“Hi my name is Satoshi Nakamoto, you may have heard of me,” quips the co-founder of ConSensys Andrew Keys during his keynote at Blockchain Africa Conference 2018.
Over the next two days experts in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will discuss how the technology can be used and leveraged to not only create new sectors for business but also how traditional businesses can use blockchain to streamline and improve just about anything.
It sounds like a reach but Keys thinks we are on the cusp of a revolution and blockchain or more accurately Ethereum is the force that will push us over the horizon toward a new dawn.
The internet needs changing
One could argue that there are several problems with the internet of today. The main custodians of the internet – internet service providers (ISPs) made a business out of captivating databases and serving them to people over the internet.
This end result of this is visible around the web in the form of oligopolies. Firms such as Google, Facebook, and more all make a profit off of users by using their user data to sell advertising to brands. Granted this has become somewhat of an accepted norm but what if it didn’t have to be?
What if we could cut the middle man out of – not just the internet but every facet of our lives that depends on them?
It’s a future that Keys thinks is possible thanks to Ethereum.
A proof of possibility
While blockchain has become almost hitched to cryptocurrency in conversations the core technology allows for so much more than just the sending and receiving of wealth.
To illustrate this Keys builds off of what Ethereum allows on its chain.
While Bitcoin is the “big boy” of magical internet money it’s also perhaps the worst of the lot. A proof of concept created by the aforementioned Nakamoto that was developed minimally and set lose into the wild.
Ethereum on the other hand allows for more capacity which in turns mean you can use the chain to verify more information than just “John sends Jane ETH 5” and that makes it a viable option to say, verify your identity when you log on to the internet.
The ConSensys co-founder posits that the next level of the internet will look very different and that change might start happening in this year.
Keys says that the next generation of the internet will resemble a stack comprised of:
- A decentralised transaction layer
- A decentralised file storage layer
- A decentralised messaging layer
- A high throughput computing resource
Together this makes for a decentralised internet that takes the power from oligopolies and gives it back to you the user.
“What if you didn’t have social media taking advertising fees and instead allowed advertisers to reach you directly and pay you a dollar a day to use the internet,” says Keys.
But it doesn’t end at getting paid to be advertised to.
Anybody that has ever bought a property knows that an army of attorneys and government officials are required to verify every step of the process adding their fees and costs to the equation.
Using smart contracts however Keys suggests that transferal of land could take place in a matter of minutes at a fraction of the current cost.
Uber could implement blockchain technology to verify multiple things such as driver safety which in turn could be used to offer drivers more competitive insurance rates or even purchase a car using a smart contract that would be able to shut the car off if payments weren’t made
There are still a ways to go before this becomes a reality but blockchain is a wonderful technology with so many possibilities that its almost a shame that when people think of it the first thing that comes to mind is cryptocurrency.
If you’d like to read more about Ethereum and how it’s shaping the future of the internet check out Keys’ blog on the subject, which goes into a lot more depth than we can here.