Decentralized Money: Bitcoin 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0

12/24/2014 11:00

by Melanie Swan


Bitcoin 1.0 is currency - the deployment of cryptocurrencies in applications related to cash such as currency transfer, remittance, and digital payment systems. Bitcoin 2.0 is contracts - the whole slate of economic, market, and financial applications using the blockchain that are more extensive than simple cash transactions like stocks, bonds, futures, loans, mortgages, titles, smart property, and smart contracts.

Bitcoin 3.0 is blockchain applications beyond currency, finance, and markets, particularly in the areas of government, health, science, literacy, culture, and art.

Bitcoin and blockchain technology is much more than a digital currency, the blockchain is an information technology, potentially on the order of the Internet (˜the next Internet™), but even more pervasive and quickly-configuring.

Prevalence of Decentralized Models 

Even if the currently developing models of Bitcoin and blockchain technology are not the final paradigm (there are many problematic flaws), the bigger trend, decentralized models as a class, could have a pronounced impact. If not the blockchain industry, there would probably be something else, and in fact there probably will be other complements to the blockchain industry anyway. It is just that the blockchain industry is one of the first identifiable large-scale implementations of decentralization models, conceived and executed at a new and more complex level of human activity.

Decentralized models have the potential to reorganize all manner of human activity, and quickly, because they are trustless, the friction of the search and trust-establishment process in previous models of human interaction is eliminated. This could mean greatly accelerated rates and levels of activity, on a much greater humanity-level scale. The blockchain (decentralized network coordination technology) could emerge as a fundamental infrastructure element in the model to scale humanity to its next levels of orders-of-magnitude-larger progress.   


Next Disruptive Computing Paradigm: Connected World of Bitcoin

One model of understanding the modern world is through computing paradigms, with a new paradigm arising on the order of one per decade (Figure1). First, there were the mainframe and PC (personal computer) paradigms, and then the Internet revolutionized everything. Mobile and social networking has been the most recent paradigm.

The current paradigm is that of the Connected World which includes Bitcoin/blockchain technology as the economic overlay to what is increasingly becoming a seamlessly connected world of multi-device computing that comprises wearable computing, Internet-of-Things (IOT) sensors, smartphones, tablets, laptops, Quantified Self-Tracking devices (i.e.; Fitbit), smarthome, smartcar, and smartcity.

Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology could be the next major disruptive technology and worldwide computing paradigm, on the order of the Internet in terms of the potential for pervasively reconfiguring of all human activity as the Internet did. Blockchain technology could be deployed and adopted much more quickly too, given the network effect that so many humans worldwide are already linked through the Internet and cellular network technologies.

             Figure 1. Disruptive Computing Paradigms.
       (Extended from: You say you want a revolution?)

Just as Paradigm 4 functionality (social-mobile (i.e.; mobile apps for everything and sociality as a website property (liking, commenting, friending, forum participation))  has become an expected feature of technology properties, so too could Paradigm 5 functionality. Paradigm 5 functionality could be the experience of a continuously-connected seamless physical-world multi-device computing layer, with a blockchain technology overlay for payments, and not just payments, but micropayments, decentralized exchange, token earning and spending, digital asset invocation and transfer, and smart contract issuance and execution; all as the economic layer the web never had.


Apple Pay (Apple's token-based app-based eWallet) could be the critical intermediary step in moving to a full-fledged cryptocurrency world where the blockchain becomes the seamless economic layer of the web.




[Note:  Say what?  I've heard everything now.  Seriously, the article above on IEET by Melanie Swan are symptomatic of the bizarre psychological diseases bordering on absolute autism that seem to be shared by so many transhumanists/futurists/posthumanists. Is this phenomenon the result of malformed and/or unformed sections of the human brain after years of preoccupation and socializing only with things mechanical and digital?!

Whether you agree with them or not, whether you think they are silly or not, the problem is, however, their massive global influence with leaders and the public alike, the massive funding they are getting, and the massive dire consequences of their psychological diseases already being experienced internationally across the fields and across the populations. Is this going to be what the Millennials are going to be all about -- our FUTURE leaders?!  You really have to read her articles especailly given Swan's supposed academic credentials (below).  Really just a ploy to use Bitcoin and other secret internet currencies on the Dark Webs to pay for Do-It-Yourself medical and other RESEARCH.  Can't trace the funds, and can do any kind of research that strikes your fancy -- on anyone and anything!  No laws or regulations, no passe Scientific Method. Just do your research thing whatever it is, and pay/get paid in Bitcoin.  Who's to know?  And you'll get rich in the meantime. The article first appeared here.


Swan Credentials:  Melanie Swan, MBA, is an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET. Ms. Swan, principal of the MS Futures Group, is a philosopher, science and technology futurist, and options trader. She has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a BA from Georgetown University, and is currently a Contemporary Philosophy graduate student at Kingston University London and Université Paris 8. She is a faculty member at Singularity University and the University of the Commons, an Advisor to the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), and an invited contributor to the Edge’s Annual Essay Question. Ms. Swan founded the citizen science organization Do-It-Yourself genomics, which pioneered the crowdsourced health research study, and a future-economics startup company, GroupPurchase, which aggregated small business buying groups. She was Director of Research at telecommunication consultancy RHK/Ovum, and previously held management and finance positions at iPass in Silicon Valley, J.P. Morgan in New York, Fidelity in Boston, and Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles. Ms. Swan speaks French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Recent publications and research interests include an ethics of perception of nanocognition, the philosophy of big data, the ideology of the biocitizen and the quantified self, the future of personal identity, and the case for cognitive enhancement.