Valkenburgh’s main aim was to help the committee understand the potential of blockchain technology and how it was an essential component of the internet in the near future.
The Director started by defining Bitcoin [BTC], its purpose and the reasons it was such a revolutionary concept. According to him, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency in the world and its functioning was possible because of the world’s first public blockchain network.
It was created to send and receive value to anybody in the world with the help of a computer and a basic internet connection. Furthermore, Bitcoin was revolutionary because it removed the role of a middleman.
Peter further stated that Bitcoin was the world’s first public digital payment infrastructure which was not owned by a single committee but was open to the general public and was not influenced by any corporation. He added:
“We have public information infrastructure to access websites and email, it’s called the Internet. However, the only public payments infrastructure that we have is cash, as in paper money, and it only works for face to face transactions”
According to him, prior to Bitcoins inception, individuals could not use the public infrastructure in order to make transactions over their phone or the internet. He added that individuals had to rely on private banks, who in turn had to add a ledger entry in their books to debit the sender and credit the receiver. Furthermore, if both the parties did not use the same bank then there would be multiple banks involved in multiple ledger entries.
On the other hand, Bitcoin was a digital asset and the ledger was the public blockchain where any individual could add an entry into the ledger by transferring their Bitcoin to another individual. Peter further stated:
“Anyone could use the public ledger, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, sex, or credit-worthiness can [for absolutely no cost] create a bitcoin address in order to receive payments digitally”