I just submitted a proposal for a presentation for the 56th conference of the American Translators Association, to be held in Miami in November. The proposal is for a presentation in the Science and Technology track with the title “Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies – Illegal Money or a New Global Payment Option?” Admittedly, the topic is not directly related to translation, but after recently completing the first ever MOOC on digital currencies by an accredited academic institution, I think that it pays to keep informed about a potentially very disruptive technology such as Bitcoin.
Here’s the abstract:
Bitcoin has made headlines recently, as a means to finance illegal activities, as a vehicle for speculation, and as a new global peer-to-peer currency. The idea underlying Bitcoin solves the following problem: How do you prevent someone from spending electronic money more than once WITHOUT a central intermediary? However, the revolutionary concept behind cryptocurrencies has a much larger potential than mere monetary exchange, because this disruptive technology can also be used for applications such as smart contracts or even completely decentralized elections. The talk will give a basic introduction into these ideas. No advanced mathematical or cryptographical knowledge is needed.