About This Website
The Down the Rabbit Hole website is designed to provide an easy-to-understand source of information relating to the blockchain, its usage and its future. This site will constantly be updated with current information to help you understand more about the blockchain and beyond … in the format your prefer:
The blockchain is complicated and can be confusing and we want to make it easier for you to understand what is going on.
As the producer of this site and author of the Blockchain book Down the Rabbit Hole: Discover the Power of the Blockchain, I was in your shoes back in 2015 – discovering, one layer at a time, how powerful this technology could really be.
My personal story of discovery is detailed below, which highlights why I decided to produce easy-to-understand content for you:Introduction to my personal voyage of discovery
Why is the site called "Down the Rabbit Hole"?
What is the Blockchain?
A simple Example of how the Blockchain will Disrupt Banking
Why is the Blockchain so Important?
Why Go Down the Rabbit Hole?
Back in late 2015, I was networking at the Blockchain Workshops, here in Sydney. The event was full of the world’s best, and brightest, cryptographic brains. I met more PhD’s at that one event than I have met in my entire life! I was swimming in an ocean of uber-intelligence. Everything was fine until I asked one question…
“How Do You Describe the Blockchain in 5 words ?!”
One after the other, delegates eyes gazed over with longing lust towards the vol-au-vents. I was left in an uncomfortable wall of silence, surrounded by blank looks with that “Are you for real?” grimace. The question was an affront to their collective cerebral cortexes, the size of six solar systems combined.
The answers were delivered with almost indifferent enthusiasm:
- “Crypto 2.0”
- “Decentralised Database”
- “Distributed Ledger Technology
Whilst their answers were all highly valid – none easily describe what the blockchain can actually do; what it can do for business, that business needs it to do.
Their technical answers reflected where the technology was and, frankly, still is – lodged firmly within the technical community.
In fairness, it is very difficult to describe the technology easily and as Mark Twain is often quoted as saying :
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it tends to rhyme!”
Quite frankly, I wish it did when it comes to the blockchain…
When the internet was first described by Al Gore as “The Information Super Highway” everyone got it; the media got it. They had a visual metaphor of what the technology could do. It helped take the internet mainstream – people could describe it quickly. We haven’t been so lucky with the blockchain.
It is complex, has so many applications and, most importantly has deep-seated power and potential – but it is very difficult to describe easily.
This was the driver for me to write Down the Rabbit Hole.
I wanted to provide content for business people and non-technical people, like you and me, to help you understand and get beneath the Blockchain, to see its power and potential from a practical perspective. I wanted to bring the technology alive, making it feel real through global use cases across multiple industries and multiple nations – without needing a Phd in Cryptography and social awkwardness.
I saw, and continue to see, my role as that of a translator. My commitment is to take complex ideas and break them down into easy, bite-sized pieces in such a way as to give you a clear handle on the technology, its capabilities and, perhaps most importantly, to help you to see what the technology can do that you need it to do. In a nutshell I want to help you capitalize on the potential of the blockchain in a practical way.
When I first had my journey of discovery into the Blockchain back in early 2015, after some mild earlier flirtation with bitcoin in 2011 (and no, I didn’t buy – much to my chagrin…) I kept hearing people say:
“Once you go Down the Blockchain Rabbit Hole you will never come back!”
As I made my journey this phrase resonated with me.
It made me think about Alice in Wonderland...
When Alice followed the White Rabbit Down the Rabbit Hole, she had no idea who or what she would face; from the Mad Hatter and the March Hare through to the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts. But Down the Rabbit Hole she found "Wonderland", a new world full of riches and challenges that would change her life forever, making her look at her existing world in a completely different way…and so it is with the Blockchain.
Blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin – the world’s first cryptocurrency – a digital currency that is based upon cryptography. Now get ready for your eyes to glaze over for just 20 seconds…
From a technical perspective, it is a
“Peer to peer database that is immutable”
In other words, once the database has been written to it cannot be altered.”
Now in the book, Down The Rabbit Hole I explain this in far greater detail and show you why this is important - all in plain English so you can understand what appears to be technical jibberish.
But, to put you out of your short-term misery, let me give you a very simple example of how this technology can, and is, being used and how it can benefit you, me… everyone.
I am originally from Brighton on the South Coast in the UK but live in Sydney, Australia. I still have some funds in a bank in Brighton. Here’s my dilemma
It is quicker for me to:
- Fly from Sydney to Heathrow (24 hour flight)
- Drive down to Brighton on the South Coast of the UK
- Pop into my bank and pick up the cash.
- Go onto Brighton Pier, pick up a “kiss-me-quick” hat and enjoy the Uk’s contribution to haute cuisine – yes you’ve got it – fish and chips
- Drive back to Heathrow
- Fly from Heathrow to Sydney
Than it is to go via the banking system.
If I transfer money from the UK to Australia the banks:
- Charge around $50 for the privilege
- Give an exchange rate that is c 2.5%-4% below the market rate
- And then proceed to tell us it will take three days to transfer the funds
Now, that kind of sucks, doesn’t it? Why is it that it takes 3 days? In today’s world of instant gratification, yesterday is already too late!!
With crypotcurrencies, you can transfer funds internationally in near real-time. For example, with Bitcoin for an international transfer
- The costs are typically between 3-5c (yes that is cents – although these fees can vary, which is a bit of a downside)
- the exchange rate is market rate less fees converting to and from bitcoin at both ends (usually around 0.5% - 1.2% in total)
- it clears in 60 minutes (and some cryptocurrencies are enabling near immediate transfer)
This is just the tip of a massive, financial iceberg.
With some clever lateral thought and the use of some blockchain “magic dust”, through what are termed as "smart contracts", you could potentially remove the need for:
- even lawyers
This is already happening. For example :
- Estonia is using the blockchain for births, deaths, marriages
- Steemit is a social media blogging site is gaining traction that rewards people for high quality content that engages with communities – all paid in cryptocurrencies.
- The UK government is actively considering the blockchain for their property registers.
The blockchain is here to stay and Down the Rabbit Hole, is designed to give you the tools to understand and shape your own ideas and your own opportunities.
The Blockchain is a technology that comes along once in a generation. It’s raw, but steeped full of potential – just like the internet was 20 years ago. Just consider the behemoth brands that have been created because of internet-based technologies – Facebook, Google, Amazon and Uber to mention but a few. Will the Blockchain create similar brands?
The Venture Capital community seems to think so. They have invested over $4bn of pure Venture Capital funds into the space so far with so much more on its way. There has also been over $20bn raised by what are known as "Initial Coin Offerings". In addition:
- IBM were reported to be committing $200m to blending IoT (Internet of Things), Blockchain, and Watson, their Artificial Intelligence component, and
- WangXiang in China were reported to be committing $30bn funds over seven years for innovation within Smart Cities, which combine IoT and the blockchain.
Venture Capital funds will follow behind to ensure that start-ups fill the vacuum of innovation that will be needed to fill these spaces. We are at the very beginning of a significant and seismic tsunami of disruption, most of which is currently bubbling deep under the surface, carefully hidden away – until now.
But here’s the challenge; the Blockchain is a very deep, very wide and very complex technology that we have already seen is very hard to describe easily. It brings together a whole raft of different technologies and ideas, but brings with it a new technological dimension that is a geek’s paradise – cryptography.
Cryptography is in the very DNA of Blockchain technology. With it, it has the potential to remove the need for trusted third parties – replacing them in the longer term with cryptographically protected computer code. Just think about that for one moment. Who are the trusted entities in our society?
These include bankers, lawyers, accountants, insurers. The list goes on. Each will be facing disruption with the potential that ultimately computer code could replace them. Perhaps that job could be yours?
Why Go Down the Rabbit Hole?
Whatever your role, Down the Rabbit Hole will give you a practical hands-on guide to the technology and its potential. Whether you want to :
- Make your organisation more effective
- Make yourself more valuable in your marketplace
- Make your business more competitive
- Teach your clients more about the technology and its implications or
- Become the new Mark Zuckerberg
Down the Rabbit Hole will have something for you. It’ s all in non-technical English, seeking to minimize jargon wherever possible, and includes heaps of global use cases that will help give you a practical insight into how the Blockchain is being used. It also looks at the challenges and weaknesses you will face in dealing with many of the realities of adopting or driving the adoption of the technology.
By distilling the complexity of the Blockchain into components that are easy to understand and digest, you will fast-track yourself to be at the leading edge of 21st-century business thinking.
Like Alice when she followed the White Rabbit into Wonderland, all you need is an open mind to have your eyes opened to the green field of explosive opportunities in the Blockchain space that are waiting for you Down the Rabbit Hole.
Want to get an easy-to-understand primer on the blockchain in plain English ?
Why not have a look at the Down the Rabbit Hole book now - you can view the first 30 pages of the book free to see if it is for you or not. Just click here. (You can also buy the book from this link if you wish). Whatever you do, whether it is buying Down the Rabbit Hole or other material, just get into this space yesterday - the opportunities are just too good to miss!!
The Down the Rabbit Hole podcast
The Down the Rabbit Hole podcast addresses the realities of how the blockchain is evolving as it continues its meandering journey towards commercialisation. We interview key stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem and beyond to give you first-hand insights into the technology, its adoption and to help you to assess the potential future scenarios, to deal with the challenges and to welcome the new sets of opportunities.
Just drop us a quick email to let us know and we will put you on our mailing list to be notified of its launch.
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