acts the same way as a physical wallet, and nobody except you can take decisions on how to manage it. Bitcoin transactions are validated by everyone offering their computers to record the transactions. Thus, similar to the banking system, there is proof of transfer in case someone claims otherwise. But why would anyone want to spend money on validating transactions? The answer is simple: those who turn first to validate transactions earn Bitcoins.

Whether Bitcoin will revolutionize the world the same way the internet did several decades ago remains to be seen. Until then we would like to express our gratitude to Andrew Thornhill for a very eye-opening lecture.