The Birth of the User-Owned Economy

The Birth of the User-Owned Economy

This past week was Blockchain Week in New York, in tandem with back peddling on the part of the tech cartel. As Quartz noted, “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, long under fire for “programming people’s brains,” will testify before the European parliament about his company’s use of data. Not long after, transformative new European privacy rules go into effect that will give EU consumers far more visibility into what companies know about them.

“Now, tech CEOs insist they want to be part of the solution. On Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram confirmed a feature that will let users track their time spent on the platform. A week earlier, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a Digital Wellbeing initiative geared at helping people moderate their use of Google’s products and services by suggesting breaks from YouTube or batching notifications.”

All of this on the heels of the revelation of a world where Google envisions total data collection – in the name of behavior modification, with Google determining what that behavior might be.

Back to Blockchain Week

Yes, HTC is working on a ‘blockchain phone.’ While much attention has been focused on cryptocurrencies and tokens to date, important to recognize that tokens are merely the barter system of the blockchain. Think trading in the marketplace in the days of yore, before bank-controlled and government currencies came into play. Goods were bartered. It’s still early days for the blockchain, and the focus is primarily on smart contracts and verification.

And on creating a place for the unbanked and underserved and eliminating the middleman.

That was the promise of the internet: disintermediation. What emerged was a different kind of middleman: the Googles and Facebooks and Amazons of the world, who owned our information and bartered it to create their empires – and a world where one percent of the population now controls 75% of the wealth (It was 50% of the wealth, said Fortune back in 2015). What the internet and its so-called information superhighways actually created was a world of one-way streets.

You have to wonder why bankers and the so-called entrenched powers slam cryptocurrencies. It’s a threat to their empires, this new world where the users, rather than the uberlords, own their information, and can share – or not – via public and private keys, in this case, to their proverbial (user-owned) kingdoms. Much more to come on the blockchain, so again, pay attention and keep in mind this, above all:

The Internet V the Blockchain

With personal data being the currency of the online world, in an internet-centric world of vast empires, services are free –  but at a price. At the end of the day, the social economy is not about connecting the world: it’s about selling your data to any and all comers, while selling you a bill of goods.

In a decentralized blockchain world, you’re suddenly no longer the product: you’re the house. Not only is it the house who deals the cards.

The house always wins. Onward and forward.

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