It appears that once again, the technological genie has been unleashed from its bottle. Summoned by an unknown person or persons at an uncertain time in history, the genie is now at our service for another kick at the can—to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs for the better.
We’re not talking about the social web, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics or even self-driving cars. We’re talking about the blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin. Block. Chain. OK, not the most sonorous word ever– it sounds like a combination of blocking and tackling and chain gang. Sonorous or not, this technology represents nothing less than the second generation of the Internet, and it holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society. Let us explain.
When you send someone information like an email, PDF, PPT or JPG, you’re really sending a copy not the original. Depending on the rights granted to recipients, they may be able to print a copy of these files. But under no circumstances should you print, say, money. So with the Internet of information we