Finance is continuing down the path of technological disruption with marked acceleration.
Helping to lead the charge is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known for an environment that incubates innovative intellectual ideas with pragmatic applications. (Disclosure: my son is currently an undergraduate student at MIT.)
At the forefront of this revolutionary change is the concept of the virtual currency, such as bitcoin.
As the pioneers at MIT describe it, this “currency” is much more than a currency: it represents a platform and protocol for ownership and transfer of virtually any good or service in return for any another – whether it is a carrot, a car, condominium, a contract, or a convertible bond.
The principle reason for this highly perfected barter arrangement is the infinitely divisible property of digital assets. In this model, a portion of your kitchen table can be sold and used to purchase a two-year internet connectivity contract. The title of ownership will be more secure and less susceptible to manipulation by individuals, corporations or governments, since the information is decentralized and available for the world to see. Moreover, this system removes many financial intermediary layers, thereby affording quicker and cheaper transactions.
Michael Casey, the senior advisor to the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab explains the real beauty of this system is that no one needs to trust anyone else in the transaction – neither the counterparty nor a neutral third-party – since the information is available to an extraordinary number of people globally. He believes this methodology will enable irrefutable, self-sovereign identity markers of property ownership, irrespective of their socioeconomic or financial status, and