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Author Topic: How Do You Explain Bitcoin to Non-Technical People?  (Read 1749 times)
dancupid
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May 23, 2013, 03:25:56 PM
 #21

How would one explain the "safety" of the coins? For example, a lot of people suggest storing the coins on your own computer. This means if people take in their PC for repairs or sell them, they are risking losing everything. Plus people can get viruses that take them.

I think therefore you have to explain something with the public-private-key-architecture. One address is a public key and everybody can see it. When you create an addess you create a related private key, which no one knows. This key is a long number stored at you computer, so you should store it on a place where no one can spy it out (malware), but not accidently delete it. Because the public key can be seen as a post box, which only can be opened by the private key. So when Alice wants to send 5 BTC to Bob, she goes to her box, which only she can open and take the bitcoin in here pants pocket. Then she takes a ride to Bobs place and throw the bitcoin in his post box. Now the bitcoin belongs to Bob and only he can spend it, because only he owns the key to that post box.

Of course, nowadays post boxes are digital. Today you send emails no letters.

Like the house key the owner can make a spare key. I would recommend to store the key in different places (usb sticks) in different ways. I have my bitcoins on 2 usb sticks. Onytime stored in a truecrypt container, the other one with a brain wallet. The crucial part is to remember the (unique) long password. But that is only reasonable for greater amounts (which I don't have, but maybe in the future so I want to test Smiley )



This is an awesome explanation. Does anyone have any ideas of other things? I'm going to try and run this information through someone today and see if they have any more confusion.

What I want to do is after everything is "clear," create an explanation that can easily be shared to help out others. Even if it only helps bring on a few people, that's a great start!

Really, public key - private key should be called public lock - private key.
I have a key - here's the lock, lock up anything you want with it - I have the key.
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According to NIST and ECRYPT II, the cryptographic algorithms used in Bitcoin are expected to be strong until at least 2030. (After that, it will not be too difficult to transition to different algorithms.)
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ranlo
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May 23, 2013, 03:32:23 PM
 #22

Really, public key - private key should be called public lock - private key.
I have a key - here's the lock, lock up anything you want with it - I have the key.


Wow, that is a good way to look at it. It makes a lot more sense that way too. Noted it down. It is really a great analogy.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




















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porcupine87
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May 23, 2013, 03:49:04 PM
 #23

Really, public key - private key should be called public lock - private key.
I have a key - here's the lock, lock up anything you want with it - I have the key.


Wow, that is a good way to look at it. It makes a lot more sense that way too. Noted it down. It is really a great analogy.

Yeah I first wanted to call it lock, but for me it is more unterstandable with the post box. Because people will always imagine physical coins, physical locks, physical keys. And how can you shut a physical coin with a lock? You need some kind of container. And a post box is such a container where you can throw in something but once you throwns in something, it is lost for you. And noone else can enter that box.

"Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work - whereas economics represents how it actually does work." Freakonomics
dancupid
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May 23, 2013, 04:03:15 PM
 #24

Really, public key - private key should be called public lock - private key.
I have a key - here's the lock, lock up anything you want with it - I have the key.


Wow, that is a good way to look at it. It makes a lot more sense that way too. Noted it down. It is really a great analogy.

Yeah I first wanted to call it lock, but for me it is more unterstandable with the post box. Because people will always imagine physical coins, physical locks, physical keys. And how can you shut a physical coin with a lock? You need some kind of container. And a post box is such a container where you can throw in something but once you throwns in something, it is lost for you. And noone else can enter that box.

Yeah it makes sense for bitcoin - here's the address of my post box, feel free to deposit money in it, but only I have the key to open it.
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May 23, 2013, 04:05:15 PM
 #25

I saw some great Bitcoin video tutorials on khan academy recently.. they would be probably be really helpful in understanding how it all works. I'll try and find the link..
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May 23, 2013, 04:07:28 PM
 #26

Wow, just checked, they have a whole Bitcoin section now!

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance/money-and-banking/bitcoin/
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May 23, 2013, 04:26:17 PM
 #27

Wow, just checked, they have a whole Bitcoin section now!

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance/money-and-banking/bitcoin/

Wow, that is VERY helpful. Thanks for the heads-up!


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




















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1Peter
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May 23, 2013, 04:33:32 PM
 #28

Wow, just checked, they have a whole Bitcoin section now!

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance/money-and-banking/bitcoin/

Wow, that is VERY helpful. Thanks for the heads-up!

No probs!

I'm actually going through it again myself.. fascinating!
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May 23, 2013, 05:01:24 PM
 #29

I really like this explanation of a room full of locked clear piggy-banks

https://medium.com/bitcoins-digital-currency/a9a8c094feaf

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. - Thomas Jefferson
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May 23, 2013, 05:03:57 PM
 #30

I really like this explanation of a room full of locked clear piggy-banks

https://medium.com/bitcoins-digital-currency/a9a8c094feaf

Wow, and there goes our answer. After reading through that, it really does explain it all very well. Saving that link to share when trying to explain things to people, Smiley.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




















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kik1977
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May 23, 2013, 05:07:58 PM
 #31

Wow, just checked, they have a whole Bitcoin section now!

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance/money-and-banking/bitcoin/

Wow, that is VERY helpful. Thanks for the heads-up!

No probs!

I'm actually going through it again myself.. fascinating!

I just finished this morning watching them. They are great and very detailed and I truly enjoyed watching them....BUT...there is a lot of technical staff that you absolutely don't want to use to introduce someone into bitcoins. Expecially because an average user of bitcoin doesn't need to understand all the technical stuff but the principle and how to use it.  My work is doinf training, and one of the modules I teach is on Bitcoin. Something I always say is that bitcoins are like a bike: you don't need to know the physic behind it, why it stands and doesn't fall down, you just need to learn how to use it (unless you are a mechanic or are particularly interested in it!!).

And actually I use the same analogy Purcupine explained, the postal box... i think it's great and makes it easy to understand. For transactions and the blockchain, I use the analogy of a shop's ledger in which you register transactions in a book (block) once it's finished you close it and put the report on the new one (the hash) and put the old one in a library (blockchain).

just in a few words Smiley

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ThatDGuy
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May 23, 2013, 05:48:36 PM
 #32

Wow, just checked, they have a whole Bitcoin section now!

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/core-finance/money-and-banking/bitcoin/

Wow, that is VERY helpful. Thanks for the heads-up!

No probs!

I'm actually going through it again myself.. fascinating!

I just finished this morning watching them. They are great and very detailed and I truly enjoyed watching them....BUT...there is a lot of technical staff that you absolutely don't want to use to introduce someone into bitcoins. Expecially because an average user of bitcoin doesn't need to understand all the technical stuff but the principle and how to use it.  My work is doinf training, and one of the modules I teach is on Bitcoin. Something I always say is that bitcoins are like a bike: you don't need to know the physic behind it, why it stands and doesn't fall down, you just need to learn how to use it (unless you are a mechanic or are particularly interested in it!!).

And actually I use the same analogy Purcupine explained, the postal box... i think it's great and makes it easy to understand. For transactions and the blockchain, I use the analogy of a shop's ledger in which you register transactions in a book (block) once it's finished you close it and put the report on the new one (the hash) and put the old one in a library (blockchain).

just in a few words Smiley

Agreed that there is a lot of information there, there's a diverse group of potential new users in the market and being able to communicate with all of them effectively is important!

I watched this interview with Gavin Andresen on this Triangulation show after seeing someone post it a week or so ago, and while it is an hour long, is a really simple but comprehensive overview.  I would recommend it to anyone with an interest but maybe not as much technical interest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYo7q5Lkk1w
johnyj
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May 24, 2013, 07:20:34 AM
 #33

No need to explain, if people are interested, they already have all the necessary basic IT/Finance knowledge to understand the cryptocurrency

Just like the democracy for human rights, the democracy for money comes when people have gained enough knowledge about finance so that they understand the importance of maintain their financial rights

bitbitcoins
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May 24, 2013, 07:57:51 AM
 #34

read that conference ... you do not need any technical knowledges to understand !
http://evoorhees.blogspot.de/

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