ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – How do you explain cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the simplest way possible?
By recreating it with paper.
It was an exercise organized by Virginia Tech computer science professor Shaddi Hassan, who with economics professor Elinor Benami came to the Rockbridge Farm Bureau.
“I said: What’s this bitcoin?” said Farm Bureau President Mac Smith, explaining how the meeting came about. “Does anybody understand it? Nobody had a clue.”
It doesn’t seem a natural connection to working the fields and raising livestock, and indeed, being such a new technology, it’s still searching for its place in agriculture.
“You see a lot more people who are talking about it,” said Prof. Benami. “I think there are some small experiments that are happening, but it’s not, not really something upscaled yet.”
“It’s not what I thought it was, the mining,” Smith said. “I don’t know, I knew it was these gigantic buildings and so forth, but I, I don’t know.”
Leading many here to think that this high tech development may not yet be ready for the farm, but may one day solve contract and payment problems faced in agriculture.
“I think it was well received,” Smith concluded. “I think people left here with some basic understanding of what it is.”
“And it’s still being tested out,” Benami said, “and I think again that there’s a lot more discussion of what is possible and relatively few experiments where it’s been put into practice.”
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