Blockchain Technology's Three Generations

In a study produced by the Global Innovation Policy Center for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, global online piracy costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion and as much as $71 billion in lost domestic revenues each year.

While this figure is significant, it doesn't take into account the annual losses to the U.S. economy in jobs and in the reduced gross domestic product (GDP). The report estimates digital video piracy results in between $47.5 billion and $115.3 billion in reduced U.S. GDP per year along with losses of between 230,000 and 560,000 jobs.

To be sure, media companies have taken steps to protect their content from piracy, but this has not been enough to fully cut off the process. Now, analysts have speculated that blockchain technology could potentially play a role in the control of this content and the protection against piracy going forward.

Stage 1: Bitcoin and Digital Currencies

While the ideas that would go into the blockchain were swirling around in computer science communities, it was the pseudonymous developer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, who outlined the blockchain as we know it in the white paper for BTC. In this way, blockchain technology began with the Bitcoin network. While blockchain has since gone on to see use in a huge variety of other areas, in some sense it was designed specially for this digital currency and for advancing the goals of digital currencies more broadly.