You've probably heard of Bitcoin by now, but have you heard of Ethereum?
If you have twenty minutes to watch a video about Bitcoin, this is the one to watch. It's for both programmers and non, explaining how Bitcoin works in a way everyone can understand. The main take away is we finally have a way to trust people without having to trust anyone. Wait. What?
Before the Bitcoin breakthrough there was only one way to trust people: trust a company to police everyone. You may not trust the dude sending you money on PayPal, but you trust PayPal. In a post-Bitcoin world, now you can trust someone sending you money without a company like PayPal; kind of like the internet itself. No one company runs the internet. Words like "distributed" and "decentralized" get tossed around haphazardly, but take a minute and think about how fundamental of a shift Bitcoin has made with money, and then let's talk about Ethereum.
Aren't there lots of things in our lives controlled by a single company because that was our only option? Domain registration is a good example. Of course one central authority must be the gatekeeper to answer the question who owns the domain acme.com ,right? Or is ICANN acting like the company PayPal in the previous example?
How about storing a file on the cloud? You need Dropbox right? They will manage controlling who has access to the file and control your amount of storage right? Or is Dropbox like PayPal and ICANN?
Ethereum turns everything we know about trust upside down. Bitcoin, the currency, is just one example of removing a central authority. But the far more important point about the success of Bitcoin is how this is just the beginning, and howwe are going to do this over and over again for everything--not just currency.
I'm not saying PayPal, ICANN, and Dropbox are going away. These companies will change and adapt to this new world and this transition will take many years. Dropbox might offer new services that help you store files in a different way once the trust issue changes.
Here at Bitium we think about enterprise identity access management. Your company has many employees, all using many different cloud apps, each with its own username and password. Employees come, employees go, and passwords sometimes don't follow. Right now Bitium acts like PayPal and ICANN, in that we ask that you trust us to manage your passwords and (even though I'm biased) it's a good deal. Not using a system like Bitium puts you in an even worse position vis-à-vis security.
But in a world with Ethereum, where is enterprise identity access management heading? We should be able to offer you the current feature set of Bitium without asking for your trust. How exactly that works is what we are working on today. Oh and we're hiring.