MIT Panelists Ponder Blockchain’s Tipping Point

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At the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, one of the critical questions brought forward examined “…what use case of Blockchain will become its tipping point?” according to a post at the MIT Sloan School‘s [email protected] Blog. 

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MIT Professor Christian Catalini, who moderated the CIO Symposium panel, “How Blockchain will Transform the Digital Economy,”  described Blockchain as “…bringing together the fields of computer science, market design, and law.”

“In some ways, the opportunities around Blockchain technology seem almost limitless—it can enable trusted micro-transactions, it is inherently auditable, and it addresses what can’t be addressed by traditional distributed databases.”

The panelists (Anders Brownworth of Circle, Peter Nichol of PA Consulting Group, Simon Peffers of Intel, and Matthew Utterback of Rex Mercury, Inc.) provided a wide range of applications where Blockchain technology can make a significant impact, such as:

  • Accounting on the fly
  • Licensing
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) and tracking usage
  • Enabling digital financial transactions in cash-only developing economies
  • Reducing fraud associated with U.S. Medicaid and Medicare. 

“Blockchain will become a general purpose technology, like the Internet or electricity,” said Catalini.

“The Internet may be the best indicator for what Blockchain may eventually do or become; it has fundamentally changed many aspects of our lives, and it has created new markets and new ways of doing business. Another example is Facebook, which became the “killer app” that drove millions of people to go online and interact in ways far beyond basic email usage. Blockchain is waiting for its Facebook moment.”

“We’ll likely see both private and public Blockchains (similar to intranets and the Internet). We’ll almost certainly see new forms of intellectual property generated by Blockchain technologies. We hope we’ll see vast improvements in how transactions are conducted in developing economies. What we don’t know is what will actually create the tipping point. All we can predict is that the tipping point is coming.”

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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