pBitcoin, blockchain and my mother Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar TEDxRíodelaPlata Translator: Elia Gasparolo Reviewer: Sebastian Betti Its amazing how Internet changed our lives.
Today we can do things not long time ago seemed science fiction. Today we can connect worldwide or access to all the existing information from our cell phone things that 10 or 20 years ago were beyond imagination and possibility. But there are things we still cant do.
For example, we cant send money without intermediaries. When we buy things online, we use the private networks of the banks and credit cards. Money doesnt travel through the net.
In the old days, when we wanted to trade with someone we had to meet with that person, we had to have something with value to exchange, we bartered. Over time, someone came to invent money and global trade started flowing. But distance trade was still really hard since we had to send the goods and trust the other part would pay.
Then intermediaries appeared: institutions that built trust and were in charge of sending the products and money on our behalf. So we gave Marco Polo our gold in Venice and he gave us a check to be paid off in Beijing for about the same quantity of gold. That intermediation was essential in the construction of our society.
Not only had it set up global trade, but also created the basis for todays known democracies. But that intermediation carries its problems. Trust is a fragile thing, and when any element changes, questions arise.
Such is the case, it took my mother years to use the same card she used at the market everyday to buy things online. And that intermediation has a cost as well. And thats the reason, or one of the main reasons why half the people dont have access to basic financial services And my mother wasnt so wrong, since during the last years we see how credit card fraud and identity theft increase on the Internet.
And if we focus on the political intermediation we see how candidates, once elected, dont keep their promises or how they get more corrupt as their power increase. So, why if Internet changed our lives in amazing ways, gave us access to communicate better, to share without limits, it couldnt eliminate intermediaries up to now? The main reason is digital information can be indefinitely replicated almost for free. What happens if I pay you with a 100 pesos digital bill? How do you know Im not going to take this same bill and pay other 1000 people making money out of nothing?
That was the problem record labels had to face when people started sharing their music freely. The truth is these companies didnt find the solution had to change their business model. So many of you might think, Theres no way out. We will always depend on intermediaries.
If you had asked me that some years ago, I would have said yes this is a dead end.
But listen to this: In 2008, something incredible happened someone had a brilliant idea and created a platform that, at the stroke of a pen, eliminated all these problems. That platform is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a very complex platform but is based on decentralized networks, incorruptible records and software trust, computer programs.
Not based on humans, whose trust can be easily betrayed. At the beginning, people used Bitcoin as currency, a method of payment and its logical since when we face a new technology, we relate it to what we already know. It happened with the PC, we thought it a step ahead a typewriter. with Internet, we thought it as a substitution of mail. But, over the years, people said, Oh, I can register other things with Bitcoin I can register companys shares, a title deed, intellectual property, even a vote. And two or three years ago, someone was a step ahead and said, What if using the same Bitcoin philosophy and technologies, we create a platform that besides transferring value and making transactions, let us register people agreements?
Just like now with legal contracts. And with this, it appeared the concept of smart contracts. The interesting thing is these smart contracts can deal with currency, shares, votes, and, can control objects as well. There, the smart property concept arises.
To tell you a little more about how this works, I have a business for you. All of us here, right now, with the money in our pockets are going to buy a driverless car. We are going to paint it like a taxi, and I will put on it a Bitcoin wallet, and set a smart contract that every time a passenger gets in, it charges the passenger per second. And every time she gets off, it does the math. When this car is running out of gas, it goes to the gas station and pays with its wallet.
And once a month, it gives us the profit, according to our investment, and sends the information to the accountant for tax payments, because, needless to say, the car is a responsible citizen. The truth is that all I told you can be done today. This combination of technologies gives birth to something amazing which is the Internet of value.
With this new Internet, we will be able to create identities based on reputation. Every time we get a positive rating for a sale, every time we learn something new or cooperate with our community this identity will grow. And that reputation will let us interact and trade with people around the world without the need to previously trust or know each other.
If we combine these technologies with a phenomenon taking place right now in our society, which is that in almost no time many of the poorest people in this world are going to have a smartphone at hand, we see that this Internet of value not only will let us revive the trust in democracies, or have a main role in the construction of a more equal and prosperous society, but also will allow us to integrate millions of excluded people in this world, by giving them access to basic financial services, a reputation and a bridge to be connected with the rest of the society that nobody could give them up to now. Thanks. Applausep