Ericsson: Will Bitcoin’s Blockchain Become A Beacon Of Decentralization In The Networked Society?

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Ville Sointu, Technical business development lead and head of financial services standardization for Ericsson M-Commerce, blogs on the future of Blockchain and it’s potential:

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone invented a computer that couldn’t be shut down, regulated or controlled by any single entity and always be online? A computer that would allow you to create indisputably documented and quantified relationships with anyone else using that same computer? Unless you’re a big fan of the Matrix movie series, you probably haven’t. This might not be the case for very long though; today blockchain technology has emerged to reality from the subconscious of techno-utopians like the inventors Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

So what could one do with this type of “planetary scale” computer of sci-fi lore? The fact that person to person (or machine to machine) relationships could be recorded and maintained virtually forever without a central entity is certainly an interesting prospect for truly transparent financial services on a global scale.

This is probably why most of the hype we see today around blockchain technology is focused around FinTech startups. An interesting summary of Bitcoin and blockchains in the financial industry is “Dear Big Bank CEO, Re: Blockchains: Obliterate, don’t Automate” by William Mougayar. It was this article that got me thinking about how cryptotechnology and decentralized (distributed) consensus ledgers are going to impact the broader scope of Networked Society. 

As everything that benefits from a connection becomes connected, countless ownership and asset management issues will arise. Who will own the critical control points of each connected ecosystem? Who will regulate and oversee all of it?  In the Networked Society every connected thing has to also have an identity and a recognized ownership definition on some level. Distributed ledger technology – a.k.a. our planetary scale computer – sure seems to be an efficient way to achieve this and avoid giving retailers or IT service providers too much control over our digital information.

Smart contracts on blockchain based distributed application platforms will be the answer to the Networked Society question about how devices will make value-related transactions between each other without a central entity.  

Is it fair to assume that the social and economical structures we have in place today should prevail in this new world? Will they scale? I think not. In the connected future, decentralization is the only way to safeguard a free society that stimulates innovation and growth.  

What do you think about ownership and control in the Networked Society? Will Bitcoin’s blockchain become a beacon of decentralization for the Internet of Things? At least in financial services one thing’s for sure, says Dave Birch:

“The future of money is not bitcoin and the future of bitcoin is not money.”

 

Richard Kastelein

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC, Richard Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including DECENT.ch, Inchain, Humaniq, Chronobank, eGaas and others.

He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List. As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and crypto-currency and, consequently, has built a notable network inthe scene.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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