19 Aug Will the Sean Parker of blockchain please stand up?
Now that Ethereum Frontier has launched, the only thing between us and cyber-utopia is an app. Not just any app–but a P2P blockchain app that makes normal people lots of money. And before that, we need an anti-hero willing to do the work of building the prototype for this world-changing app without getting paid.
Imagine a company. Imagine the management of this company resigns. The employees who remain are allowed to keep the company running by working peer to peer. The incentive: they’d get to split the money that used to go to management salaries.
That is a lot of extra dough to go around. But without anyone at the helm, people would need a system of agreements between one another to make sure each individual was held accountable to coworkers.
Without a legal department (they resigned too) each individual would need to write their own contracts: one for each person they work with regularly. As an editor, my contract with a writer might stipulate they send me a certain number of articles per day; when this “smart contract” looks in my WordPress account and sees articles, it automatically executes on our agreement and pays the writer.
That’s supposedly the promise of blockchains: peer-to-peer transactions for everything. And it’s the vision of Ethereum, the open source blockchain platform that officially launched last week.
If you missed the Ethereum launch, you are in no small majority. Distributed apps are still in the toy stage, with steep learning curves and no easy commercial path. Meanwhile, conventional startups pay. It will take someone making a killer d-app in the spirit of Napster, for the fun of disruption, to kick off an economic tremo