Blockchain ist derzeit im Stadium wie das Internet etwa Anfang der 1990er Jahre. Und hat ähnliches Potenzial. Fünf Lebensbereiche, welche die Technik bald beeinflussen kann.

Talking about how Blockchain will shape our lives is similar to a discussion about the potential of the Internet in 1992. Many clever minds had realized at the time that this thing will be great. But have they foreseen Google? Facebook? The iPhone?

At that time, skeptics and enthusiasts alienated the goal. One expected the downfall of civilization, the others the redemption of mankind. Debates about blockchain often bear similar traits today. This is also because the technology is present in a similar way as it was then, but its application possibilities are far from being explored.

Blockchain is the next Internet generation

“Blockchain is the second generation of the Internet,” says Alex Tapscott at the “Blockchain Valley Conference” on Tuesday in Zurich. The Canadian has written a standard work on the subject together with his father and is currently in demand as a speaker in Europe, Canada and the USA. He says: “What the Internet was for communication is blockchain for business transactions.”

The crypt diet Bitcoin is the first known application of blockchain. The following five examples show how far the possibilities of the technology can reach and how much this has to do with our own life:

1) Our share purchases

The special thing about Blockchain is that business deals do not need any intermediary. This also applies to investments. For many start-ups, the fund raising by the stock exchange is the knightly event. But the road to it is tedious and expensive.

In the past four years, a parallel structure has developed, the ICO. The Initial Coin Offering. Investments are sold to investors in order to receive money for technical development. Crowdfunding, but hedged by blockchain. For this reason, ICOs achieve significantly higher sums than other crowdfunding-inti- genatives.

Ethereum received capital this way in 2014. ICOs are currently very popular, there are around 20 a month. The Israeli startup bancor just cracked the record and received 153 million dollars (148 million francs) in the campaign until Monday. Nearly 11,000 donors invested. This is the promise of ICO: private investors can directly participate globally directly and companies can search for donors worldwide for their project.

2) Our identity

“My digital I know better than I do myself,” Alex Tapscott said on Tuesday at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, half jokingly. What he meant: The digital I in the blockchain stores events exactly and unambiguously – and can reproduce them uninterrupted after years, unlike our hole memory.

According to Tapscott, the blockchain is recommended as a substitute for the credit rating index. “This is to give information about your creditworthiness … the calculation is extremely error-prone,” says in “The Blockchain Revolution”.

The data collection for this was very limited, some essential information was missing in the evaluation and they could still be outdated. “If someone paid a rate late at the age of 20, that does not say much about the credit risk that he represents at 50.”

This and other problems, which require identification or proof of identity, could solve the blockchain according to Tapscott. For this is in a position “to create unique identities with many different attributes”. This is also relevant in many emerging markets, where a missing passport prevents people from participating financially.

3) Our democracy

Though it is difficult to imagine what the interference of Russian hackers into the past US elections, US President Donald Trump likes to spread rumors about allegedly millions of illegal voters who would have cost him the majority of votes (which went to Hillary Clinton).

The fact that this untruth can be caught is another area for the climate of uncertainty that prevails in the USA. The distrust of US citizens is due to repeated problems with electoral computers. Recently computers in Virginia had counted incorrectly.

Here the blockchain could help by clearly registering the vote and making it non-repeatable. The US startup Followmyvote has developed a corresponding technology. The trick is the decentralized storage: Even if someone would manipulate the vote on an electoral computer, the original voice would still be stored on the other computers. The system would sound alarm when tampering.

4) Our work

Much has already been written about how the industry 4.0 changed the professions and jobs of the future and at what rapid pace. Now the blockchain also adds its part.

There will also be companies in the future, Alex Tapscott shows convincingly. “But they will change dramatically.” Nobel laureate Ronald Coase researched why companies exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

The answer: Because work outside the company is more expensive than within the company. In other words, it is more cost-effective to hire a secretary than to buy secretarial services on the market every time. These are transaction costs.

With the Jobvermittlung over Blockchain the gig economy can be fired. For example, search portals can offer a job, and can ask the applicant information for the purpose of the task – without having to give up his name, location or gender. This is a boost for the gig economy.

Companies will continue to exist in the future, as the “Blockchain Revolution”, but perhaps rather as flexible business units, which meet as necessary in groups in order to jointly implement projects.

5) Our favorite music

Copyright is very difficult to enforce. This is demonstrated by numerous platforms that offer films for download. Music is streamed today, which is why the big corporations are making a significant contribution.

The artists, however, are often at the end of the food chain, receiving only a fraction of the income. Infringements of copyright infringements are also difficult to penalize.

The platform Ujo has made its goal to change that. On her, artists can offer their music. A SmartContract is embedded in the codes of the individual pieces of music. For example, it determines that a payment is triggered as soon as the song is played. Or a different amount when downloaded.

Artists, according to the conviction of Jesse Grushak, co-founder of Ujo Music, should receive a fair remuneration for their work. With Blockchain, it is possible, so the vision, the calculation to be programmed directly into the song – debiting is done automatically.

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