One thing interesting #4: The Internet of Value

The blockchain is fascinating. Not only for it's mysterious creation by the, still anonymous, Satoshi Nakamoto; but for the fact that for the first time in human history we have a means of exchanging value without the need for third party intermediaries. 

When we send data about on the internet we're sending copies. If I send you an email with an attachment, you can make as many copies of that email or attachment as you like. That doesn't work for money. Which is why we need someone like a bank to oversee that transaction. Blockchain solves the copying problem. It allows people to send a definitive piece of value to each other. No copies. And it does so with a significant drop in transaction fees to the point they're almost negligible.

It's still in its infancy. There's still a lot to figure out to ensure this technology can become a critical piece of infrastructure to service the world. 

There's a major role for designers here too. Right now, the technology is still inaccessible. It's simply too difficult to understand. Designers have the opportunity to get involved and help build the layers of abstraction necessary to make it usable. Much like now, when we use the internet, we don't worry too much about about things like TCP/IP or which ports are open. We simply open up our pocket supercomputers and it's either connected to 4G, wifi or has no signal. The internet is just an open protocol. All the useful stuff got built on top. 

We're at a similar stage with blockchain technology - which this video series from TechCrunch does a brilliant job of illustrating. 

Neil Smith

Neil Smith Design LTD, 1 Davenham Ct, Liverpool, L15 8GD, United Kingdom