Computers Capable of Making Promises

Blockchains are like special computers. Regular computers need people to control them, but blockchains are different. They put the computer code in charge. They use a special method called a consensus mechanism to stay strong against changes. This means they can be trusted to keep working as they should, without people interfering.

This is a big deal because it means the computer can run itself without needing people to tell it what to do. Computers like this are super useful, especially in finance. Take Bitcoin, for example. It promises that there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins, making them valuable. Without a blockchain, it would be hard to trust this promise because people can change their minds. But with Bitcoin, the promise is locked in by the code.

Ethereum is another blockchain that can do even more. It lets you build all sorts of fancy programs that also make promises. For instance, Compound promises to be a fair lending system, and Maker Dao promises to keep a currency stable. People trust these promises because they’re backed by the code.

These blockchain applications are special because they hold money directly in the code. This means you only need to trust the code, not a person or a company. And the best part is, these applications can keep working even if the people who made them disappear!

But blockchains aren’t just for finance. People are also using them to redesign things like social networks and online marketplaces. With blockchains, users can trust that their data will stay private and that they won’t be kicked out without a fair reason. This makes the internet safer and fairer for everyone.

In a world where trust is shaky, blockchains offer a new way forward. They’re not just changing finance—they’re reshaping how we interact online and beyond. We’re only just scratching the surface of what these new computers can do, and the possibilities are endless!