I came across the notion that blockchain technology is forcing us to think differently while at the Enterprise for Blockchain Summit in NYC this past July. I love attending these summits because no matter how much you know about blockchain technology or what your incentive is to go, you’ll always hear something that introduces you to a thought concept you have never tapped into before.
I was sitting in the audience, listening to a roundtable conversation on “Asset Tokenization” when I heard a bold statement that sparked my curiosity. It came from Nithin Eapen, Chief Investment Officer of Arcadia Crypto Ventures. In response to a panel member’s question he admitted that he “wouldn’t prefer to have a token where he had 50% of the share… but with money, he would.”
How backwards is this type of thinking from our daily interactions and thoughts on currency? We would never even consider a currency where we wouldn’t want to own 50% of the total share. Imagine what you can do with a 50% share of the world’s money! This is exactly the type of challenge blockchain technology is forcing us to consider.
According to this SharesChain article on Medium, asset tokens represent “shares, equity, or some other legally grounded asset, which is usually based off a company’s evaluation.” This means that the tokens themselves represent grounded stores of value that we tangibly recognize, like pieces of artwork and real estate. But why then wouldn’t Nithin want to own 50% of a token’s share?
In order for the token to be used and seen as a viable representation of these assets there has to be a community that believes in them and keeps the token’s blockchain ecosystem running. There has to be enough community members participating in the ecosystem by either putting certain assets onto the blockchain or participating in its regulation so that the ecosystem can survive.
The mindset is: in a token economy, I want you to have as much of the share of tokens as I do so that you have as much stake in the tokens as I do… therefore I’ll be less likely to lose out. The strength of a token’s community determines the strength of its value, which then determines the wealth a buyer takes home.
In this ecosystem, I wouldn’t rely on the creators of the blockchain to promise me that their blockchain ecosystem will continue to run, nor would I rely on the end consumers to continue to generate a profit. I would, however, rely on the totality of the community members that participate in the daily breath of the token’s blockchain to determine the future of the token I hold.
The prime differentiation between a blockchain ecosystem and our regulated fiat systems are that a blockchain’s community members can control the value and future of the currency with their participation.
With government regulated currency, we never had an option to either use the currency or not, rather, we had to in order to survive. Blockchain powered currencies introduce additional elements to our involvement with currency: participation and use.
Blockchain ecosystems are dependent upon our participation in order to grow, and they are therefore giving us a seat at the table to weigh in on their regulation. We once again have to challenge our previous notions on money in order to include more changing factors that we have a say in determining. The idea that a blockchain’s ecosystem is dependent upon the community to come to censuses in order to remain intact is a huge reversal to our current dependence on a currency in order for ourselves to remain intact.
Having a strong community of equally contributing members who work together for the benefit of the greater livelihood of the currency itself is a foreign concept to our present-day method of regulating currency. The current setup of our fiat currency forces us to be out for ourselves instead of out for the greater good, because that’s how we protect ourselves and ensure our wealth. But with blockchain powered currency, we protect our wealth through the survival of the currency and its ability to adapt and provide for the larger community at stake.
Sounds too utopian? Maybe. But perhaps the challenge actually lies in our mindsets.
Brielle Pearson has had her eye on Bitcoin way before it was cool… but it wasn’t until early 2018, after attending a “Women in Blockchain” event in NYC, that she became fascinated by the blockchain technology that backed it and all the opportunities that came along with it. After having been disappointed in the blockchain community’s inclusive environment, she took it upon herself to inspire and educate others about blockchain technology. She is currently a blockchain writer, trainer, and community lead at Kadena.
Image by: Juliet Romano.