Have you read Thomas Friedman’s new book, Thank You For Being Late? It is all about how we can thrive in the age of acceleration; this period of time when change is gaining momentum at ever-increasing light-speed pace. This break-neck evolution of all systems -- globalization, technology, migration, etc. -- is the new normal.
If you think 2017 has been a crazy year, just wait for and see what’s around the corner in 2018. While I am not a futurist, I am an early adopter, and if 1% of the global economy and my intuition are right, we are in for an exciting transition that began in 2007, has been gaining momentum over the past 10 years and in the next decade will be reaching mass adoption.
It is called the blockchain. The blockchain changes everything (in my opinion, largely for the better) and is about to take the world by storm. If you haven’t heard of the blockchain, chances are you've heard of it’s most popular use case - BitCoin. But the blockchain is way more than BitCoin (or any other crypto currency). The blockchain is a revolutionary use of basic technology. The blockchain is simply a shared, distributed ledger. The implications of which are nothing short of revolutionary and empowering in a way mankind is yet to know at such a large scale.
If all our monetary transactions took place on the blockchain (using any currency), then the IRS could be an algorithm instead of a trillion dollar government department which are rife with the mistakes and missteps of human err. Not only would this save tax dollars, it would be a more accurate and instant mechanism to collect taxes; shoring up fraud and inefficiencies in our current system. This is just one incredible use and there are many, many others.
The IRS is currently monitoring blockchain transactions, and with a strong regulatory framework and some forward-looking leadership, the above use case could be a reality in the coming years. This is not likely to happen as government moves slowly, and sometimes backwards, but the potential of blockchain holds true nonetheless. The IRS is just one intermediary that is likely to be disrupted by the blockchain, whether the IRS embraces it or not.
The blockchain is going to topple many institutions and give rise to many more. I recently got involved with a blockchain company and am working hard to bring the ambitious vision of the Pillar Project into fruition. The blockchain movement gives me hope during the deluge of chaos, calamity and civil discord we are inundated with daily. While blockchain technology is not too complicated, it turns the current paradigm on its head when in use.
Blockchain technologies remove intermediaries, decentralize power and ensure data privacy and security. This last point should perk your ears as Equifax, Target and every single Fortune 500 company have been hacked, and if you have an account with them, chances are your identity (i.e. bank accounts, social security number, credit card information, etc.) has been comprised. Blockchain tools will prevent this trend we have become all too familiar with. Too much of our life takes place in the digital realm to continue the current reliance on non-encrypted centralized servers. I won't even get into how our favorite service providers (see Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple) are using your data however they deem most profitable and how the blockchain can put the brakes on this consumer abuse.
If you do not know about blockchain, please check it out. If you want to talk about it or have questions, please contact me.