The New Trust Economy, the focus of my latest podcast, is the beginning of an internet restructuring journey so broad and so endless we can just scratch the surface of imagining the possibilities. This new trust economy is one where simplicity reigns supreme, which is why I continue pushing the blockchain conversation. It only seems complex if you haven't joined the conversation. In my attempt to simplify this new infrastructure, I found myself Skyping with Larry King, along with Eric Tippetts of Nasgo, Larry Sanger co-founder of Wikipedia and Everipedia, and Markus Levin co-founder of XYO .
But First, Let's Talk Authority
Much like blockchain, the reason I believe that people shy away from podcasting is a lack of information. Any "new" medium for being recognized and establishing yourself in your field of expertise carries so many first-mover benefits, and it would be unfair to leave this out prior to going into the Larry King interview, which I landed due to my podcast. Entrepreneurs often ask me how they can stand out from the noise on the internet, and podcasting sits at the top of my list. Of course there are plenty of reasons I share this advice, but at the biggest one is the fact that this medium, right now, presents undiluted potential for small influencers to make a big impact.
Now, Back to Blockchain
Throughout this interview, Larry King presented questions that we all took turns answering, with the end goal being that we demystify blockchain technology and the terminology surrounding it. Because this information can seem overwhelming, because there is so much educating to do when it comes to even the basics of blockchain, let's start with something really simple here. As defined by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia and Everipedia, "Blockchain is a shared database that everyone can see, making it easy to agree on the information in this database, because everything is transparent."
Why Does It Matter?
Blockchain technology is relevant because we are seeking transparency and a new trust-based economy, in which we can all have access to fair, open, and easy transactions. "Cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts hope and believe that this system will eventually replace our current paper currency system," said Nasgo's Eric Tippetts. With this revelation comes the question of what gives value to cryptocurrencies, and Tippetts added this, "Investing or valuing crypto or blockchain is about understanding the business it's attached to. Don't look at the coin or the token, look at the business model or the value upholding the currency, just as we do with gold now."
Newsflash: Everyone Doesn't Have Access
The biggest A-ha! moment I see when talking to others about blockchain's potential is when I tell them that not everyone has access to banking, let alone fair and just options. A while back we profiled a company called Wala, a zero-fee money app on the Dala network, a decentralized financial system. This case-use study shows us how we can change the financial world in ways that make sense for everyone. Not having access to financial services keeps poor people poor, and working-class people paying fees they can't afford. When you don't have accounts and systems, you can't invest in your health, or your business, community, or education.
Will This Replace Money?
A lot of banks are on board and transaction cost is very low, so it makes sense to have a hybrid system right now. But eventually, we could see this totally upend the banking system we have now, not in a destructive way, but in a way that, over time, eliminates the middleman--which right now, is the bank. Markus Levin points out, "If you want to hand me a dollar today electronically, you would go through a bank to complete that transaction. On the blockchain, it would go directly from you to me, thus eliminating the need for the bank, or fees associated with the bank."
The New Internet
When we first jumped on the internet, we didn't really know how it worked, or what that platform looked like. With blockchain, we are hoping to see more people jump in and start adopting, just like with the internet. And when we get into this habit of more widespread adoption, we will begin to realize the potential in blockchain and the freedom it will provide for us to eliminate unnecessary elements in our current economy's operations. The solutions available through blockchain technology are already changing the world. Will you join or watch from the sidelines?