Dr. Tomicah Tillemann: "Rise of Blockchain and Its Global Adoption" | Talks at Google
Like. Many of you I'm very curious, about the. Future. Of blockchain, and how it might integrate. Into. Various, frameworks. Of our society. And. For that we. Have a very special guest, today dr., - Micah Tillman. Dr.. Tillman, is the chairman, of the global, blockchain, business council he's. A co-founder, of, the blockchain trust accelerator. He. Is a member, of the advisory, board of the bitfury, group which is a leading full-service, blockchain, company, great. So I'm, sure most. Of you guys are, already familiar with blockchain. And cryptocurrencies. But. The Micah can you please just very briefly explain, those, concepts, absolutely. And I should clarify that I spend most of my time explaining. These concepts. To audiences. That maybe. Spend a, lot of time working on high-level policy, issues or c-level, executives, and big corporations, but, don't know that much about technology. I realize that is not the case today so I am thrilled to have, an audience here that I'm sure will. Have incredible, insights on the technical aspects of this technology, beyond some of the policy, and business, components. That we're going to discuss today blockchain. At its core is just a, record it's it's a very simple. Concept to wrap your head around humanity. Has been using records for about fifty five hundred years since the time, of Sumerian, tablets so in that sense this is not something, that new, but, it has two dimensions that, are big, innovation, so when you put those together it, unlocks, functionality. That we have never had access to before the. First thing to know about watching, is that it is distributed, it, is stored in the case of Bitcoin blockchain on thousands, of computers, all over the world all, of those computers, contain, an identical. Identical copy. Of the record and what that means is that they're constantly checking. Each other to, ensure its accuracy and integrity so. That's one important. Dimension, of this the, second, is that it is permanent once. A piece of data is entered in. To a data block and locked into that chain, hence, the name you, can't change it you can update the information but. You can never erase the information, so, if a government wants, to wipe out the the contents, of a blockchain it can't do it if, a company wants to wipe out the contents, of a blockchain it can't do it they, are designed, to be incredibly, resilient and incredibly. Secure. And. Those, are very important, when it comes to this, this permanence, that we're talking about when. You put those two pieces together, the. Distributed, nature of the record and the permanent nature of the record it provides, the. Opportunity to, do some things that we've never been able to do before it is an independent. Source. Of truth for, any information. That you put in you can validate, that something, was created, at the time you say it was created, because. It's logged in the blockchain and again nobody can monkey with it once it's there you. Can assure that a vote has been tabulated, correctly. If it's hashed to the blockchain you, can ensure that a property, record has, been registered in, the way that it's supposed to be registered it. Has the potential, by virtue of this independent. Distributed. And, permanent. Functionality. To. Solve a lot of problems around, trust, a lot of problems around corruption. And a lot of problems around transparency, and those are all big, issues that we are wrestling with in the world today and because of that I feel it's a very important, technology, for all of us to hopefully put, our arms around I agree. Do. You think there's, any doubt at this point that, blockchain, technology, is going to become mainstream that's a great question, I think blockchain. Technology, today is, in, very much the same place that the internet was in about 1993. Or 1994. And. What that means is that this, could go any number of directions there, is no, foreordained. Course, for. The technology, that, the functionality. Is. Incredibly. Important, and again the functionality. Enables, us to do so many things that we've never been able to do before that the functionality, probably. Isn't going anywhere theoretically. Somebody, could come with a technology, that will provide, that same functionality, in, a way that is potentially.
A Little bit cheaper or potentially. A little, bit more efficient, so, that could theoretically again. Derail, adoption, of the technology, but, in terms of what it can do that. Is here to stay and I would imagine I, would expect that it will become the ubiquitous, technology in, the course of coming years. So. With your experience. In, politics, and civic institution, can you describe, your, vision, for global. Adoption, of blockchain. And what, are the key steps in, this transition, that, is a big question and we could probably spend, the better part of our time here discussing, that and a. Couple of things first Bitcoin. Which is the application of. Blockchain, that most people are familiar with and again I imagine. It is, not. A news. Announcement to, those in this room that. Blockchain, was originally, developed as the rails to, power Bitcoin, and has since been adapted into for, a variety of different applications. Bitcoin. Is already gaining pretty broad global adoption, and the. First place where you are likely to see blockchain, applications, take hold is, in financial, technology, IBM. Came out with a survey a little while ago that estimated, that in the next three years. 65%, of all big banks are going to be using blockchain, so, this is a technology that in that space certainly, as it as it relates to payments, as it relates to moving money and financial, assets back and forth has, kind of already reached, the tipping point, that train has left the station so. That's stage one that's, exciting, there is again a misperception, that this is something that is going to happen soon in practice. This is something that is happening right now so. Don't. Anticipate, that it's going to be years and years before you see those use cases rolling, out the, second, piece of this will happen when. You see adoption, and what I call in, tech, or institutional. Technology. Some. People, call it Bev Tech but. These are the entities that, validate, the facts, that make up kind of a base layer of reality, that we all have to agree on and. Here I'm going to pause and kind of zoom way back for a moment if you will forgive me akka there, was another, great talks. At Google speaker. Historian. Named you of all Hariri crossed, an important question a couple of years ago he said why are humans, in charge why why are we the ones that run the planet and not jellyfish, or orangutangs. Because theoretically it could be jellyfish, or orangutangs. And what. He recognized, is that humans are able to do two things that other species can't do the, first is that we can cooperate flexibly. And. The second is that we can cooperate at scale so if you look at other species you, find some that can cooperate flexibly like, wolves and dolphins you, find some that can cooperate at scale like bees or ants but, nobody, else can do the two of those together the. Way that we are able to do that is we, come to a consensus. On kind. Of a base layer of reality a certain set of facts that everyone is willing to sign up for and, once we do that we're, able to go off and in, many different verticals, pursue. Our own individual. Agendas on the basis, of those common facts, what. Blockchain, is going to allow us to do potentially, is create. A new form, of consensus. Around basic, facts and that. Is if, again, if we do it right a. Solution. That has the potential to supercharge. Collaboration. To supercharge, cooperation. In, ways that we've never been able to work together previously. And. So as you see institutions. That keep track of who owns what who. Voted for whom who, owns which, piece of property start.
To Move their activities, on the blockchain you're. Going to see a very, big new chapter, in the history of human cooperation, and. And that's going to be really cool what, happens, at that stage I would suggest is, that we're likely to see the emergence, of business. Models, that we find it difficult to even conceive, of right now the, business models that take advantage of the, tokenization, of, assets where. We take, anything. That we have chair, a car I have, to energy, and. Have, the ability to transfer, that back and forth seamlessly. If, you think about the last 20 years what, you and others at Google have been working on is. Really facilitating. The frictionless. Peer-to-peer exchange. Of information and, what, blockchain, should enable us to do is. Engage in the frictionless, peer-to-peer exchange. Of assets, once. We hit that tipping point a lot of exciting things are gonna happen really quickly I'll, stop talking there that's a very, long complicated, answer okay, I want, to ask specifically, about. Governments, because governments traditionally, are one, of the you know latest, adopters, of. Technology. And, how. Do you think a government, might adopt blockchain. Either as a, currency. Or for. Administration. And when do you think that night, that's. Another, very good question so. Two. Pieces first. How, will governments, use blockchain. I, would, suggest that the first iterations. Of government. Utilization. Of blockchain, technology, will. Be focused, on, how. You can provide an added, level of assurance, around. Data integrity and, this. Is already happening my, project, that we have been heavily involved in is. Moving, the country, of Georgia as Land Registry, onto blockchain, why, would you want to do this why would you care about putting a Land Registry, on, blockchain, in, many parts of the world if Jasmine has a nice piece of property by the lake and I want it and my, cousin, works for the Land Registry I go, and talk to my cousin my cousin signs, that property, over to me and because, the registry controls. The record there's nothing, that you can do about it you are out of luck at that point and. It would be nice to say this is an isolated, phenomenon this is not an isolated phenomenon this is something that happens on a very regular basis, so, if you work in a country or live in a country where people have those concerns, if you, can take those registries.
And Move them into a format, where, even, if you've got a corrupt, official with. Access. To the information, they can, go in and wipe out the, evidence, that it was Jasmine's, property, to begin with that's, a big deal and citizens. Are gonna sleep a lot better at night especially. When it is, in, conjunction with something. As important, and fundamental as. Your home so. Those would be the early, iterations and again that's already, happening, Georgia's. System is active, it has about two hundred thousand, records according. To the World Bank it is now the number, one system, in the world for, land registration. So we've seen good progress there Dubai. Has pledged that by 2020. They want all of their government, transactions. To, be taking place on blockchain, Ukraine, has committed to moving all of their transactions. On the blockchain and we see many other countries around the world that are starting to dabble in this, in the, United States we've worked over the last year with about eight government, agencies, that are investigating. Different. Use cases for blockchain, and starting. To stand up their own pilots, there, is enormous, potential, there and again at a moment, when we, are facing a real crisis, of confidence of, trust and institutions, this has the potential to be a very valuable, tool for governments. Who are working. Desperately. To regain, and, win, back some of the confidence of their citizens. What. About the push back of the corrupt officials like how they overcome, that and do people have the power to. That's. A very good question, and you, see kind, of two dynamics, there's, some countries, and you know I speak now as somebody who spent the. Better part of the last decade working. In, nations. Around the world that. Were struggling with issues of governance and trying to get their democracies, to function properly there, are some countries where the leaders in charge don't, want any transparency. And don't want any accountability, and. I would be very surprised, if you see many, of those countries adopting. Blockchain, technology, there. Is another, pretty, wide swath, of countries, where people in charge actually, do want more accountability and transparency but. The systems they are working with are so dysfunctional and, so broken, and so corrupt that it's extremely, difficult to, impose, those solutions, from on high those. Are the cases where blockchain, could be pretty transformational. And, in some instances, I think you're gonna get rigorous, pushback, from those in the bureaucracy. That are benefiting, from the status quo because, once they recognize that it will make it much more challenging to. Engage in corruption they may be a little bit concerned but, in other cases what we're finding is that this, is a. Sufficiently. Large, transformation. That. Even. People on the wrong side of the equation, right now. Understand. They're better off supporting. This and working. To build new. More. Accountable. More transparent. Business, models. And lies for themselves on the other side then.
They Are fighting this outright so. I've actually been surprised, and impressed by. The, extent to which there hasn't been more, pushback at this, stage of the technologies, adoption, yes so how these, governments, that are adopting. Or government. Institutions, that are adopting blockchain, though they typically, create their own block, trains or do they use existing. Ones yes. Is the answer and that's, another exciting, dimension of this when, blockchain, technology, first emerged people, thought there were only two flavors, of blockchain, public. Block chains like the Bitcoin block chain or, the etherium block chain which, run on computers all over the world and anyone can, set, up a node and be part of those networks or, private, blockchains that. Are, defined. They exist within kind of a walled garden you. Can only set up a node on that network if you're, invited, and have the appropriate credentials what. We're finding now is that some of the most powerful, functionality. Comes when, we actually layer block, chains and when you use public block, chains and private. Blockchains in, coordination, I'll. Give you an example of how this is working in the case of Georgia the, Bitcoin blockchain does a lot of things really well but it is not ideally. Suited to. Processing. Big chunks of data so, if you have a complicated, map of a, property, someplace, it's, going to be really tough to store that in the Bitcoin blockchain, so. In in this case our technical, partner the bitfury group developed. A solution called, exonym, which, takes, a snapshot of, the, registry, every. Few minutes and hashes. That blockchain. Or stores that stat, snapshot. In. A public, watching, so what it allows you to do is design, a solution, that's bespoke, you can get very. High. Transaction. Rates you can get really big data blocks as part of the system you, can do it exactly the way you need to do it but. Then you have the data integrity and, the security. That comes with logging. That data or hashing, that data to. A public, blockchain, and, I think that's where a lot of the, public sector applications. Will eventually, end up is, using this layered approach that, anchors, information. To a public blockchain, but, actually, stores, the information and a private blockchain. In. Among. Current. Politicians. And government, officials, especially. In the u.s., what's. Their current perception, of blockchain, no that's it's, an excellent question I have, a good friend who spent a long time working. At the White House and. After. She left the White House somebody. Came to her a former. Colleague who, had gone on to MIT came. To her and said hey I really think you should get involved in in blockchain, technology, and. Her response was that's. Criminal, money and you're crazy and I. Think if you had to be honest about it that is the perception. Of a lot of folks in government right now they they view, blockchain. And Bitcoin. And everything, associated with, it as, something that they probably don't, want to dabble with and. And this mutual, friend of ours said well you're, wrong, take some time to learn about it and come back to me once you have and. You know she reached the conclusion, that this had the potential to be a transformational. Tool for supporting, good governance and I went through that same process. Of realization, and. I think what, we are focused. On right now and a lot of our educational, efforts both, with the global blockchain business council and with the blockchain trust accelerator, is, working, with policymakers, to help them understand, and how, they can use this tool to solve public, problems, and. You know what we've seen is a pretty, dramatic, transformation. I'll give you just one additional anecdote. In, that department almost. Exactly, a year ago, and may have been a year ago this week I went, in to meet with the. President's. Staff at the World Bank and said, this is something that's really important, this, has the potential to dramatically. Change the way you do business and. I think you should spend some time and energy understanding. How this works and, they looked at me and smiled and said you're, adorable that's, really nice. We don't do early-stage technology, come, back and see us in five years and we'll have a conversation and. About. Six months after that they, gave me a call and. Asked me to keynote, the launch of the World Bank's, new blockchain, lab and. In October, we co-hosted with, the World Bank the, first-ever blockchain.
Summit That, they convened, on the merchants of the world bank's annual meetings so, we are seeing that narrative, play out in institution. After institution. And organization. After organization and. I think there's immense potential, as we try. To help. Policymakers. And, others with the capacity, to deploy, these solutions at scale, understand. What can be done if, this technology is harnessed correctly so. You mentioned, the global, blockchain, business council and the blockchain, trust accelerator. In. Addition to promoting. Blockchain. In. Among. Politicians. What. Specifically, these organizations. Also do and are, they related what's. The connection between them great question, so, these. Organizations both, started, out of a series of conversations that. We had during a very difficult, challenging. Business trip I took to Richard. Branson's island, in the Caribbean and he. Hosts an annual blockchain. Summit and while. We were there we surveyed, the landscape, this was now about a year and a half ago and saw, that there was an enormous amount of investment, in activity, around FinTech. Or financial, technology, applications, for watching, far. Less was taking, place in. The governance and social, impact space and we, wanted to solve that problem so. We set up a partnership called, the blockchain trust, accelerator, that brings, together a number of different communities, and a number of different organizations, first. The the place that I work in New America, we are a civic incubator, and think tank our, board is people like Eric Schmidt who chaired our board for many years and then David Brooks in the New York Times then. We pulled. In one of the world's largest blockchain. Companies, the bitfury group then. We invited organizations. That work on solving public challenges, at the national democratic institute which, is chaired by Madeleine Albright and, the Rockefeller, Foundation, has since joined us and together, we, work to identify. Pilot. Projects, in, the social impact in governance space that, can benefit, from the application, of blockchain, technology, and then we educate, and build communities, around those solutions, so. In addition to the Georgia project that I mentioned earlier we've, also worked to take the, world's largest registry. Of civil society organizations, 900. Thousand organizations from. Around the world and, move, that registry. Onto blockchain, we've, worked with partners in the UK, who are doing polling and public engagement, in. In the UK Parliament to. Help them build pilot, projects, around blockchain, and we have many more in the pipeline so, that's the blockchain trust accelerator, we're always looking for partners in talent come talk to me afterwards, or send me a note if, you'd like to work with us the, global blockchain business council emerged, out of the World Economic Forum, meeting in Davos and, it, is a group, of leaders from about 40 countries, who, saw a real need to shape. The deployment. Of this technology, on a global basis. We. Bring together public, sector actors, policy. Thinkers. And. Also, a lot, of very important, partners in the private sector, to. Look at how you can provide. People with the information they need especially c-suite. Level leaders, to, make good decisions around. Their use of blockchain, technology, how you can build partnerships. That, will harness this technology, successfully. And. How we can shape a regulatory, environment that's. Going to be conducive to, hopefully. Capturing. Some of the value, that can exist if we do this right. So you mentioned. Regulations. What, what current, regulations. And regulatory frameworks. Already, exists, and what's. About, to emerge that's, a very. Important. And challenging, question, we're seeing two big, approaches, in, the United States regulators. Have, adopted. An attitude that, they're. Not going to regulate the underlying technology. What they are going to do is regulate activity. That occurs, on the platform. And they're going to do that largely, using, existing, tools, so. If you are for. Example, issuing. Securities using. Blockchain, which is a thing as some, of you may have heard there's. Been a phenomenon. Called the initial, coin offering, which is a, mechanism. For tokenizing. In. Some cases value. And companies in some cases other things and. Raising. Funds on the basis, of those offerings, then.
The SEC is, going to take a good, hard look at what you're doing and if they determine that what you are doing looks. Like an initial public offering then they're, probably going to come down on you pretty hard and regulate, you the way they would an, initial public offering in. Other instances, we see countries that are looking, at the technology, itself, and, here China is an intriguing example, there's been a great, deal of interest, and enthusiasm, on the part of Chinese officials in, the, use of watching, technology, I was, in China earlier this year and, we were, accepted. Or received, by I, think seven government, ministers, provincial. Governors a Justice, of their Supreme Court and, about 1,500, corporate leaders so this is a technology that has a very, broad audience in. China but, there have been some concerns on the part of Chinese authorities, about the underlying, technology. In part because, it does exist outside the realm of government. Influence it's not something, that governments, can turn on or off if. You think about this in a European, context. The Europeans, have a law, that I'm sure many of you have dealt with that deals with the right to be forgotten or so-called right to be forgotten, you can't forget anything and watching it's technically, impossible to, forget information. And blockchain so, there's some there's some new challenges, that will emerge at a regulatory level, as, we bring watch-chain solutions, to scale now. One outstanding issue with blockchain. Is, our. Long transaction. Processing, times which. Are sort of slowing, the amount. Of adoption. There, are a few proposed solutions, to this but, nothing that's really gone mainstream. Are. There any solutions that you're aware of that are likely, to take home. So. That's a great, question as, you point out technically. There's. Some pretty compelling fixes. That have been developed, that solved, the problem of long, transaction. Types a former, Googler, took, a lot of those fixes, and packaged, them into a cryptocurrency called, light coin that. Has had a rather. Meteoric, rise in the last couple, of weeks as well so, we know that technically, you can build block chains that will solve, for these challenges that have very high transaction. Rates that. Facilitate. Again. As I indicated earlier, larger. Blocks of data as. Part of each new link in the chain that constitutes. The blockchain what. We don't know yet. Is whether, it will be possible to, push. All of those solutions or, some of those solutions, into. The Bitcoin blockchain which is at the moment experiencing. A fair amount of congestion in. The context, of a pretty. Extraordinary. Increase. In the valuation a bit Bitcoin, over the last couple of weeks and. So I think there is an open, question there, Bitcoin. May, turn out to be something. That is used primarily as a store of value and, for very high, value. Transactions. And in that case it probably won't matter too much or. If, you want to make it mainstream you, will have to adopt some of these new solutions in, in, conjunction with, the existing, rails and. That, is more, of a. Political. Challenge, among, the various, data, centers, that. Operate. The Bitcoin network because. The the Bitcoin network is, maintained. By a decentralized. Group of entities, that are often referred to as miners although I think that's a really weird and lousy name but. The the entities that operate these data centers ultimately. Have to come to agreement on which, of the solutions, they're willing to bring into the network and that will determine I. Would. Suggest the. Likely. Transaction. Throughput. That, will be possible in, the network going forward it's, also important, to recognize just, one more point on this that. If you had tried to run YouTube. On the Internet in 1993. It wouldn't, have worked that well we would have had some serious challenges and, doing, that and again, we're in 1993. So. There, will be I'm pretty confident. More. And better solutions. Developed for these challenges as the technology, matures hopefully. Some of you in this room or watching will be able to come up with those fixes now, what, about some of the other, pitfalls. Of blockchain. For example, the relatively, high power consumption. Volatility. Forks, and splits. Risks. Of mining, pool takeovers. Etc. Do you see any of these as, a concern. These. Are all the easy questions, and you just lump them all together there so, let's let's try to go through those in in.
Some Sequencing, first, power consumption. Right, now the network does use a lot of power ironically. That's one of the things that makes it so secure, if you wanted to hack that we only know a really, one way to, hack the, Bitcoin network and. That is to amass. Computational. Power that, is equivalent to more than 51%. Of. All. The computational. Power in the network in. Order to do that right now it. Would take about. As much electricity as, a medium-sized. Country, uses. To operate so this is not an easy thing to pull, off and again i rana. Clee it's one of the reasons that the network is so secure, a lot. Of the responsible, companies in this space are using, renewable, energy and, they, are running, the network off of clean hydro they're running the network off of geothermal, energy. But, there are some. Some. Important, reasons to think about what, happens as this technology, becomes more ubiquitous. I would. View the. Electricity. Consumption, of the network at the moment less, as a bug, and more, as a bounty, a, two hundred thousand, dollar bounty that's, issued every 10 minutes on finding. Efficient. Clean energy around, the world and. Ironically, the. Spreading. Popularity. Of blockchain. May, be one of the, forcing. Mechanisms, for, encouraging. Greater, adoption, of cheap, clean energy if we do it right there, are questions, there it's not a foregone conclusion but. That's certainly one direction, that, this could go some. Of the other challenges, that you mentioned, the. Issue. Of what happens if they're forks in the network. That. Is a problem that I suggest, will be solved, eventually, with the, maturation, of the technology. Right, now what can happen and has. Happened on rare occasion, is that. If. Someone. Who is part. Of the network decides, that they don't want to, run. The dominant, protocol, anymore, they, can go off on their own and create what's called a fork in, the, chain and and develop their own new. Chain as part, of the Bitcoin network or, as part of anyone else's network that. Doesn't wipe out the assets, that you have stored, on the network those assets, continue. To exist on both networks, but. It does create a problem if you're trying to keep track of things as the. Technology, becomes more ubiquitous as the, size, of the network increases. It, will be harder, and harder for. Any actor, to create, a, dominant. Alternative. To. The main chain and. I think that is you. Know again something that we're, already seeing, as. As, the technology.
Moves. Forward and as the valuation of Bitcoin increases, but, it's something that we'll want to keep an eye on going forward so. It is a very, volatile, asset right now certainly. There are a lot of people making a great deal of money off of that volatility, so. And for some folks this is a feature rather than a bug we're. Seeing a couple of developments, that should help tamp down volatility. In time the, first is as, many of you likely heard today, we, saw the launch of Bitcoin, futures, historically. Futures, have a. Moderating. Effect on prices, and volatile assets, so, to the extent you're able to create futures, contracts, that should limit. The extent of the volatility within the asset the. Second thing. That I anticipate. Will have an impact on volatility, is, the spreading, adoption, of the technology the more people that are using it going forward, the, less likely, you are to have wild wild, swings in, the valuation of the asset so, you've already talked about some of the opportunities for. Building. Infrastructure, and apps do. You have anything else in, mind, that. Might be a particularly, great. Idea so I can tell you some of the amazing. Solutions. That we're seeing come, our way at, the blockchain trust accelerator, and in the global blockchain, business council and and some of these are just immensely. Exciting, at a number, of different levels we. Were approached by one firm recently, that's developed, a blockchain based, mechanism, for, doing a distributed. Power generation, in, off-grid. Villages, in, developing. Countries why. Is, watching, relevant, here how. Does this work, you can now buy for, about a hundred bucks integrated. Systems that will combine. A solar panel a battery, some, light bulbs a cell phone charger and and, the other pieces that you need for a basic electrical. System, in, a little Hut in a rural village someplace, so. That's that's pretty cool that we can do that the, problem is that in these villages very, few people have a hundred bucks that they can throw at one of these systems and up, until now there hasn't been any, good mechanism for financing. The deployment, of these technologies technologies. At, scale so what we're able to do with blockchain, now is, create, a fix whereby, you. Pay. For five. Dollars of electricity, and. You put that money into a watching. System, an agent puts that money into a blockchain system, and then you get a text message and then, you put that text message, into. The electrical, system that's, been installed in your house and you get two months of electricity, for, that five dollars which is a lot less than you would spend on kerosene, and it's a lot less than you would spend on on wood it's a really good solution for everyone and then, in two months when the agent comes back you give them another five dollars they, put that into the blockchain they send you another code you, get another two months of electricity and eventually. You're able to pay off that system, so, that's one kind, of micro, example, of, how we're seeing blockchain, deployed. Another. Really cool example, a company, called Vox Cove which has for. Those of you who do venture some of the coolest unfunded, tech that, I have yet encountered, they've figured out a way to, scrape, the 80%, of all information, produced by governments, that isn't. Available via. A Google search, or any other search and curate. That and make it beautifully, visualized, a bowl and you can sort it and slice it and dice it a thousand, different ways, they. Then are going to put that information, on a blockchain. Framework. One of the issues that governments. All over the world experience, and our government, unfortunately is not immune to this is. That when new folks come in and they don't like information. That is stored by the government, they get rid of it we, saw this earlier this, year with, climate, data that, was stored by the Environmental, Protection Agency. In, the United States and there, was an effort to wipe, out and erase, some very important, climate data that. Had been gathered, by the EPA, this. Is a solution, for that and it will enable you to have, a very, secure. Auditable. Record, of, all. Information. That's produced by a government, and, you know again search, it visualize, it do a lot of other cool things with it the. Last thing that I'll mention involves. The deployment, of grants, and. Government. Funding or other public. Resources, right. Now the, US government every.
Year Issues. A hundred, forty four billion, dollars. In improper. Payments a, hundred. Forty four bill million dollars in improper payments that's, money that goes out the door because people, haven't validated, the. The. Recipients, on the other end they, haven't checked to ensure that the recipients. Are alive their whole host of problems that come into play and, around the world right now corruption. Is about a three point six trillion, dollar problem if, you listen to the United Nations that, just. To translate, it is about five percent of global GDP which. Even by Google standards is a big number and, what, you have the potential to do with blockchain, is create a system, where as money, goes out the door it's tracked you, know where it's going you can follow it it's visible, to anyone on the network and we're, seeing a host of different actors developing. Solutions, right now that, should enable unprecedented. Levels of accountability, and, transparency, in. The way that public resources, are spent the, biggest impact for this technology, could eventually come in emerging, markets that may. Effectively. Skip, copper, and go straight to these next generation systems. For, deploying financing. Around, the world and deploying, funds around the world and. It could have a really, profound impact, not only in terms of attacking. That three point six trillion dollar problem of, official. Corruption but, also in pushing resources. And investment, into. Geographies. Were right now it's not flowing and, that's, an important, thing for all of us the current trust in politics. Is, at an all-time low I think and. Could. Blockchain, help restore, our trust, in politics and I mean specifically, the the, issues that we're dealing with like. People. Believing. That the, representatives. Don't have their, interest. At heart and. In many cases they don't. And. Like. Things like, people. Not, telling the truth or there being multiple versions, of the truth and you know these are the big issues absolutely. A. Really. Crucial, challenge, if you look at the data at. Davos this last year Edelman the public relations company, is something each, year for the last 17 years called. The Trust Barometer survey, and. They. They got up Richard Edelman got up to release the Trust Barometer this, year and said we've, never seen anything like this this is as bad as it's ever gotten in every sector that we monitor we, see cratering, trust if. You look at the Gallup data which goes back much further to, about 1973. There, again we are at all-time lows so, this is in many respects, the challenge. Of our time because again as we talked about earlier the, story of humanity is a story, of collaboration. Based on trust and if that trust leaves if you don't have access to that trust anymore you're not going to be able to do all the other cool things that we're able to do so this is really, foundational. Watching. Could, very well be, that solution certainly. My hope that it, is going to be that solution and.
We're Trying to tackle this from a couple of different dimensions the, first is if, you look at the, the, problem of fake news which it, seems. Weird that's something you know two years ago nobody knew what it is is now ubiquitous. But. This is a real issue and. I, was. Asked to come have a conversation with, the leadership of a, very large social media platform. A little while ago to, discuss how, blockchain. Could be used to create a supply, chain for information, that flows through their, systems, and. In essence once you create, a story. Once you create, some, news, if you anchor, that news in the blockchain or, in a blockchain you can do a couple of things you can validate where, it came from you can validate when, it was originally, posted which, turns out to be very important. In many instances, and. You can also point, back to it so that each time it's posted, on a social media, platform you'll. Know whether. It comes from a reliable, trustworthy source, that has issued a lot of good stories in the past or whether it comes from the fly-by-night, operation that. Is notorious. For pumping, out bad data and bad, information, so. I think it could be very valuable in that context. We've also created at the blockchain trust accelerator, a working. - look at how blockchain, can be used in voting, we. Had big, problems around. Voting. Not because our current system, doesn't work so, much but, because people don't have confidence, in our current system and, in, in some instances, we do have shortcomings, if you talk about overseas, military in. The United States they. Have a horrific. Mechanism. For casting their ballots which means that in many cases they're, giving up the anonymity of, their vote and/or. Their, vote isn't counted at all because it comes in too late to make, the deadline for, the election, so. We're working to figure out how we might be able to deploy, loading. Solutions, that will give them a chance to. Cast, their ballot in a trusted men are going forward this, combined, with some of the anti-corruption, functionality. That we talked about earlier, I hope is, going to make it much easier for citizens to have confidence in their institutions, after. Every surge, of price of crypto, currencies, people, begin to think it's a bubble and it's all going to crash including.
Right Now. Can. In, your opinion can value, of crypto currencies continue to rise and is. This still a good time, to buy, it's. An interesting question. It. Certainly, can, continue. To rise and, it could, continue, to rise pretty dramatically, depending. On the assumptions you use it's easy to come up with scenarios in, which the value of a single Bitcoin, is. Justifiable. At. $250,000. It's, easy to come up with scenarios in which the value of a single Bitcoin, is justifiable. At a valuation of a million dollars it's. Also easy to come up with scenarios in which the value is much less than that and, so this could go any number of. Directions. My. My advice would be I. Think, multifold. The, first is don't. Invest, so, much that. You're, gonna lose sleep over it and, you, know that's that's been what I've done it's cost me some money because, had I gotten in earlier I probably would have made more but. I have plenty of friends who have a substantial. Portion of their net worth tied, up in cryptocurrency. It. Is it is a challenging, thing to have a substantial portion of your net worth tied up and cryptocurrency because, of the fluctuations, in value but, again, if you look at this. Basket, of assets as a new analog, for gold and, as a new mechanism, for, conveying. Value, around the world there's. Vast potential, there and, I, think it's very likely that. Again. As we see a, broader. Range, of organizations. Coming to the table including. But especially. Institutional. Investors, that are looking for assets. That. Are what. We say they're. Not correlated. To anything, else and cryptocurrencies, as, a whole aren't. Correlated to anything else which, is a big, advantage if you're a, big, institutional, investor, there's. A lot of potential upside there so, we'll, see, how this goes I think it's also important, to invest in those, that are developing. The the picks and shovels rather. Than just, the gold itself so i I've tried to focus most of my engagement, on, companies, rather than currencies. Thank. You for the for. The informative, answers. So you, have been talking about transparency, all, the way so what about privacy, like, do, I like to everyone, in the world to know how I spend my money on all my private, you know life, how. Do we balance this in the blockchain world, that. Is a very, important, question and block chains are actually really good at keeping private, information, private and. Public information, public, the, Bitcoin network is, not anonymous, as some people think it's pseudo anonymous but. You can structure block chains in ways that, provide far higher levels, of security, than virtually any solution. That's available today, we're. Seeing some, countries, latch, on to this arguably. The most advanced. Government. In the world is Estonia, an Estonia. Is moving medical records onto blockchain, because, they feel that it provides much higher levels of, accountability. And security. And privacy than. Their existing, solutions, and again their existing, solutions, are really really good, because. Of the way that the network is structured, in the fact that all of the nodes are constantly, checking each other it's. Almost, impossible to. See, information, on. A blockchain that, shouldn't.
Be Seen, it would require again, this massive, investment, of electricity. And computational. Power in. Order to crack one. Of the blocks of data so, there's really, great, potential. For. The use of blockchain, as a tool for promoting, privacy, it's, also important, to recognize that at least as it relates to financial, transactions. In, a public blockchain, people can see what's happening on those rails we, could open up a browser right now and you'd be able to see every single transaction that's. Occurring on the Bitcoin blockchain so. Folks, should keep in mind those two again. As we develop more advanced blockchain, solutions, it's, going to be a very. Important. Tool for guaranteeing, the privacy, of data but. At. Least as it's used for transactions. Folks shouldn't be under the illusion that their. Information is anonymous. Or secure, in that regard, and. Forgive this forgive me if this is a rudimentary question, but from, an ecosystem perspective in. The future may say five years down the line, having. An ecosystem in which you have a number of block chains versus maybe one or two main ones in which everybody can pile into is. There a preferable. Approach. Here or will it not really matter and you, know per use case will dictate the development. Of one, main block chain or several, smaller ones for you. Know interested, parties so to speak a very. Important, question and again, I would harken, back to. 1992. 1993. For, an analog here what. We saw at that time, is that a lot of companies and a lot of different organizations, started. Setting up these very novel things called intranets. That many of us will recall, and they, said well there's this weird space called the internet we're not sure that we want to be a part of that yet but we'll play. Within. Our organization, for a little while and. See how we like sharing information using. These new rails within, our organization, and after. A couple of years everybody, said well this is really cool but it's also kind of stupid that we can't talk to our friends that work across the street or do business with them and, so we're now going to ladder.
Up To the Internet, and you, know you guys I think know the rest of that story, my. Expectation. Is that we're gonna see something pretty similar occur. In the blockchain space, there, will be a lot, of different flavors. Early on we, will see lots, of. Analogues. To intranets. Being stood up and, eventually those solutions will come together and, it'll, be very seamless, for organizations. To work on. Block chains across, different, platforms probably, using one or two big. Main, spines, as, they're the conduit for a lot of that interaction. Thank. You for all the information I, just have a one, question you mentioned something about investing. In the, picks. And shovels. Could. You talk a little bit more about what exactly you mean yeah. So send. Company some, entities, are using, crypto. Currencies, and and that's great, crypto, currencies, as we've discussed, had, the potential, to be useful for a lot of different things especially, in. Countries that have bad financial governance, and and where citizens are looking for alternatives. In. In my mind what. Is more, exciting. Even than that and what has captured the imagination of a lot of folks is the ability to use blockchain. As, a vehicle, for other applications, and, the, tools that are going to be built on top of blockchain. Or, that harness blockchain, I think. Are going to be every bit as valuable, if not more so to humanity. In the long run than. The, cryptocurrencies, that, are kind of the first killer app for. The, technology that we're I think. All excited, about right now so that makes sense, you. Just mentioned how we. Can use blockchain. To help you. Know hold government's, more accountable but. At the same time we need cooperation, from, governments, you know to give, the original, information so and, that push and pull how. Would you how do you sort of foresee, how. To use it as accountability, mechanism, you. Know especially. With the most corrupt or entities.
Or Departments, or, you know whichever. Areas. Great. Question. Blockchain, works best when people want, to be accountable when. You have an organization, that wants, to do things the right way that is willing to give good data, because. Frankly, you're not doing anybody any favors if you put bad, data into. A blockchain that's one of the the key lessons, that we have learned in our work thus far as you really don't, want to. Deploy. Watching, in a setting where you don't have access to good clean data, so, you need actors. That are willing to. Willing. To move toward a solution early. In the process there. Are still going to be some instances for example if. You're in a situation, where. You have evidence. Of humanitarian. Abuses, or war. Crimes I can. Envision a scenario in, the not distant, future where, a reporter, on the ground in, Syria, or in, dr congo will. Be able to log video to blockchain, and create. An ironclad, chain, of evidence that will be useful for, future. War crimes prosecutions, so. You can easily come up with scenarios in which the tool can. Be harnessed, in settings, where there's bad governance, but. The most profound, benefits. Are likely, going to occur in settings. Where you have political leaders that want to do the right thing and. Bureaucracies. And institutions. That don't have the capability. For whatever reason, to, deliver accountability. And and, hopefully in those instances, it can be pretty transformational. So. I think it's going to start with the good guys first and then. Gradually. Progress through, to. The most corrupt ones and they're going to be eventually working, on it that's, that's been the path thus far and what I would say on that point is eventually, again, if we do this right the. Gravitational. Pull of being, part of these systems, is going to be so profound, the benefits, of. Being. Part of these networks will be so profound that every, government, is what you're going to want to be a part of this because, if you're not just like it's really hard to exist in the 21st century if you're not part of the internet it's. Going to be hard, to exist if you can't send assets back and forth using these tools or if you can't, reliably. And, accountably. Track. Some of the key vital information the. Block, chains will be used to track. I'm. Just trying to understand, the specific, advantage. That blockchain would, give in the example you used is a good one the distributed, solar, in, the developing world I mean because those, kind of financing schemes exist, now pay-as-you-go, mobile. Payments. Mobile money so. What is the actual incremental. Benefit, of doing that and blockchain versus what's already being done well, blockchain, in a whole host of settings, in emerging, markets is going to allow for much, higher levels, of confidence, when, it comes to pushing. Resources. Into the field and tracking, impact and, so as a tool for impact, investment, and in particular, it could be really transformational. What, it will allow us to do again, if we build these systems right is set. Up enough, data, sensors. And data inputs, that, we have a very, good idea of what. The outcomes, are associated. With these investments, so. For, example, if you are considering. Whether, to finance, the shipment, of a, lot of these battery solar, systems, to small, rural villages, you. Need really good data, on which to base that financing. You want to know exactly. Where, the systems are how, they're being used the. Rates at which those. Payments. Are being replenished and. It's going to make it easier, for everyone to trust each other especially. In settings where there's a low level of confidence, in the data the. Analog I might provide is that if you and I decided. You want to build a house and you want me to build it for you and I'm going to hire some subcontractors. If we, decide at the outset, that we're all going to use the same set of books for, that transaction.
For That project, everyone's. Comfort, level is going to go way up because, we can all see what's happening, we all know where the money is at every given at any given time and. You have confidence that nobody's ripping you off along. The way that's, what we should be able to do at scale, with, blockchain, deployments, and emerging market environments, do, you see quantum, computing, as, existence, your threat for blockchain, technology, it's. A very important, question. No. Is the short answer the reason why is because there's, a lot of work underway, to develop quantum. Resistant, block chains and. These are watching, s that will be based, on. Quantum. Architecture, or will harness quantum, architecture, in, ways that make them extremely secure. Now, in the immediate, term if somebody were to come up with a fully functional, quantum, computer, tomorrow, prior. To the full maturation, of quantum resistant blockchain technology, then, it would be a challenge but, the hope is that these, two will progress in parallel, and, ultimately, you should be able to port existing. Data on to quantum resistance, block, chains in the future, hey. Micah I had. A question about I'm. Not quite exactly sure how to express it but maybe I'll get the gist of my question that, like if. We depend, on. Like. Organizations. That want, transparency and, want to be good actors to like use, blockchain, like, it. Seems like it would be rather. Limiting, because like we've already seen stuff like like, I feel like the American government is pretty hostile to the idea of like lots of lots, of economic activity, going to like Bitcoin, for instance right, because they want to be able to control things I want to tax things that sort of thing right. Wouldn't. It inherently, lead, to situations where like. You'll. You'll like the only people who will be willing to take the risk of going, through all the trouble to like, go through these things will be the people who are doing things that are kind of shady right, because like if I want to do something like like, buy a book with Bitcoin right now it's like way more effort than just using USD, right like, how. Do we overcome that, thing if cryptocurrencies. Ever actually going to be useful you, know in general. When. The coolest, things I got to do in government is. Work with then, Secretary of State on the first big, speech that anybody in the US government had ever given on the topic of Internet freedom and, in. That speech we we made a really important, point this. Is back in when I was a speechwriter that. Technology. Itself, is neutral but, we're not and we, have an obligation to. Harness. These technologies. As best we're able to, benefit society blockchain. Is no different, in that regard it's, got immense, potential, to do good things as we've talked about today but. It can also be misused, in a wide range of applications, and we've seen a fair amount of that already.
So. I think there are two sides of this the first is ironically. Even, the US government, is pretty enthusiastic, about the potential, for blockchain, technology, because. They understand, that again. Done right this, could be the end of friction, if you think of all the little nuisances, that make, our lives more complicated. And expensive this. If you carry it to its logical conclusion and. Spaces, like identity, and, finance. Could, wipe away a, lot, of those obstacles, that, make. Our lives a little bit more cumbersome, so, they see the potential on a lot of governments realize the potential, ultimately. It's up to those of us who've taken the time to understand, the technology, and that's still a very small universe. Of people to. Try to steer it in ways that it will be used well, but. You, know the point you make is is really important, we need to get to a stage quickly. Where. We can demonstrate real, value for society and that's what we're working on happy. To discuss further as well good question so, my question was mostly. About, Bitcoin. Miners and the. Reason they mined Bitcoin is because it's, financially. That's, the incentive that they get a bunch, of Bitcoin at the end of it as. Time, goes on the. Benefits, of mining Bitcoin are going to decrease so how, is this problem being, solved. That's. Basically it important. Question so the. Context. On this which I imagine will be familiar to most of you is that, the reason, this vast network of data centers, exists. Is because about, every 10 minutes as a new block, of information is, locked in, the. Data. Center that does that work is rewarded, with 12 and a half Bitcoin, which you know now, is. $200,000. Something like that so it's a strong, incentive, to secure. The network, the. Number. Of Bitcoin that will be awarded will decrease, in, time to, a point where out, in the next century it dwindles, to almost nothing. There. Are transaction. Fees on Bitcoin, transactions. That, should compensate, for much of that to climb the, other thing is we're seeing Bitcoin, become more and more valuable so even though the, number. Of Bitcoin, that will be awarded, to the. Miners the data center operators will, decrease, the. Value, of those Bitcoin, at, least if the. Last couple of weeks or any indication is likely to increase and. So between those two factors. The transaction, fees and, the value increase there. Should be strong incentives, to continue, securing, the network for a very long time to come what. A crash bring, things to a halt because it's no longer profitable. So. Long as people are using the technology, again. The transaction. Fees are such there, are good, incentives, at the moment for. The data centers to continue, doing what they're doing it's, something that people will want to continue paying attention, to but. For the time being it has all the makings of a very resilient network all. Right thank. You so much to Micah this was extremely. Extremely. Interesting. And useful and informative I, wanna, thank, you again for joining us and coming. Yeah. The best of luck with your efforts. Spreading. The word, thank, you it's an exciting space and you, know for all of you here, and watching. Both, for the blockchain trust accelerator, and the global blockchain business council we're, always looking for great partners, and great, talent and hopefully we'll get a chance to collaborate and, some, of these efforts down the road. You. You.