Trust, inventory and reconciliation
Decentralization is valuable for resolving “the cost of trust.” The world is burdened with enormous costs because people can’t trust each other.
Skyscrapers are filled with accountants who are constantly reconciling their ledger with the ledger of the other company they’re working with. This results in multiple, centralized ledgers that have to be reconciled because people don’t trust each other, and that reconciliation process is incredibly time-consuming and costly.
Anything that talks about a common shared record might be expensive from a computational perspective, because you need multiple computers within the same ledger — but because it starts to attack this heavy cost of trust you start to see how this solution, expensive as it may be, could well be worth it.
The World Food Program is using blockchain to track food distribution. The World Food Program is running a pilot program for 10,000 refugees by using blockchain to look at every single transaction.
Supply chains are a huge use because you have the problem of mistrust. There’s a series of entities along a chain. They have a common goal, but they have mistrust because every buyer wants to buy low and every seller wants to sell high.
The idea is that, if we created a common set of records that shows the system’s transactions, people could be more open with the information they share. It could also have a huge impact on efficiency. If everybody along a supply chain is able to keep track of information, they can plan how much they need to buy of something without being wasteful.
A project with the Digital Currency Initiative in Puerto Rico uses the blockchain as an accounting back-end for a distributed microgrid of people who own their solar panels and are able to trade directly with each other, rather than having an intermediary. That matters because without that intermediary — the public utility that sets the price — they have the capacity to bring the market forces of clear price signals into a community that can make better decisions about it. They are calling it an energy democracy.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.