Alex Tapscott: the Internet of Value Genie is Out of the Bottle

In a new Ted Talk, “Blockchain Revolution” author Alex Tapscott took a page out of venture capitalist Marc Andreesen’s book: everyone knows that software is eating the world. Tapscott believes that blockchain is eating Wall Street. But how is it taking its first few bites?

In order to illustrate his point, Tapscott breaks down the essential nature of financial services. He points out that although providers of these services are often regarded as “masters of the universe,” the entire industry exists to serve eight basic functions:

  1. Authenticate and attest to value
  2. Transfer value
  3. Store value
  4. Lend Value
  5. Exchange value
  6. Fund and invest
  7. Insure value and manage risk
  8. Account for and audit value

Each of these functions has a lower barrier to entry than ever before, thanks to new technology that can lower the cost of each of these. In the long-lasting wake of the 2008 financial crisis, even the most established institutions are struggling to maintain their position. With all of this going on, Tapscott says blockchain and distributed fintech are eating Wall Street. This opens up unprecedented opportunities for financial inclusion and a wholly new system for global payments.

What does the future look like? Alex Tapscott says it looks like something Ripple has envisioned and worked to create for years now: the Internet of Value.

“Fintech will transform the industry, but it also represents nothing short of the second generation of the internet. […] So what if the internet was entering a second era, from an internet of information to an Internet of Value?”

Tapscott suggest that the powerful transformation will lie in giving people a store of value that is easy to send, receive, store, and spend anywhere in the world. Solve the problem of payments and the industry can do much more, for many more people.

What if settlement could happen immediately, reducing risk?

What if the cost of payments was more efficient, so that high-volume, low-value payments were easier to provide?

What if the Internet of Value was real?

“The technology genie has been released from the bottle. This genie is once again at our disposal, to fix a broken system and to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs for the better. If we will it.”

Watch the Ted Talk here.