Here is the full transcript of Canadian author Don Tapscott’s Talk: How the Blockchain is Changing Money and Business at TED conference.
Don Tapscott – Canadian author
The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the next few decades has arrived. And it’s not social media. It’s not big data. It’s not robotics. It’s not even AI. You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s the underlying technology of digital currencies like Bitcoin. It’s called the blockchain.
Blockchain. Now, it’s not the most sonorous word in the world, but I believe that this is now the next generation of the internet, and that it holds vast promise for every business, every society and for all of you, individually. You know, for the past few decades, we’ve had the internet of information. And when I send you an email or a PowerPoint file or something, I’m actually not sending you the original, I’m sending you a copy. And that’s great. This is democratized information.
But when it comes to assets — things like money, financial assets like stocks and bonds, loyalty points, intellectual property, music, art, a vote, carbon credit and other assets — sending you a copy is a really bad idea. If I send you 100 dollars, it’s really important that I don’t still have the money — and that I can’t send it to you. This has been called the “double-spend” problem by cryptographers for a long time.
So today, we rely entirely on big intermediaries — middlemen like banks, government, big social media companies, credit card companies and so on — to establish trust in our economy. And these intermediaries perform all the business and transaction logic of every kind of commerce, from authentication, identification of people, through to clearing, settling and record keeping. And overall, they do a pretty good job.