Blockchain is promising to do for value what the internet has done for information.
Blockchain technology enables the facilitation of trust in an environment where individuals can securely reach consensus on a transaction’s validity, regardless of whether or not said individuals have a pre-existing relationship. For these reasons, blockchain is the technology best poised to verify, secure, and store records of value and ownership. As the properties of this technology continue to be better understood by the general public, it’s also given rise to a new term — “The Internet of Value.”
On the Internet of Value, blockchain acts as a technical overlay that enables the secure and transparent exchange of any asset between individuals and digital entities such as smart contracts. These digital assets can take on many different forms (including intellectual property, votes, title deeds, stocks, securities, and data), and the key innovation is that these assets can now be transferred in a way that’s both verifiable and secure for all parties involved.
While blockchain is often heralded as being “trustless” in nature, the reality is a bit more nuanced. On the the Internet of Value, trust is still required — but instead of trusting human instincts, we’re putting our trust in cryptography and mathematically proven, secure algorithms. This means that businesses will now be able to secure their records without fearing a debilitating hack, and individuals can transfer items of value quickly and seamlessly. Imagine being able to digitally send someone a title to your house after selling it, and then receiving payment instantly — or submitting your vote for President from the comfort of your living room, without fear of having your data hacked. These use cases (and many more) are all possible with this secure technology.
What’s more, transacting on the Internet of Value is fast. Transfers of more complicated assets (like real estate or intellectual property) can now take just minutes, instead of potentially months of paperwork. In this peer-to-peer environment, intermediaries required to conduct such transactions in the physical world are removed, while the transaction remains extremely secure in the process. The transactions conducted over the Internet of Value are immutable, verifiable, and incredibly streamlined from a process perspective. That said, blockchain certainly has its own scalability issues, but these engineering challenges will be solved over time.
Exchanging assets has traditionally required a middleman such as a bank or credit card company in order to establish trust — and as it turns out, the economy of trust is big business. The cost of the trust economy is conservatively estimated to be $29 trillion, and that makes sense when thinking about the amount of time businesses around the world invest in online corporate security alone and considering the amount of people that have been hacked recently (100s of millions). Blockchain can help reduce this cost of trust by ensuring that all data recorded is algorithmically verified and secured, and this represents significant cost savings to any company facilitating its business online. The Internet of Value doesn’t need a middleman to function, and that decreases risk for all while increasing performance for businesses and individuals alike.
The most obvious application for the Internet of Value is on the electronic payments front, but we at Unitychain believe that this new era will transform a number of other industries: from investing, to supply chain, to art ownership, and beyond. Indeed, a growing number of companies are already recognizing this and leveraging the Internet of Value for their own businesses. The country of Estonia is using blockchain to comprehensively secure its citizens’ healthcare records, and PayPal is even using blockchain tokens for its new employee incentivization program. These early innovations make it clear that the Internet of Value, while still in its infancy, is truly transformative on a global scale.
Our entire online lives will be transformed by the Internet of Value, and value will soon be able to travel as frictionlessly as digital information already does today. As a result, entire industries will be democratized, and equitable participation in nearly any economic system will finally be possible for all. Blockchain is making secure, trackable value exchange easier than ever before — and it promises to transform the way society functions today.
The Internet of Value is here to stay. Are you in?