[tc_contributor_byline cb_profile=”http://crunchbase.com/person/dan-morehead” slug=”dan-morehead”]
In the 14th century, the Medici family used the power of its newly invented, double-entry accounting system to build a cross-border banking empire that banks still use today. Now more than 600 years later, cross-border payments total more than $22 trillion.
These transactions are essential to conducting international business, and increasingly important as global commerce continues to expand — a 14th century process is simply not good enough. Medici’s system uses “nostro” and “vostro” accounts — in English that translates to “ours” and “yours.”
The bitcoin ledger, a two-column spreadsheet with who owns what, is simply the 21st-century version: 12 million rows — one for each person who owns bitcoin. The second column shows how many they own and that column totals 14 million bitcoins today. It’s a very clear public record of who owns what — one that does not require paying a third party to keep those accounts.
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