At the Speed of Money: How Cryptocurrency Will Transform Everything | David Morris | TEDxTampaBay



we're still getting cleaned up here so the theme of the event today is emergence and we like to think that we live in a time of emergence and there have been many similar times of emergency for example if we go back to the third Kingdom of Egypt about 26 66 BC the king whose name was Oh sir at the time commanded his people to build a pyramid of six steps surrounded by a large temple complex and it was the first of the great Egyptian pyramids and it was an astonishingly complex project materials had to come from throughout the kingdom thousands of laborers worked according to a plan that unfolded over more than 20 years the man who put that plan together and executed it was named M hotep and he was a scholar a physician an architect and more than a thousand years later he would be deified by the Egyptian people as the patron saint of among other things scribes now it's very appropriate that the man who helped usher in Egypt's era of pyramid-building is remembered by history as a writer because all of these grand projects the things that emerge are the product of many people working together through space and over time united by communication technology whether you're building a pyramid a Great Wall of China or a Transcontinental Railroad these structures these groups of people work together what the sociologist Lewis Mumford called mega-machines networks of people joined by roads by words and by laws to pursue collective dreams Mumford was writing in the early 20th century but he wouldn't have been too surprised by the shape our society has taken in the time since then we now have Globes planning instantaneous communication we have transportation networks that can take us almost anywhere we want to go within a few days and we have one of the largest richest and most complex education systems the world has ever seen now this has allowed us to accomplish great things not just in the physical realm but in terms of technological innovation so take the the phones that I would assume 99% of you have in your pockets like the pyramids the components of those phones came from far away but in this case we're talking about halfway around the world not just the far reaches of the Egyptian Empire the the labor that went into that phone involves millions of people not just thousands and technology that had developed over more than a hundred years going back at least to the time of the Telegraph as a human accomplishment an iPhone puts the pyramids of giza and k ops to shame now the example of the iPhone also gets us into the realm of a topic that we're not usually used to thinking about as a communication technology or a form of social organization and that's money now we now increasingly believe that a lot of the laborers who worked on the great pyramids were actually paid and not slaves as was so often depicted in Hollywood movies King Djoser also had to pay for the materials he had to pay for food for the laborers and it was really easy for him to marshal those resources right because he's the king he just says we're going to build this big pile of rock in tribute to me and it happens for us to accomplish big things is a little bit more complicated but also a little bit more efficient we make individual choices about our spending our investments our donations our taxes and that money goes to the various things that we believe that we need or we want to see happen and that has allowed us to do some amazing things but I'm here and by the way I snuck these on stage so I made it this far pretty okay but I'm going to cheat now that's we have a money system that's more efficient and more effective than many points in history if not any points in history it's allowed so calm all these great things um but and we may not necessarily wish that that was the case I mean I can talk to you for hours about income inequality as long as you can afford my fee but we don't have to agree that reality is fair to agree that it is reality that's why I'm here today to talk to you about something called a blockchain that is emerging and it will make do for our money system what the internet did for information and what the internal combustion engine did for transportation by making it more Swift cheap widespread granular and did I already say fast yes the blockchain is something you may already be familiar with from the example the cryptocurrency Bitcoin that everybody was talking about especially a couple of years ago and Bitcoin and the technologies that emerge out of it are going to help us make take our society its Hooten a new level of efficiency and we're going to have collective projects like this pyramid that are simultaneously grander and more subtle than we've ever seen before so I'm making it rain ideas here but first the present somehow in this era of astonishingly advanced communication technologies and transportation networks our money system lags a little bit behind so we have a lot of points that are kind of pain points where there are maybe inefficiencies excessive strangulating fees or what the classifieds back in the day used to call missed connections so for example we can now talk live to somebody in Mongolia over video chat but if we want to send them twenty dollars it might take a week if you're an inventor you can browse Alibaba for the parts available from factories halfway around the world but to pay for those parts you may actually have to go down to the bank purchase a money order put it in an envelope and then send it across the ocean a Bedouin traveling the desert can download Moby Dick to his i phone for free but if he wrote the great arabian novel and his american publisher wanted to send him a royalty check Western Union might end up taking 25% of that a huge portion of our economic activity now passes through credit card companies wire transfers clearing houses and other middlemen and some of them fit together well and some of them don't but the systems these companies created were necessary in their time even great accomplishments and we still use them because they're the best way that we can connect our assets to this big thing we call the Internet but imagine having gone through all those examples of some problems our system has if our Ledger's if our assets and debts were connected more directly to the Internet if we could instantaneously send money digitally to one another from any point we now access the Internet to any point we now access the Internet it could help donations flow freely to disaster zones it could prevent currency manipulations by corrupt governments it could have all kinds of effects including maybe even making it easier to buy a coke with your phone now the problem with this idea of course is that those Ledger's as soon as they were put on the internet would be instantly destroyed by a legion of hackers imagine DDoS attacks phishing spyware all targeted directly at your precious bank account within days if not weeks the entire money supply of the world would be divided between China Russia and Nigeria this is because the internet for all the same reasons that it was able to spread very quickly around the world is actually not a terribly secure technology and certainly not a very reliable one we've all experienced you know Netflix stutters a bit while you're watching a video that's annoying but that little stutter in the middle of a bank transfer is potentially catastrophic now this is where the blockchain comes a little bit less than 10 years ago someone and we still really don't know who figured out how to make data secure on the Internet the technical details of how a blockchain works arcane to say the least so I'm going to do my best to get it over with really quickly block chains including the one that runs the cryptocurrency Bitcoin use currency digital currency to incentivize hosts around the world to keep copies of a single ledger tracking debits and assets in any given currency these nodes connect to one another to constantly check what's on that ledger and make sure that everybody has matching copies if for example one node or even many nodes were corrupted then the rest of the network would kick them off this is how we are able to you have a large network that connects people from one point to another to a single ledger that's trustworthy the end users the people who hold accounts on these Ledger's use private keys to access their entries and therefore can send money anywhere in the world using that technology now I'm leaving out a million things including some core technology or some core security features but we'll just take an example that's in the world to kind of get the point across the Bitcoin network holds more than 3.3 billion dollars in financial assets it has been around for about six years and even though it's connected to the Wild West of the internet even though individuals private keys have been stolen or lost in various ways the fundamental underlying architecture that protects that 3.3 billion dollars in assets has never been breached it's as safe as any bank ledger and it's safer than most credit card networks as any customer of target or Ashley Madison can tell you now this fundamental innovation is why institutions like UBS Barclays Goldman Sachs and Citibank have all hired blockchain engineers to explore projects for them it's why investment I'm sorry why venture capitalists like Anderson Horowitz and Lightspeed Ventures have put tens of millions of dollars into startups like circle and ripple labs which have raised 50 million and 30 million dollars respectively those investments aren't just premise on the idea that people are going to buy cokes with Bitcoin or send money home to to India this is a fundamental new piece of our financial infrastructure ripple is focused on building using blockchain an alternative to the ACH system that banks currently use to transfer funds from one to another a study by banco santander last year concluded that banks worldwide could save up to 20 billion dollars each year if they used a blockchain instead of ACH to conduct their internal transfers other startups are working to connect non-cash assets to blockchains things like stocks futures houses carbs and because we have total security on the blockchain this new form of titling system could replace the paper and personal heavy system that we have now at the other end of the scale blockchain Payment Systems allow things to work on a very fine scale in very small payments because botching currencies are not just cheap to send oh and I glossed over that part so transactions sent over this network cost about 1/10 of 1% which compared to you know visa which charges you 3% it's pretty huge difference but these transactions aren't just cheap to send you can send them at any size and very fast now this is important for what we're calling the Internet of Things this developing ecosystem of objects that live in the real world around us and that we interact with to get in touch with the Internet in various ways a really really I don't want to say primitive but preliminary version of the Internet of Things you might actually have seen if you were parking in downtown st. Pete there's a system called Park Mobile it's a phone app that sort of kind of connects into the parking system here and when you look at that screen it tells you right up front that you're paying for your parking but you're also paying an extra 35 cents or so because you forgot your quarters now that 35 cents doesn't go to the people who run the park mobile app almost all of it goes to payment processors credit card companies and you know I'm just guessing here but I would guess that if st. Pete used a blockchain currency based parking payment system we collectively would save you know maybe 10 grand a year or something like that um and even that barely scratches the surface because blockchain asset Ledger's can also be automated in various ways leading to what are called smart contracts now to understand smart contracts we can start with a human innovation at least on par with the pyramids and the iPhone this is a vending machine and this is a beer vending machine one of the highest evolutions of the form a vending machine is kind of like a contract or a financial algorithm you put money in one end and hopefully you get a single outcome at the other end now a vending machine you know it doesn't rely on any humans to maintain it on a day to day basis and as long as there are no mechanical problems a vending machine is pretty trustworthy we actually have in our everyday lives things that we kind of wish worked a little bit more like vending machines and we call them contracts you lay out all of these parts because you want to put in one input on one end and get a predictable result on the other end unfortunately because humans are involved at so many stages of the execution of a contract we actually have to get these people called lawyers who come in and make sure is fulfilling their terms often involves a lot of fighting one of the best examples is a will I have a friend who his father passed away a couple of years ago and he inherited a small amount of property and he has been navigating a labyrinth of bankers and lawyers just trying to get access to this thing that is legally his due that's money that could be in the economy being productive but it's tied up in red tape but what if the property in question were entered into a distributed blockchain ledger and a will was not a paper document but a distributed program that automatically transferred that property to the right persons ledger when it learned that the original owner had passed away oh and by the way because all of the programs that live on this block chain are as secure as the ledgers that live there your crazy Aunt Sally can't come in and mess around with the will even if she's the world's greatest hacker so crypto currency backed by blockchain networks and managed using smart contracts that are also distributed creates a lot of large and small efficiencies but come with me if you will one step further to the realm where things get really weird because once money is this fast granular and flexible it can be connected to the economy and all sorts of interesting ways and managed by robots now this is the best open source image of money robot that I could find but artificial intelligence is gifted with the agility of the blockchain asset network could set real-time prices on things that we need to know about in real time especially as population increases so perhaps the price of data on a fiber network the price of electricity the price of capacity on a highway or urban surge pricing for traffic we actually already have a kind of limited example of what this looks like some of you may know that about 84% of all of the stock trades that take place on the new york stock exchange are actually conducted by computers that are process inputs and making decisions about which direction stocks should swing they're on a very limited scale and on one single system you take that kind of logic and expand it out to the world and you've got something that not only reduces certain frustrations in our everyday lives but actually makes our entire economy more efficient by setting prices more quickly and more effectively now as long as we're over the line into weirdness let's take it one step further we're only a few years away from self-driving cars and uber has actually among other people invested heavily in this technology that means that within you know I would say within everybody's lifetime who wins in this room we're going to have something like the Gianni cab from Total Recall I really like Total Recall great movie I love the scene with the nose and them anyway so we're going to have automatic taxis running around but if we take those taxis and join them with a few other intelligent systems and host certain parts of their systems on a blockchain that's linked to crypto currency like Bitcoin we can do some pretty crazy things so you could pay the taxi from your phone or wherever with your cryptocurrency then the taxi goes around the corner buys gas and orders its own maintenance using the same currency over time as it accumulates profits this cab might be smart enough to say go out and buy a second copy of itself and continue operating to around the city and eventually build maybe an entire network of cabs its own service stations anything because of the financial flexibility that these tools give to artificial intelligences we create these things potentially called distributed autonomous corporations they're set up by groups of investors who design the business logic that's going to dictate how they behave and insert an original pool of capital they are in turn given digital tokens that amount to shares in the corporation this structure is going to be as much of an innovation as the limited liability corporation was in time what it allows is for anybody anywhere in the world to provide capital support for any project anywhere else now a lot of this is theoretically possible using the financial technology that we're operating with right now but it's in much the same way that it's possible to build a supercomputer using vacuum tubes so let's bring us back to the very near future we've talked about flexibility granularity and speed but let's talk about reach I hinted at this a little bit earlier but these corporations and all of the other transactions that we're talking about they can go as far as the Internet itself this system can make stable currencies loans relief funds and investments available in regions of the world that are not currently very well connected to global finance what many people in developing economies lack is not resources it's not discipline it's not motivation its capital there are all kinds of sources of wealth and human wellbeing that are untapped across the world rich fields that go on ploughed for the lack of an ox Wells that go untapped for lack of a shovel when we have instantaneous access we can do something about that because even some of the poorest people in the world right now have access to the internet mostly through cell phones they're even ahead of us in some ways using digital currencies that are resident on those phones like Kenya's impassive system we connect those currencies to global capital and we can really start putting some of these currently underutilized resources to work it could trigger a global jump to Lightspeed and once those resources are harnessed to the mega machine that is our society as a whole we're going to be able to do a lot better than kings Oh sir we might end up building pyramids of our own but maybe they're going to be on Mars so that's it Thanks

50 thoughts on “At the Speed of Money: How Cryptocurrency Will Transform Everything | David Morris | TEDxTampaBay”

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  4. The iPhone puts the pyramids to shame? What is this guy smoking? we still can’t build anything like the pyramids today. It’s very far beyond our capabilities

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  6. their Nowadays more investors are investing on cryptocurrencies because they want an easy life. Cryptocuurencies help them make life easier especially in paying bills and making different transactions online.

  7. Cryptocurrency gave a big impact to many crytpo enthusiast especially those who have gained a lot from bitcoin.
    I have invseted on LEDU COIN which I believe will give us different aspect of gaining through expert content creators and professionals. Whats your idea about this?

  8. Governments and central banks actually keep the currency stable. The economy suffers a lot when it gets volatile.

  9. That is why its called his-tory …….slaves building the pyramids yet the Bible doent mention the pyramids in the old testament …….colonialism

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  14. I cringe when a European discuss how the Pyramids were build. They often credit Europeans for building them due to propaganda from Hollywood films…. (rolling eyes)

  15. There's a fork coming up, MoneroV is the new coin (from Monero XMR) which is supposed to be airdropped soon. Hodl Monero for now. Thank me later mate.

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  18. iPhone like the Great Pyramid? Not even close. You do realize that the entire pyramid hasn't been explored. Not the same for the iPhone.

  19. Emergent is a theory/science that is hard to explain and not much talked about.  If we look around us, "emergent" is everywhere", especially when there is action in mass.  That's the "Emergent" that he is referring to.  You will find "emergent" in a lot of successes around and in nature.  There is that force that make things happen even if there is no leader and everyone follows the force of "Emergent".

  20. This is a step in the right direction to free humankind from the slavery of the debt system instituted by the federal reserve bank.

    However, so long as we require labor for income, and income as a means to purchase basic necessities, there will still be massive inequalities.

    This will not change the fact the billions live in less then a few dollars a day.

    We must transition to a Resource Based Economy.

    Money is inherently elitist. Ones ability to obtain food, shelter, health care, transportation, and access to information should not be contingent on ability to pay. These are human rights.

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