The first wave of the Internet era was all about connecting people. We had e-mail, followed by social media, e-retail, cloud computing, and big data.

Throughout it all, the Internet has proliferated, reducing the cost of access. Today, we are living through a third wave.

The financial crash of 2008 brought about never-before-seen levels of mistrust because of information asymmetries. This led to the emergence of Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cryptographic currency.

Bitcoin’s system of rules differs from traditional fiat currencies as it functions on distributed computations. This means that the technology underlying Bitcoin, called blockchain, allows data to be exchanged without a trusted intermediary, positing, for the first time, an ‘Internet of Value’, much like an immutable database that could be a repertoire of value.

Internet 3.0 based on blockchain could be the transactional platform that could jumpstart, say industrial automation and self-driving vehicles, with even social media being powered by a distributed ledger. While blockchain is being embraced by the stodgy banking and financial industry, it does see Bitcoin as ‘competition’. Read more from…

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