Blockchain will blow Uber-style disruption out of the water, says analyst


Could geeky, nichey blockchain be the sleeper hit of the Digital Age, ushering in a new internet era?

Don Tapscott (pictured), chief executive officer of The Tapscott Group, believes blockchain is silently catapulting us from the “internet of information” to the “internet of value” and will shake the foundations of business and culture.

“This is the second era of the internet, and I think it’s going to be bigger than the first era,” Tapscott said at IBM InterConnect 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. He told John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, that blockchain will redefine current notions of disruption (*Disclosure below.)

The popular notion of sharing economies is flawed, according to Tapscott, author of “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World.” They still have structured, for-profit firms at the center, entities that secured distributed ledgers could obliterate, he explained.

“Why do you need a $70-billion corporation to do what Uber does? It could be done by a distributed ledger with some smart contracts and autonomous agents,” he said.

This applies to firms of all kinds. “Everything that the corporation does could be done by software,” he said. Operations kept inside the walls of a firm for reasons to do with trust and the free market, can suddenly escape those confines with blockchain, he added.

Blockchain to save us from data frackers?

The security features of blockchain that make this possible could help people take back privacy in the big data age. And Tapscott dismisses folks who tell him privacy is dead and to get over it.

“This is foolishness. Privacy is the foundation of freedom,” he said.

Blockchain may help secure users’ rights to their data, according to Tapscott. “We create it, but these data frackers, like Facebook, own it, and that’s a big problem,” he said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM InterConnect 2017(*Disclosure: SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE is a media partner at InterConnect. Neither IBM nor other conference sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE