As developers experiment with new use cases for blockchain technology, they’re starting to capture the attention of investors, corporations, banks, and governments.
All G7 countries now have somewhat blockchain-friendly governments. Many are even investing hundreds of millions of dollars to support research and projects in this area. If you’re struggling to understand why, then watching some blockchain TED Talks could help.
Here are three specialised blockchain TED Talks that explain how the technology has spread outside the cryptocurrency market and why it should matter to you.
The future of money
Neha Narula participated in TED in 2016, when she was a data scientist, speaker, and cryptocurrency evangelist and consultant. Now, she’s a director at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, an academic community that researches and provides support for blockchain technology.
If you’re already familiar with concepts like cryptocurrencies, decentralisation, and blockchain, this TED Talk will be more of a confirmation of everything you know. However, it also clears some doubts and generally helps to expand your knowledge on specific blockchain use cases.
If you have friends that would like to know more about how Bitcoin and blockchains work, this is also the right video to send them.
Narula uses simple analogies to explain complex concepts such as value and digital money. This is a common practice you’ll find in most blockchain TED Talks. What’s so interesting about this one is that she manages to provide a sneak preview of the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm with almost no effort.
The cryptocurrency consultant highlights the advantages and disadvantages of digital coins. She predicts the arrival of better solutions as the technology evolves. She also warns that evolution comes with a price, so we should get ready to compromise to benefit from technology – as we’ve already done when we started using automobiles or the internet.
The potential of blockchain
Mike Schwartz is an investor who supports a wide range of innovative start-ups. He’s also partner, managing director, and global chairman of the Blockchain Technologies Lab of BCG Digital Ventures.
Unlike other blockchain TED Talks, this one focuses more on the multiple applications of blockchain technology in real-life situations. Schwartz highlights the advantages of using this technology across various industries, not just finance.
Starting from the idea that blockchains are open, Schwartz explains how they will ultimately become tools that bring people together. That’s because these networks allow people who don’t know each other to make trustless transactions with confidence.
The talk gives equal weight to both the benefits and risks that come with change. Schwartz believes that blockchains still aren’t mature enough to support large-scale use cases. The investor highlights the fact that reaching the performance and scale requirements is going to include a lot of trial and error.
This is quite a scary scenario, as many people have already placed so much value on blockchains. Another frightening thing about the new technology, according to Schwartz, is the process of rewiring organisations to integrate with decentralised networks. That’s because companies, banks, and governments support thousands of jobs, and some of them may disappear as a result of the new system in place.
How blockchain will radically transform the economy
Bettina Warburg is a co-founder of Animal Ventures, an agency that invests in transformative technologies. She’s also the Executive Producer of the tech show “Tech on Politics”.
Warburg came to TED to explain how blockchains can become a highly secure storage tool for all kinds of assets and even personal, identifiable information. She describes how the new technology has the potential to lower the uncertainty that currently defines most interactions between people online.
Like the other two blockchain TED Talks listed above, Warburg’s presentation describes the long road blockchain technology still has to go down. According to this investor, we’ll see a lot of failures before developers and companies finally get to the bottom of all the use cases of blockchain.
The core message of blockchain TED Talks
Most blockchain-based TED Talks have the same purpose – to increase awareness and clear up some blockchain myths. Most investors and consultants agree that we’re heading towards a world where decentralised, autonomous organisations (DAOs) will play a significant role in the economy.
Automation through smart contracts on the blockchain can convert uncertainties into certainties. This makes it an appealing solution to many existing frictions. However, people should still be aware that blockchain technology is in its infancy, and there are many improvements needed to make it scalable and useful for global operations.