For about 18 months I’ve been eagerly monitoring a project called Ethereum. It is now slowly going live in phases. It’s difficult to explain its intricacies, but I and many others believe it has the potential to advance liberty on a vast scale. Don’t expect any tectonic shifts immediately, but as time passes there’s a lot of opportunity for:
- Private currencies – this is the most exciting to me, as it could be a safe way of transacting lots of services privately. A simple example would be if an airline carrier shifted from frequent flyer miles to “Cyrpto points” they could easily be distributed and passed around with their immediate value remaining stable. I’m sure governments would go crazy if this happened, which makes it all the more fun to think about.
- Decentralized Server Hosting – instead of having huge companies like Facebook or google hosting your information.
- Prediction Markets – Another one of my favorite concepts, basically allowing open season betting on just about everything that can be verified. “Who will be next president?” Enter a field, and with 10-20 paid monitors, the truth can be achieved, and people can be paid out accordingly. Historically, prediction markets where people have “skin in the game” have proven far more accurate than talking heads on TV.
- A quick example I distinctly remember of this was in 2010. At the time, two Tea Party candidates were “considered heavy favorites” by most media “experts” in Senate races in Nevada (against Senate leader Harry Reid) and in Alaska. The site InTrade (eventually shuttered by the US Government) contrast all these talking heads by putting Harry Read as the 2:1 favorite, and a write in candidate as the favorite in Alaska, amazingly with the not so easy name to spell of “Murkowski.” Suffice to say, InTrade was correct.
- Decentralized Trading Platforms – We don’t need the Nasdaq to buy and sell %’s of companies.
- Decentralized Companies – Having a company that runs on code of laws or by shareholder votes.
Again this is all a little further down the line, but it’s exciting none the less. Here’s a link to a Wall Street Journal on it.