Hilary Carter is Research Director + Project Leader at the Blockchain Research Institute — a multimillion-dollar research hub founded by Don and Alex Tapscott who co-wrote the incredibly informative book — Blockchain Revolution.
Funded by partners like Microsoft, IBM, SalesForce and PepsiCo, the BRI is working on over 70 blockchain research projects, gathering interviews, videos, infographics and documentation. The big goal is to help to explore and to demonstrate how transformative blockchain technology really is, in order to get businesses to buy in and take steps to implement the technology. And really, the research is for everybody, because it goes into the public domain, so that it’s a resource for anyone looking to use blockchain tech.
Hilary says she’s inspired by the blockchain tech. She believes that its higher purpose is to help empower individuals and streamline otherwise bureaucratic systems and we go into some of the examples of how blockchain can do that.
She also talks about women in the blockchain ecosystem. Can you believe that women only made up 3 per cent of the demographic when Hilary started out in this space? So things are changing and her outlook is a positive one.
One of her favourite blockchain projects in the works is in the area of social media and communications. She talks about a decentralized social media project called Akasha Project, founded by Mihai Alisie, one of the four Ethereum founders. They’re creating a censorship resistant network where individuals can control their own online identities and personal data.
Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin founded Bitcoin Magazine together.
Hilary mentions the Cambridge Analytica story.
But, what about having a direct relationship with a brand and be paid for our time and attention? There are some new blockchain initiatives in this space including:
Brave is an internet browser that blocks ads and trackers.
Earn.com pays you in bitcoin if you complete small tasks.
Hilary quotes Don Tapscott, “Privacy is the foundation of freedom”.
Hilary says, “If you look of the extent to which the leaders of the first era of the internet, Google and Facebook and Amazon and Apple, how much information they have, their ability to know more about us than we know about ourselves, it gives one pause.”
She compares our current society toGeorge Orwell’s Book, “1984”.
We talk about the Internet of Information becoming the Internet of Value.
We now have the ability to transfer units of value, digital data or currency and not keep a copy of it, but actually transfer it, without an intermediary, in a secure way and with privacy in tact as well.
Hilary sees this technology as having huge benefit to women in developing world who haven’t before had access to bank accounts, financial networks, socially and culturally from being able to make financial decisions. So giving people all over the world access.
Hilary says, “Blockchain was built by decentralized collaborative networks of people with like minds.” And, “collaboration and consensus is what make blockchains operate in the first place, so that spirit is alive and well.”
“Blockchain Revolution” book by Don + Alex Tapscott.
Updated version now available.
Hilary and I talk about our love of audiobooks and Hilary talks about using Audible.
She also recommends these books:
Jack Tatar and Chris Burniske
Senior Advisor MIT Media Lab, Digital Currency Initiative
“Age of Cryptocurrency” w/Paul Vigna
“Truth Machine” w/ Paul Vina new
Reward tokens for earning and spending based on environmental sustainability