A company called Consensys, in Brooklin, is promising to create a technology as innovative as internet itself. Now for you to understand it better I will start reminding you of how we got so far and where we are now.
Fifty years ago we would buy something from a company and wouldn’t have any saying in it. You get what you get and this is it, so that is from one big company to the masses. With the internet the masses got a saying. A tool to compare what is better and to actually know what those companies are making. It helped us on having a voice on what we want to get and companies have to adapt more and more to what the consumer wants. In that way we still get something from one big company, but we talk to them too.
Now what Consensys proposes is for communication, services and products be served from the masses to the masses. No big corporations in the middle. The name of this technology is Ethereum. It uses the same technology of blockchain, that allows people to exchange money without any banking in the middle, but for any kind of content, service or product. “But how exactly does it work?” you ask me. Well, let me give you a more concrete example.
Today you have Spotify, a great tool that lets you stream music and pay monthly fee for it. Now think about the artist. They spend a lot of time and money creating their music, and put it in Spotify. Then, when people start listening to their music, Spotify evaluates how popular their music is and how much they should earn. From that they take 30% for themselves and the artist only gets 70%. Take off the money he invested to make his music: studio rent, musicians, instruments, producer, recording. Only then you will have his profit, which will probably be divided. Now that doesn’t sound much of a good deal, right?
We know that the musicians definitely don’t feel like it is a good deal. And how do we know that? Well, they launched Tidal. The software owned by a tone of famous musicians was focused on giving the power to the musicians, so other music stream companies don’t take a big share of what are their efforts. The software backfired for two reasons, it doesn’t have a competitive price, although the lowest price is the same as Spotify, and they don’t have a free version, when their competition has. The second reason is a simply public relation reason, when it launched it sounded like a bunch o multimillionaire musicians complaining about not getting enough money.
This isn’t about the musicians that are already on top, is about the independent ones. At Ethereum those musicians can make their music available for the price they want and all the money goes to them. The same thing can be applied to Airbnb, Uber, Facebook or even Google. You can get a service and the full price you will pay will go to the people that are providing it. How the safety and licenses will work? We will find that out when time comes. What is a fact is that a tool like this offers infinity of possibilities.
It reminded me my talk with Jeroen Pliester, when he spoke about craftsmanship and how it will become bigger and bigger. Ethereum allows us to buy directly from people, not companies. Decentralized is the word of the moment. Just like the middle ages but with a much larger village.