Bitcoin Time Running Faster Than Internet Time

Adam Back who is the CEO of Blockstream, inventor of the hashcash proof-of-work (PoW) system later used in bitcoin’s mining algorithm has said that “bitcoin time” seems to be running faster than the “internet time” of the early dotcom era.

Adam made his remarks during a panel at the Bitcoin 2019 conference in San Francisco on June 26.

Following a discussion of hashcash’s inception as well as various early electronic money inventions such as digicash, Back noted that bitcoin had broken through with Satoshi’s decentralized vision and his solution to counter hyperinflation by fixing the coin’s supply curve.

He said: “Bitcoin has come much further and much faster than people expected,” “There was a saying in the early dotcom era about “internet time,” and […] bitcoin time […] seems to be moving even faster.”

He argued that it is challenging to keep up with the pace of new ideas and implementations in the crypto sphere, and that new areas for innovation are yet to be realized:

“Because blockchain and bearer electronic cash is a whole new building block and it has implications with smart contracts. It’s sort of like picking up a new programming language with a new paradigm, and it takes a while for people to natively understand it.”

He said that for all crypto innovations, trade-offs as regards privacy and security exist, but that incremental improvements such as Schnorr signatures continue to be made:

“It strikes me that there are still major discoveries about the implications of the tech being found […] we’re still at early stages for what can be built […] and it’s surprising the number of things you can build on layers above it that retain interesting properties of what’s beneath.”

He also likened the space of proliferating crypto assets to “TCIP/IP — so that there’s one interoperable standard and it’s a lingua franca for exchanging value.”