“The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the next few decades has arrived,” Canadian technology author Don Tapscott says at the beginning of his Aug. 25 TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk. “And it’s not social media, it’s not big data, it’s not robotics, it’s not even AI.”
The technology Tapscott refers to, as anyone remotely familiar with him or the book he recently wrote with his son Alex, is the blockchain, a series of identical databases that record, validate, and organize the information created as users perform online actions, such as making a purchase or posting an article online.
While Tapscott admits the word may not be the most “sonorous” the English language has to offer, he genuinely believes it’s the next generation of the Internet, and that it holds vast promise for business, society, and individuals alike.
As he did during a recent presentation at the 2016 Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit in Toronto, Tapscott uses his talk to explain how the blockchain could replace what he calls the “Internet of Information” – a world wide web built on intermediaries such as banks and social media copying and (occasionally) deleting random information shared by users across multiple platforms – with the “Internet of Value,” one that would see each of us possessing a single multi-platform blockchain that stores every byte of digital information that we create and acts as our “virtual self” online.
By possessing – and taking control of – our own blockchain-based virtual selves, Tapscott argues, we could turn our opinions and actions into monetary assets, leveraging the information we currently share for free with banks and social media giants such as Facebook Inc. to expand our own pocketbooks instead.
Check out the 20-minute talk below.