Listicles

The 10 Best TED Talks on Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency

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Image Credit: TED Talks

TED Talks are awesome, so what better way to learn about Bitcoin, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency than with a TED Talk binge session?

1. What the #?!* Is Bitcoin?

If you have no idea what Bitcoin is, then this talk by Jeremy Rubin is a good place to start. Computer scientist Jeremy was the technical director of MIT’s Bitcoin project, a project which gave $100 worth of Bitcoin to every single college student back in 2014. That’s not all, he’s the co-founder of blockchain project Tidbit, MIT digital currency initiative, and chairs MIT’s Scaling Bitcoin conference. Suffice to say, he’s worked with Bitcoin for a long time.

You don’t need to be a graduate to understand this excellent talk. Jeremy confidently guides you through Bitcoin from the perspective of someone who knows nothing. Watch this talk and you’ll be amazing your friends in no time!

If you’d rather read about Bitcoin, then we’ve got a quick and dirty guide to Bitcoin you can read right now.

2. The Blockchain Explained Simply

Once you have an understanding of Bitcoin, you can begin looking deeper into the blockchain technology which underpins all cryptocurrencies. In this TEDx talk, Bitcoin Educator & Entrepreneur Lorne Lantz provides a comprehensive overview of how blockchains work. Not only does Lorne buy his lunch every day with Bitcoin, but he’s given talks on blockchain at companies such as PayPal.

This short talk offers one of the best video explanations around and does so in less than 15 minutes—impressive stuff!

3. At the Speed of Money: How Cryptocurrency Will Transform Everything

After a solid introduction to both Bitcoin and blockchain, cryptocurrency is the next topic. Dr. David Z. Morris predicted in 2015 that cryptocurrencies are the future, and we are only just seeing the beginning of these projects. While this talk is longer than the previous two at 22 minutes, it’s well worth a watch. In it, you’ll gain an understanding of several different cryptocurrency projects, and how almost every aspect of our lives may well change due to cryptocurrencies.

4. Cryptocurrencies – Cool, So What?

If you’re still unsure about cryptocurrencies, then this youth talk from Elyse Barg is perfect for you. Coming in at 14 minutes long, and receiving less than 1500 views, its popularity in no way reflects on the quality of the content. Elyse clearly and confidently explains cryptocurrency, with simple analogies to the turmoil historically impacting Wall Street.

Produced in October 2018, this talk has yet to go mainstream, but it’s only a matter of time. If you can only watch one video today, then make it this one!

5. The Future of Blockchain

Chelsea Rustrum explores the possibility of cryptocurrency becoming the global norm. What would everyday life look like with Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) as popular as Visa, PayPal, or the dollar is?

Not only does she paint the picture of what a society powered by cryptocurrency might look like, but she wonderfully weaves the blockchain into everyday life. Tasks such as getting the bus, or ordering groceries, have the potential to be transformed by blockchain technology. While blockchain technology has a way to go yet, the future discussed in this short talk is far from science fiction.

6. How I Built a Bitcoin Empire

This talk from Marco Streng is a fascinating look into the life of a Bitcoin visionary and businessman. CEO of Genesis Mining, one of the largest cloud-mining Bitcoin providers around. If you’re looking to start your own Bitcoin empire (or any cryptocurrency for that matter), then learning from Marco’s experiences is an excellent place to start.

Trained as a mathematician, Marco’s talk covers all aspects of his journey from nothing to chief executive officer. He even goes into details about his early foray into mining, with six graphics cards running inside a milk crate.

7. Blockchain and Crypto: Past, Present, and Future

Douglas J. Pepe is a commercial lawyer who often represents large financial corporations. This unique perspective on the traditional stock exchanges gives him a competitive edge, and he’s been working on developing cryptocurrency trading algorithms. As cryptocurrency projects become more widely known, Douglas has started giving regulatory advice on cryptocurrencies at his day job.

In this talk, Douglas (who himself is a Bitcoin miner) provides an overview of the past, present, and future of Bitcoin. This talk presents several ideas for our future with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but you’ll want to watch some of the videos mentioned above first, as this talk does not discuss how Bitcoin and other blockchain projects work.

8. Digital Currencies like Bitcoin Are Coming Very Fast

This look at the future of Bitcoin comes from Juan Llanos. Born and raised in Argentina, Juan experienced first hand the financial struggles of his country. Problems such as a 12,000% inflation rate in one year, along with the meltdown and distrust of the Argentine Peso.

Through these experiences and drawing comparisons to many other struggling countries, Juan presents a compelling argument for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Problems such as corruption, lack of financial providers, and hyperinflation are all solved with the use of Bitcoin. Juan explains how blockchains may handle more than just financial transactions in the future, such as tamper-proof voting, or secure contracts.

9. How the Blockchain Is Changing Money and Business

Moving away from Bitcoin-specific videos, Don Tapscott presents an excellent talk on the blockchain. This highly polished and well-delivered presentation covers every aspect of the blockchain. If you’re not sure on what blockchain is, then this talk is an excellent place to start. Despite running into nearly 20 minutes, Don is such a good speaker that you won’t notice the time.

10. How Blockchain Can Transform India

This final talk focusses on India, but the principles discussed can and are being used in countries all over the world. Jaspreet Bindra is the former Chief Digital Officer of Mahindra Group, a 20 Billion dollar car company based in India. This talk touches briefly on what Bitcoin is, drawing on simple comparisons between cryptocurrencies and the Internet. Focussing on distributed trust, this talk provides an excellent insight into the potential for blockchain projects to transform entire countries.

These quality TED talks show just home much enthusiasm, excitement, and knowledge there is in all things crypto. If you’ve watched all ten videos, but still have no idea what it’s all about, then take a look at our what is blockchain guide.

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Joe Coburn
Joe is a senior software developer with a degree in computer science from the University of Lincoln, UK. He is currently a Senior Writer for Blocks Decoded. Formerly, he was on the editorial team. As a writer at MakeUseOf, Joe has seen his work shared by Adobe, the Arduino Foundation, and Lifehacker. He has collaborated with Anker, BenQ, iStock, Ledger, Ultimate Ears, and many more. Joe loves all aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, particularly the technical details.
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