We are seeing a radical shift being presented to us. There is a new business structure emerging that is going to obliterate the present system. This is something that cannot help to occur for a variety of reasons.
To start, we must state that blockchain is all about commons. This is something that goes back to the early days of the Internet when the protocols were first being developed. The idea of freedom in the digital world was one of the driving factors for the early innovators.
Unfortunately, an oversight led to this going awry. The original Internet protocols did not account for commerce. In fact, it is woefully absent. This allowed for the silos to form that we see today. Companies emerged to fill the void. Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, and Google all stepped in as mediums to foster commercial activities. Of course, this not only eclipsed the idea of a global peer-to-peer network but also ended up enslaving most into a handful of platforms.
Blockchain offers a much different alternative. It took a couple decades but the original ideals were finally brought back to the surface.
Today, we see the mega-players trying to maintain control. Enterprise, or "permissioned" blockchains, are the rage. Companies are setting up their own blockchains which give the illusion of freedom but is just another controlled database. At the same time, we see governments and central banks toying around with the ideas. This offers another unenviable solution.
The challenge with all this is the idea of commons. This is nothing new since people have discussed this topic for decades. However, with these recent innovations, we now see this concept put on steroids. A digital mechanism of this sort changes the entire dynamic of what is possible.
At the core of all this is information. This is going to be a challenge going forward when people start to realize the value of it.
We see the present system set up in this way regarding information:
- Companies capture and privatize data
- They make is scarce by restricting access
- The data is then sold in various ways
This is the essence of their control. It is what they built their business model upon and it pays out to the tune of billions.
Sadly, it also stifles innovation. It slows down human progress. Instead of information being open for use, it is sent out to the highest bigger who usually has one thing in mind: sell more products.
Thus, we see the entire premise of the Internet turned, for the most part, into a highly efficient advertising medium. This is a very good thing for the public corporations and their stockholders.
It must be said that the idea of a corporation is less than 200 years old. This is not something that was with humanity throughout history. I guess we could say it started with the introduction of the railroads in the mid 1800s. Although there were other entities before this, it was really the first time we saw the unfolding of an entity that could raise vast sums of money.
Of course, what was present then compared to today are not even on the same playing field. The corporation has grown in power to now rival governments. While the later is bad, the former might even be worse.
For this reason, we are likely to see the emergence of commons. Blockchains are now providing the opportunity for people to become stakeholders in what they are creating. This helps to turn the merits of production away from the few and back towards the many.
Early stages of transition are always difficult. Can you imagine the first pitch to the first investors for the railroads? What were their thoughts about giving over money for a piece of paper instead of buying land or cattle? What was the value of a piece of paper?
Yet, today, we see the same accusations cast toward cryptocurrency. How can it be worth anything? There is no company behind it churning out profits? There is no value there.
Isn't it amazing we see the same arguments against it a couple hundred years later.
Many of the technological innovations we see coming down the road are going to take humanity to a completely different level. It is possible that within 15 years, society will be something that does not mirror today. As I research what is possible, the question I always come back to is who is controlling all of this? In other words, who owns the data?
At present few are asking this question but that will not always be the case. As more powerful technologies are developed, humanity is not going to allow those who proved to be poor stewards of information to maintain control. There will simply be too many other options.
The corporate mindset is based upon scarcity. This is vital for its success. It operates within this scarcity and seeks to control the ownership models it employs. With the technological advancements available to the average person, this makes it an easy condition to disrupt.
We also need to account for the fact that very few truly are benefiting from this. Ultimately, there are a lot more who the system is working against as compared to for.
Each day, we see the blockchain world expanding. There are a number of projects that are built upon this exact concept. Look at the Top 100 tokens and one quickly realizes that many are simply projects built on top of Ethereum. They are not even blockchains themselves. Instead, they are decentralized businesses that utilize the new business structures.
Steem is following a similar pattern. We see a host of "communities" forming that nobody owns. At the same time, the only barometer for control is the stake one holds. Those who are powerful in one community might be nothing in the next one. Stake is what tells the entire story.
We see the same thing across different chains. A Bitcoin whale might have zero Ethereum. The largest holders in Ethereum might not be part of EOS. Those EOS stars could have shunned Tron.
With this being the early stages, it is not easy to see the entire picture since it is yet to unfold. However, we can see the foundation being put in place. Each new project that is put on a blockchain like Steem offers an opportunity. Once tokenized, anyone is free to become a part of it. This can be done with one stake that is purchased or with activity. Thus, we see how one is not only a user but a stakeholder.
It is this fact that will hold great appeal for the masses. This is a basis that does not exist, for the most part, today. Mega corporations are owned by people who are likely different from the users. The average Facebook person, for example, likely is not a holder of the stock. By the same token, the biggest holders of the stock are not spending hours a day providing content.
Decentralized blockchains eliminate this. On Steem, many of the largest stakeholders are also active participants. They are either developers, content creators, or witnesses. Along the same lines, because of the reward system, those who are creating content will keep amassing stake as long as they power up. Of course, this takes on added dimension when the tribes and Steem-Engine tokens are included.
The new system is difficult for most to understand since it is based upon abundance rather than scarcity. This is counter to the present system which is what we all know. As people get more exposure to what is being developed, they will realize the personal benefit to what is now possible.
Over the next decade, I expect a massive migration away from the present corporate structures as alternatives appear. The corporate business models are going to start collapsing.
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