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It doesn’t matter what Bitcoin is trading at right now

Steven Johnson has a terrific piece in New York Times Magazine called: Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble. Here is a snippet:

The only blockchain project that has crossed over into mainstream recognition so far is Bitcoin, which is in the middle of a speculative bubble that makes the 1990s internet I.P.O. frenzy look like a neighborhood garage sale. 

But the point of the article, as its title suggests, is to talk about what all of this craziness could mean for the future of the internet and how, in some ways, it could be a return to what the internet was always intended to be.

The real promise of these new technologies, many of their evangelists believe, lies not in displacing our currencies but in replacing much of what we now think of as the internet, while at the same time returning the online world to a more decentralized and egalitarian system. If you believe the evangelists, the blockchain is the future. But it is also a way of getting back to the internet’s roots.

Some are calling this new, decentralized internet version 3.0. We are currently living with internet 2.0. Practically speaking though, what could this shift really mean for us?

One example that is given in the article has to do with urban mobility – a topic that is particularly relevant to this audience. 

Internet 2.0 has created a winner-take-most economic model. And in the case of mobility – at least in the world of apps – that winner is Uber. But with internet 3.0 and the blockchain, this could be possible:

Just as GPS gave us a way of discovering and sharing our location, this new protocol would define a simple request: I am here and would like to go there. A distributed ledger might record all its users’ past trips, credit cards, favorite locations — all the metadata that services like Uber or Amazon use to encourage lock-in. Call it, for the sake of argument, the Transit protocol. The standards for sending a Transit request out onto the internet would be entirely open; anyone who wanted to build an app to respond to that request would be free to do so.

Cities could build Transit apps that allowed taxi drivers to field requests. But so could bike-share collectives, or rickshaw drivers.

I don’t know about you, but I find this perspective a lot more interesting. I recommend you read Steven’s article. It will help you cut through a lot of the Bitcoin noise.

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