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Title Story: Blockchain – This will change Society

Interview with Don Tapscott

Titel Story Blickchain: Interview with Don Tapscott - IoT

What does blockchain mean for the financial services industry?
Banks are up for serious disruption – or transformation, depending on how they approach this issue. In Blockchain Revolution, we identified eight different things the industry does: it moves money, it stores money, it lends money, it trades money, it attests to money, it accounts for money, and so on. Every one of those can be challenged.

What about other industries?
You pick any industry, and this technology holds huge potential to disrupt it, creating a more prosperous world where people get to participate in the value that they create. The music industry, for example, is a disaster, at least from the point of view of the musicians. They used to have most of the value taken by the big labels. Then, along came the technology companies, which took a whole bunch of value, and the songwriters and musicians are left with crumbs at the end. What if the new music industry was a distributed app on the blockchain, where I, as a songwriter, could post my song onto the blockchain with a smart contract specifying how it is to be used? Maybe as a recording artist posting my music on a blockchain music platform, I’ll say, “You listen to the music, it’s free. You want to put it in your movie? It’s going to cost you this much, and here’s how that works. You put it in the movie, the smart contract pays me.”

Blockchains are not universally popular. Some experts worry that things could go horribly wrong.
The biggest problems have to do with governance. This new community is in its infancy. Unlike the internet, which has a sophisticated governance ecosystem, the whole world of blockchain and digital currencies is the Wild West – it’s a place of recklessness and chaos and calamity. This could kill it if we don’t fnd the leadership to come together and create the equivalent organizations that we have for governance of the internet. We have the Internet Engineering Task Force, which creates standards for the Net. We have Internet Governance Forum, which creates policies for governments. We have the W3C Consortium, which creates standards for the Web. There’s the Internet Society; that’s an advocacy group. There’s the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, an operational network that just delivers the domain names. There’s a structure and a process to fgure out things. Right now, there’s a big debate that continues about the block size. We need a bigger block size to be able to handle all of the transactions that will be arising.

Unlike the internet, which has a sophisticated governance ecosystem, the whole world of blockchain is the Wild West

Don Tapscott Author of Blockchain Revolution*


How will blockchain change our everyday lives?
Imagine everyone has a supercomputer in their pocket. Imagine a world where foreign aid didn’t get consumed in the bureaucracy but went directly to the benefciary under a smart contract? Rather than a $60bn car-service aggregation, why couldn’t we have a distributed app on the blockchain that manages all these vehicles and handles everything from reputation to payments? Ultimately, they’ll be autonomous vehicles moving around. Or blockchain Airbnb? This is all about the value going to the creators of value rather than to powerful forces that capture it.

Right now, enthusiasm about blockchains seems subdued. Will that change, and how?
I’m compelled most by the power of this opportunity. In 35 years writing about the Digital Age, I’ve never seen a technology that had greater potential. This will truly change human society.

*Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World (2016), Portfolio Press



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