Luis Cuende, Co-Founder and Project Lead at Aragon
The internet has revolutionized our society and has turned our world into a global village. However, according to the world bank, 2 billion people are isolated from financial infrastructure and are left bankless. This has an enormous negative impact on the global economy as their brainpower, ideas and initiative can not be fully utilized.
Entrepreneurship is the foundation on which successful economies are built and inclusion is key. The only way to do so is to remove social, political and geographic barriers. The benefits also extend beyond the bottom line, as individuals can operate beyond the constraints many corrupt governments set arbitrarily and beyond restrictions that occur in the current economic system based upon borders and third party intermediaries.
Blockchain is by its very nature borderless, permissionless and decentralized. This can level the playing field as it allows individuals to execute ideas, organize globally and utilize their potential without intervention.
Although the technology is in its infancy, it already has had a significant impact on society. In 2013, four years after Bitcoin launched, Vitalik Buterin, alongside a group of other like-minded individuals, together envisioned a blockchain that could be used for more than just that. Two years later, in the summer of 2015, Ethereum, a more advanced blockchain was launched. Ethereum is a programmable blockchain with smart contract capabilities and with storage and messaging protocol layers designed into the system enabling developers to build decentralized systems and applications.
For individuals worldwide this is truly revolutionary, as it frees them from the restraints of red tape allowing for the creation of companies which can trade, interact and create value globally.
We take most power for granted. After all, humans enforce most of their social contracts by giving away some freedom. We usually think about intermediaries on a microscopic scale. We think about the postal service or the milkman. Yet those intermediaries are insignificant compared to the larger third parties who deny young entrepreneurs their dreams because it is not in line with government policy, societal norms or because it violates an arbitrary regulation.
With many citing blockchain as the Web 3.0, I believe we are on the cusp of a new and wonderful technologically-driven adventure, enabling Silicon Valley-like startups to operate in a much more efficient way, inviting and integrating millions of isolated people into the new world economy.
The benefits of integrating potentially hundreds of million more people into the economy is good news, not only for the developing world. Modern and developed economies, for example, have been experiencing a period of low growth and stagnation and yearn for a new wave of customers. Enabling millions of people to unravel their potential and create wealth through economic access will furthermore drive world trade and increase prosperity for everyone.
Naturally this will not occur overnight, but we are already witnessing it on a sectoral level. Blockchain has already disrupted part of the financial industry and is promising to revolutionize supply chain, agriculture and many more aspects of everyday life.
This is all still in the early adopter phase, as even the underlying protocols and standards are still being built. Although we can already see thousands of developers shifting their efforts to explore how they can utilise the technology of tomorrow. They are starting to see the implications and ramifications of what the Web 3.0 can mean for all of us.
Globalization is synonymous with growth and making the world a smaller place, this is simply the next step.
About Luis Cuende, Co-Founder and Project Lead, Aragon
Luis Cuende started his first free software project, an easy to use operating system based on Linux, at the age of 12. After multiple innovative features, like hybrid web applications and facelogin, he was awarded as the best underage European hacker by HackFwd, being only 15 years old. He was an Advisor to the VP of the European Commission regarding Digital Agenda and entrepreneurship. Many know him for the book "I'm 18 and I neither study or work" (2014), which includes a merciless criticism of the traditional educational system, and his vision on building a decentralized society. His latest company, Stampery, a blockchain data certification platform, was backed by the legendary venture capital firm Draper Associates, leaded by Tim Draper, investor in companies as Tesla, SpaceX, Skype or Baidu. He’s an Advisor to Primitive, a Silicon Valley-based company building the future of programming with Virtual Reality. He has been listed by Forbes as one of the brightest tech entrepreneurs on their 30 Under 30 list, and by MIT as one of their Innovators under 35. Now, he created Aragon to disintermediate business, by making decentralized organizations widespread.