The Future is Decentralised - Part 2
My first piece on this subject examined what a block chain is and what the benefits are; in this second tranche I will look at the issue of TRUST and at some of the projects being worked on by various people.
Imagine a world where everyone trusts everyone else! Or better still, where trust isn't even an issue any more.
Aid organisations would receive and distribute donor funds immediately to people who can prove identity without a piece of paper.
A hard working mother in Dubai could send money to her family in India without anyone needing a bank account.
Where voter fraud is a thing of the past and we can have absolute confidence in the democratic process.
It is important to remember that Blockchain is still experimental and an evolving technology - much like the internet was in 1992.
So what are people using Blockchain for?
Some are taking advantage of the immutability of block chains to witness documents [currently we use solicitors], others to issue and transfer licenses for digital art. In finance, block chains can enable faster post trade settlement of securities as well as cheaper payments. In supply chains they can deliver transparency. In telecommunications they can help verify website certifications and provide secure communication.
Some of the more advanced platforms provide "smart contracts" - contracts executed independently between several parties - enabling developers to provide services for things like crowdfunding, censorship-resistant microblogging and identity management.
According to CoinDesk over $2.5 billion has been allocated to projects and companies working in the block chain industry [CoinDesk 2017]
"...there are at least 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world [4.5 billion have access to a flush toilet]. So more than twice as many people have a mobile phone as have access to a bank account. If your phone can give you access to the things you would need from a bank, well, you've just disinvented the need for banks, and fundamentally changed the operation of the money system, across whole swathes of the developing and emerging world."
- "When Bitcoin Grows Up", London Review of Books, April 21st, 2016