OK what if … What if the world wasn’t ruled by only a small minority of people and companies. What if the world was a more honest place? For that we either need more honest, caring and sharing people. Or we need a different system. In this post we explore the possibilities of the latter. We look at the options of decentralization. And especially at the blockchain as a driver for that.

Start with the basics

We have to start at the beginning because we know that this is a complex system. And we know that adoption of the blockchain starts with explaining and understanding. The blockchain demystified is a good starting point. Learn the power of a decentralized, trustable system of transactions and rules.

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Blockchain as a starting point for a new internet

OK, now be prepared to dive deep. But do that in the knowledge that it is still early days for this new technique. It is still in its infant stage. It is a promise that can have a big impact, but we don’t know what the future will bring. Vitalic Buterin is the founder of Ethereum. At its simplest, Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. Buterin thinks that Ethereum plus some other technologies can bring us a more decentralized internet that puts control back in the hands of the user.

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The future firm is open, smart and collaborative

But what other stuff can you do with something like Ethereum? Well, take Colony.io for example. That initiative believes the future of organizations is open and without classical structures. It’s building an infrastructure to support that: “A colony is a new kind of internet-based organization. It could be a community project, a company, or a non-profit — your imagination is the only limit. Every colony has its own token. You earn tokens by doing work. The more tokens you hold, the more of the colony you own. Tokens let you stake your ownership on your good judgment when proposing tasks, or claiming someone should be paid.” Colony believes the future of the firm is open, smart and collaborative and develops a system to support that, as co-founder Collin Vine explains.

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A nation on the blockchain

If you can form a new kind of organization with smart rules, reputation management and decentral decision making, you can re-organize society as well. That’s the idea behind Bitnation. ‘Bitnation is D.I.Y. governance.’ It is ’the world’s first decentralized, borderless virtual nation’. Bitnation is designed to disrupt the nation-state oligopoly through offering more convenient, secure and cost-efficient DIY governance services including security and dispute resolution. Erik Vollstädt is one of the co-founders of Bitnation. See his explanation.

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Fair rights to the artists

But let’s be honest, Bitnation is far away. Let’s look at stuff that might be closer to home. To the music industry for example. It’s not that long ago that – as an artist – you needed a record company to get your sound to an audience. Because a record company had access to media, to distribution channels, to recording facilities. That changed a lot. It is now relatively easy to record and distribute digitally. But this is only a part of the story. What if you could use the blockchain to make sure the rights of music are where they belong: decentral, with the artist. And what if the artist could use the blockchain to produce ’digitally smart songs’? In that case, the artist gives others the right to use songs for certain use cases, for a certain amount of time, etcetera. And an artist could lay down in the blockchain that its tunes can’t be used for political rallies fr example. The blockchain can give back control to artists, Benji Rogers from dotBlockchain believes.

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Steem.it: rewards for all

There are examples of the blockchain already working in the music industry. But they still are pilot projects, prototypes. Let’s finish off with successful decentralized media initiative Steem.it. And look beyond the media bit. Because Steem.it is an example of how you can reward all stakeholders in an initiative, the active and the passive, how you can work with a loose structure of influence depending on the role you play, and how active you are. That can be a model for new organizations too … Steem.it has rewards for all involved: the creator, the curator, the consumer, etcetera!

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OK friends, we didn’t talk about cryptocurrency today, of course, bitcoin and other cryptos are examples of decentralized money as well. But if you want to know more about cryptocurrency and the blockchain have a look at the online dossier of The Innovation Station, we promise: you won’t find a better collection of videos on this subject!

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