What Is Bitcoin by Google Group Product Manager

The hottest thing in the technology world at the moment is Bitcoin. But even if you know someone who has Bitcoin, do you really know what it is or how it works? What is so special about it?

Tyler Odean, former Group Product Manager at Google, and currently at Reddit, joined us to explain the beauty of the world’s largest cryptocurrency.



Former Group Product Manager at Google

Tyler Odean is a Director of Product at Reddit. Previously, he was a Group Product Manager at Google. There, he led a team of 9 Product Managers working on Chrome and led Google’s hiring committee for product manager job candidates.

He gained over eight years of product management experience at Google, starting as one of the first APM interns in 2008. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and another degree in Artificial Intelligence.


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the world’s first finite digital resource, a currency that no single person or organization can control – kind of like a digital gold. Unless you have a background in cryptography or economics or both, phrases like cold storage, hard fork, and segregated witness can all seem pretty cryptic.

Tyler Odean from Google gave an introduction to Bitcoin that covered questions like what Bitcoin is, how it works and why it matters. 

What Is Bitcoin by Google Group Product Manager


Bullet points:

  • Bitcoin is a digital currency, but then again so are all the other currencies nowadays, but Bitcoin is digital cash.
  • No other currency has had the following two properties that Bitcoin has:
    • Trustlessness
    • Permissionlessness
  • In its cash from the US dollar, for example, has the two properties mentioned above but when it’s put into a bank account, it loses them both.
  • To be money you have to guarantee two things:
    • Only you can spend your money.
    • You can only spend your money once.
  • Bitcoin is stored in mathematical addresses called “wallets” that are based on a pair of numbers called “keys.”
  • There are two types of “keys.”
    • Public ones to share with other people to send you money.
    • Private ones that are kind of like a password used to give signatures to tell the network that you are allowed to use the bitcoin at that address.
  • The secret about Bitcoin is that it doesn’t exist. What exists is the blockchain.
  • The blockchain is a shared public ledger listing every transaction in Bitcoin history.
  • Anyone can check someone else’s balance and transactions -> trustlessness
  • Bitcoin miners work as accountants that check and secure the blockchain. Anyone can become a miner -> permissionless.
  • Nobody knows if Bitcoin is good money, but it’s different from any other currency out there because it can’t be counterfeited, seized, censored or inflated. 
  • Interesting to read: Fat Protocols.

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