For the uninitiated, the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology can be daunting, confusing, and difficult to understand. Three industry experts and a skeptical economist explore the past, present, and future of burgeoning technology in a new online educational series.
Masterclass is a web-based educational platform that offers ‘lessons’ from subject matter experts in their areas of influence. You can learn how to cook with Gordon Ramsay, explore the art of acting with Natalie Portman or master the tennis racket with Serena Williams.
Her newly launched series on cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and Web3 follows similarly. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, A16z General Partner Chris Dixon, Coinbase President Emilie Choi and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman delve into the ins and outs of this topic that is gradually changing the way we transact and use the Internet.
Cointelegraph has been granted exclusive access to the series, which begins with an introduction to cryptocurrency and a comprehensive look at the start of blockchain technology. In typical Masterclass fashion, the episodes are exquisitely produced, with trusted experts providing anecdotes and answering the questions most relevant to newcomers to space.
Zhao summarizes the evolution of technology by highlighting how the internet has allowed humanity to transfer information, while blockchain builds on this by promoting value transfer. Meanwhile, Choi offered a more relevant insight, pressing the power of decentralization to return control to individuals:
“Cryptography is universal by default as long as you have some kind of internet connection. This is especially important for people who have been turned away from the traditional financial system.”
Dixon is a prominent voice throughout the series, lending his expertise as a well-known tech and cryptocurrency entrepreneur and Web3 evangelist. His introductory thoughts on the series set the tone for Web3’s influence on the ever-evolving Internet: “The big question now is how those new networks will be created in the next year of the Internet, who will own them, who will control them and who will make the money.”
Crypto History – Rooted in Bitcoin
Zhao takes a central role as the Masterclass covers the history of cryptocurrency. Rooted in cryptography and the need to solve the problem of a Byzantine general, Zhao deciphers these notions before delving into the mystery that is Bitcoin.
Pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
With the 2008 financial crisis as a starting point, the Binance CEO points to the publication of the Bitcoin white paper as a seminal moment for the cryptocurrency and Web3 we know and use today. The famous Bitcoin Pizza is also on display, due to its significance as the first commercial transaction using Bitcoin.
The development of Ethereum is another focal point as a way for entrepreneurs to enter the cryptocurrency ecosystem thanks to smart contract functionality and the ability to issue ERC-20 tokens.
The concept of “freedom” is mentioned by Zhao and Dixon, the former noting that the core value is desirable for both libertarians and “militant anarchists”. Dixon concludes the chapter with a quote from author William Gibson: