Neil Chilson: Imagining a New Consumer Landscape with Blockchain
Neil is the Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation at the Charles Koch Institute.
On Blockchain and Identity: I am really excited about the possibilities of blockchain technologies for identity. Identity is one of the big challenges that we have in a world where so much of our transacting is online. Proving who I am to another person while maintaining some control over how my identity is used, it’s a big challenge. And I think there are a lot of people thinking hard about how distributed ledger technologies and blockchain could address that so that I think the people in the Sovrin Foundation, Evernym, some of the big names in identity in the blockchain space, I think they’re doing very fascinating work. I don’t know how it will shake out or how it might impact the online transactions that we do, but I am hopeful that there will be some good lessons learned about how we can do identity better online. Right now, we don’t do it particularly well and so I’m excited about that possibility.
On Blockchain and Microtransactions: I think there’s some great potential for microtransactions to be made easier using blockchain technology. I think microtransactions have long been discussed online and it’s been very hard to figure out how to do them well. And I think that’s the reason that we have a lot of the business models around content online are ad-driven rather than subscription-driven is because the transaction cost of doing a payment each time you view something is very challenging. I think there’s some interesting implications about how if blockchain does make microtransactions easier or cryptocurrencies make microtransactions easier, how that might shift the internet business models away from advertising-driven models and back towards subscription models. And so I’m interested to see how that plays out. Again, it’s very difficult to predict the future in this area, but I do think there’s some interesting possibilities there.
This episode of The Inc. Tank would not be possible without:
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Jake Fechter, Production Assistant
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