Eric C. Jansen, ChFC
The early days of that intoxicating period and the current embryo environment of blockchain have similarities that prompt informed observers to say that blockchain will be the greatest thing since the Internet itself.
One of the main reasons this prediction could be accurate is that, together with the blockchain, a radically different World Wide Web will come. The twists and turns of this new network will have a huge impact on the investment markets.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain, the transmission vehicle for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is an open source digital tool whose basic binary code is freely available on the Internet for web developers to use and adapt.
It allows the creation of applications for the online publication of immutable blocks of hacker-proof records and transaction steps that are equivalent to highly secure audit paths, carried out on what is called blockchain, unalterable web recesses that carry large blocks of data that store records and show transaction histories.
Using blockchain, the power to communicate, archive records and execute transactions directly (using any of over 2,070 different cryptocurrencies and tokens now listed on CoinMarketCap) resides in the individual or individual company that uses it. This concept challenges the companies of intermediaries who have put online the internet for huge profits.
"Internet, in case you did not know it, it is Property", Writes Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna in The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the future of everything. "There's a handful of companies that essentially control everything-[including] Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. "
When technology genius Tim Berners-Lee wrote the source code for the web in the 1990s, he imagined it as a tool for every man– One that would enable individuals globally to conduct peer-to-peer (P2P) businesses. And it has become just this – to a certain extent.
But what Berners-Lee did not foresee was the domination and centralization of the web by giant companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, eBay and Uber. Disappointed by the way his original web code was used (or misused), Berners-Lee is working on Solid, a platform designed to return the Web to the democratic purpose it intended, changing the way applications work and restoring control of personal data for individuals and allowing people and businesses to use the Web without paying large internet companies.
What is Web 3.0?
Now that blockchain is on the rise; it is challenging the domination of the corporate internet giants by returning authority and power to individuals. This is the main goal of the development of Web 3.0, the broad moniker for the various ongoing efforts towards the goal of decentralization. (It's called 3.0 because it will follow the original web-going online with dial-up (1.0) -and the current one, characterized by the use of broadband and the dominance of big internet companies).
The term "Web 3.0" represents a scattered but thematically correlated and growing assortment of efforts for the development of internet applications that are valid alternatives to those for the current centralized network. For a number of technical and process reasons, the applications and platforms planned for Web 3.0 are much more favorable to blockchain and vice versa.
Web 3.0 is not seen as a replacement for the current web; both would still be accessible. Rather, it is imagined as an alternative.
While Berners-Lee and his team are working on Web 3.0 applications, a web in which blockchain would be omnipresent, some of the same big companies that have taken control of the current web are trying to co-opt the blockchain, looking for big chunks of a projected products and services to a total of $ 60 billion by mid-2020. Microsoft, IBM, Google and Facebook are among the companies that invest heavily in the development of blockchain products and services, trying to prevent disintermediation through opting of the technology developed for disturbing.
What does blockchain and Web 3.0 mean for doctors?
Together, Web 3.0 and blockchain will offer key benefits to individuals and businesses. These should include:
- Individual control: Web 3.0 applications are designed to provide individual holders with URL control, which is now the province of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which authorizes domain name registrars such as GoDaddy and Register.com. Under the development of the interplanetary file system (IPFS), a decentralized site indexing system now under development, the sites would be organized according to the unique blockchain identifiers of their respective owners. The IPFS is designed as based on a vast global network of personal computers whose owners, in exchange for financial incentives in the form of cryptocurrency, will allow the system to use the free space on disk of the owners.
The authors of "The Truth Machine" call IPFS a "decentralized web hosting system that could only decentralize the World Wide Web." Using this system, those looking for websites would no longer depend on Goggle, who decides which search results will people see according to the client companies that pay them. In addition, the extended network of early blockchain for the Web 3.0 will allow unlimited opportunities for P2P trade, instead of turning to brokers like Uber for a ride or eBay to sell used children's clothes.
- Privacy and security: Millions of people have entrusted their personal data to large Internet companies, only to be devastated when they learned that Facebook sold it or exposed it to hackers. Blockchain allows people to regain control of their personal data. If set correctly, the data stored in blockchain controlled by private keys can not be compromised, unlike the big websites that have been highly publicized hack goals: the main retailers, the credit card companies, the rating agencies and the federal government.
Blockchain, writes the authors of "The Truth Machine", gives the world "a new starting point from which to tackle this problem". An event that highlighted the lack of security of the centralized web was the October 2016 denial-of-service attack, which severely disrupted the main online services including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit and The New York Times. These services were vulnerable because they are hosted on centralized servers. Bthe lockchain data on Web 3.0 will be hosted on a distributed global computer network and will therefore be decentralized. On the contrary, the concentration of data in a central position makes it vulnerable to hacks.
- Savings: At the individual level, withdrawing intermediaries would mean a great reduction in security costs and hacks. And the use of the blockchain to carry out cryptocurrency transactions would drastically reduce payments to banks and credit card companies. On a commercial level, a network made less hackerable by the blockchain would have blocked the bleeding of companies from computer fraud, despite the huge sums they spend to prevent hacks. According to "The Truth Machine", even though "the world has spent about $ 75 billion on IT security in 2015 … the total loss from the theft of online fraud has exceeded $ 400 billion".
The blockchain and Web 3.0 story is part of a larger story that involves a global struggle for power and authority.
For technology investors, it is a time of great confusion, as the business and technological developments of the blockchain are becoming difficult and fast in what will be the fourth industrial revolution: the rise of interconnected digital systems.
The macro view forward is that blockchain and Web 3.0 will not only change the personal and commercial use of the internet. They will also transform society.
Eric C. Jansen, ChFC, is the founder, president and chief investment officer of Westborough, Mass.-Based Finished | Financial advisors, a registered investment advisor SEC. Finivi provides Educational services of bitcoin and cryptocurrency to its retail clients and manages several of them thematic investment portfolios focused on blockchain innovation and disruptive technologies. The information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. Investing in ICO, cryptocurrency or token is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone who considers it should be ready to lose the entire investment.