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Full Transparency

Besides being the first fully distributed, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, every aspect of bitcoin is fully transparent to anyone who wants to study the protocol rules for security/safety or peruse the “blockchain” in real-time on the web.

The blockchain is a living, dynamic, accounting ledger upon which every single network transaction has been, and is being, recorded in real-time. Thousands of cooperating Bitcoin “miners”, via an innovative, incentive-based, decision process that solves the Two Generals problem toil away 24 X 7 without ever sleeping. They are robot accountants that race against each other to verify the validity of “blocks” of transactions. Each winner gets to place its block at the head of the blockchain and collects a reward for its hard work. The reward consists of some newly minted bitcoins (25 BTC per block as of today) and a nominal fee from each transaction that appears in the block.

Once a block gets added to the blockchain, all the miners diligently get back to work on the next block of incoming transactions – no coffee breaks or water cooler gossiping for them. They’re all business and they don’t need any stinkin’ motivational speeches or performance improvement plans imposed on them by know-it-all supervisors and HR Nazis. The miner workforce is a tyrant manager’s dream team. 🙂

As you can see from the 15 minute snapshot below (snipped from Bitcoinmonitor.com), there were thousands of bitcoin transactions taking place as I wrote this post.

bitcoinmonitor

Notice the 1000 BTC transaction in the middle of the chart. At $200 BTC/USD, that represents a $200,000 transfer. If you watch the chart long enough, you’ll see some 10,000 BTC transactions taking place. Sheesh! Also notice that at the 5:51 UTC mark a lucky bitcoin miner has successfully added its block to the blockchain and collected its reward. Good for him/her!

Since I think the Bitcoinmonitor.com site is really useful, I sent the site owner a token of appreciation – in BTC of course:

btcsendAnd of course, I didn’t have to disclose any personal credit card information to do it. The ability to execute micro-payments instantaneously like I just did is one of the (many) big pluses propelling Bitcoin forward.

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