Power of Blockchain
Many will be familiar with blockchain as the underlying enabling technology developed for Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, provides this summary in his book on the Fourth Industrial Revolution: “In essence, the blockchain is a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by anyone.”
Blockchain has the potential to become a powerful disruptive force. A survey of 800 executives, featured in the same book, suggests 58 percent believe that up to 10 percent of global GDP will be stored using blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology may provide several important features that could be leveraged for use in the creative economy:
- • Transactions are verified and approved by consensus among participants in the network, making fraud more difficult.
- • The full chronology of events (for example, transactions) that take place are tracked, allowing anyone to trace or audit prior transactions.
- • The technology operates on a distributed, rather than centralized, platform, with each participant having access to exactly the same ledger records, allowing participants to enter or leave at will and providing resilience against attacks.
The implications of such features reach far beyond blockchain’s original use in financial transactions. Any transaction, product life cycle, workflow, or supply chain could, in theory, use blockchains.
Defining value in creative work
While blockchain may allow for more transparent and dynamic pricing, such pricing mechanisms, based purely on market demand, may miss the subtleties of how creative works are also valued based upon their cultural, societal, or political value. This could lead to further commoditization of creative works. How blockchain can digitally ascribe these subtleties to creative works remains to be seen.
Blockchain holds enormous potential to break down barriers that could lead to more efficiency, greater accountability, lower costs, and increased remuneration for artists. To reap these benefits, however, the technology will need to be developed responsibly within the right regulatory frameworks.
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Posted on: August 15, 2018admin1