Episode #11 –
The analogy that I’ve been using is that blockchain could do the financial and insurance industries what the information revolution did to our media or what Napster did to record companies.
WARNING: Some of this stuff is pretty complex. I spent a while on Wikipedia reading up on the things Kevin talks about just to write this post.
Kevin Owocki is a leader in the Boulder tech community and helps run Boulder Startup Week and leads the Boulder Blockchain Meetup group. He is also a co-host of the StartupCTO podcast.
Kevin’s most recent project blends his passion for building Open Source software and his interest in Blockchain as an industry disruptor. Kevin recently launched Gitcoin, a platform that for allows for an Open Source repo owner to create a bounty, or smart contract, using the Blockchain for someone to work on their project. What this means is Developers can choose which Open Source projects to work on and get paid in the cryptocurrency Etherium.
A little background on what some of this stuff means…
Open Source software
Most of the Internet and many of the devices we use each day to connect to it are built using Open Source software. From the Andriod phone in your pocket to the Chromebooks used in many schools, to the Apache webservers that serve up pages on your favorite website, chances are your experience on the Internet is due in large part to software that was created by an army of unpaid volunteers.
Anyone can download and use Open Source software, free of charge and free from restrictions. You can even download the source code and use it on your own projects or contribute your enhancements back to the original project, allowing everyone to share in the collective wisdom of Developers all over the world.
Bitcoin and Etherium are cryptocurrencies that are built using Open Source and are independent of any centralized organization. This means no government or bank is needed to complete a financial transaction using a cryptocurrency because the transaction ledger is stored in on the Blockchain. Super strong encryption is used to ensure the integrity of the Blockchain so any tampering or attempts to break the Blockchain are automatically detected and discarded. The Blockchain can be used for more than just financial transactions, Kevin talks about a few examples of using Blockchain to create Smart Contracts that take the place of brokers or officials.
GitCoin has a strong potential to change the way Open Source software is developed. There are thousands of old and stale code repositories that no one contributes towards. Using GitCoin the ower of that repository can now attract developers to contribute to their project and reward them using Etherium, streamlining the transaction.