How the blockchain will radically transform the economy | Bettina Warburg

Say hello to the decentralized economy — the blockchain is about to change everything. In this lucid explainer of the complex (and confusing) technology, Bettina Warburg describes how the blockchain will eliminate the need for centralized institutions like banks or governments to facilitate trade, evolving age-old models of commerce and finance into something far more interesting: a distributed, transparent, autonomous system for exchanging value.

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76 Comments on How the blockchain will radically transform the economy | Bettina Warburg

  1. Well please improve my internet connection before implementing that. Because it sounds like you will have a P2P client working at full bandwidth with data coming in every time somebody somewhere buys toilet paper on amazon. It will be like being under DDoS attack full time.

    • Rui Ning Wang it wont happen every transaction need to validate by tell to every one who employed blockchain it cant be secret in terms of validation once u exchange this crypto u need to tell every fucking single person who work with blockchain in order to approve ur trxn how fucking possible DDos single attack can make rip to the system?

    • Woo Katana mee too drinking tea and was laughing. It’s real bcos as people adoption grows, the transaction increases exponentially, in a country like INDIA, even today’s network is not sufficient. If it’s distributed through out the world, it’s even harder. Scaling is difficult.

  2. Understood some of this but certainly not all. I have this question for starters … “who owns or controls the blockchain”? Anyone?


  3. There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information! – Cosmo (Sneakers movie)

    • Commercial Critique
      bitcoin is also physical. There are coins and paper wallets that are traded all the time. so any blockchain can be linked to a physical object like a coin or a homemade bill, just as long as the private keys travel with the bill/coin

  4. Guys, don’t let her beauty distract you from the topic, this is serious business. Our whole fate as a society will be based on how we deal with these systems, and take for granted that people who are developing this right now are probably not doing it out of kindness but financial interest.

  5. The reason it’s so hard for most people to understand Bitcoin is that most people don’t really understand money. Money isn’t wealth. It’s an accounting system used to facilitate the exchange of wealth. (The paradox of money is that while everyone wants it, no one actually wants it – they want the stuff they can buy with it!) Many people are put off by the fact that Bitcoins are ‘just data’. But that’s what ALL money is, information! More precisely, money is a means for credibly conveying information about value given but not yet received (or at least not yet received in a form in which it can directly satisfy a person’s wants or
     To put it yet another way, money is a ledger. With fiat currencies like the dollar, that ledger is centralized. And that gives the central authority responsible for maintaining that ledger tremendous power, power that history has proven will inevitably be abused. With Bitcoin, the ledger is decentralized. And that means that no one individual or entity has the power to arbitrarily create new units (thereby causing inflation), freeze (or seize) your account, or block a particular payment from being processed. We’ve had decentralized money before. After all, no one can simply print new gold into existence. And the
    ‘ledger’ of gold is distributed because the physical gold itself (the ‘accounting entries’ in the metaphor) is distributed. But with gold, that decentralization comes at a heavy price (literally). The physical nature of gold makes it hugely inefficient for global transactions.
    And this is why bitcoin is important! It is the first currency in the world that is both decentralized and digital. It is more reliably scarce than gold and more private and transactionally efficient than “modern” digital banking. This is why people are excited about bitcoin, it has the potential to be completely revolutionize money.

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    • plasticman2011: you have zero idea what you are talking about and you have no idea about bitcoin. Without any regulation, a currency is UNSTABLE and proposes a financial anarchy. Your mentality is similar to those of some of the crazy European leaders that push for open-boarder policy. What do you think will happen with a decentralized currency?! I’ll tell you what: it’ll be used as a form of deep-web type of payments for illegal products and services, so no one can trace them. You think there’ll be some perfect global equilibrium with “no corporate or governmental control”? Bullshit, someone WILL control crypto’s and already now those who have control over bitcoin supply (especially the Chinese) will have more power over it. Buy-sell drugs, with an automatic cross transaction to ethereum and then to litecoin or other crypto’s and no one can trace the money anymore. Governments are not evil, some of their elements are inefficient and even corrupt, but overall a government and laws are what have been defining our whole existence since our birth. eliminate governments, laws and rules, and there’ll be pure chaos.

      And now a truth that will hurt much more: while the current crypto’s are 1st generation, very basic implementations of blockchain technology, what will come as 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation will be very sophisticated, very practical and globally accepted crypto’s … created by banks and those “corrupted governments” and corporations, and THEY will become the global standard for such transactions. Here is the twist: they WILL be regulated and controlled, for “stability and security” reasons. Just like in case of net neutrality. And these 1st generation crypto’s will only have a niche market in deep web.

      Why do you think after thousands of years, all countries have their ONE centralized currency, no unofficial niche currencies? Because that’s how the damn world works.

    • plasticman2011: the ONLY reason people are excited about bitcoin is that it is growing in value. The idea of a cryptocurrency has been out there for years, not many go excited. It’s the basic human nature: someone gets rich, many want to “repeat the example” and join the crowd. Those who talk about “revolutionizing money”, “modern digital banking” simply have no f*cking idea what they are talking about. First you learn how money, banking and the world in general work, only then you talk about it. Walking comes before running.

  6. Oooohh boy this is a tricky one…. In some ways I see where they are coming from… I just always get cautious when you have something like this… How does the management work… What if someone interferes with my profile, how do you decide whats gets revealed and what doesn’t… What if someone wants to live off grid, if this was a system everyone would be tied together… I think that a benefit with money is that it ISNT recorded.. In some ways yeah it will add more safety, and it tries to add a level playing field between both parties… hmmmmmmmm idk, its tricky cause I do agree that certainly in the U.S a lot of institutions are just outdated and slow… How would this work with government, would institutions use this when say working with legal contracts like with property??? Or would this be purely just an OPTIONAL database that the seller and buyer could use to get information on the property? I definitely know that our own government makes doing these transactions tricky, because there is one center for the information so both parties must be willing to hunt around and sleuth for info, a system like this would definitely alleviate stress, and hassle… The main fear I think I have is what must we give in return… Obviously this database will need people to gather all this information, and how will they obtain this current information? Some records will have to be purchased from government institutions, it seems complex… complex systems usually have more areas for flaw… Idk… People smarter than I an will have to weight the pros and cons, and further discuss the implications of something like this…. but my fearful monkey brain makes me cautious of things like this..

    • The only thoughtful comment, and a dozen of fast shallow rebuttals. No, whitepapers don’t answer these questions and the bottomline is that, a new blockchain based economy can only be truly deinstsutionalized if it is optional. But its potential for great institutional power is too huge to ignore or downplay. More than that, any “soft” technology is built upon hardware and the holder of that production base (electricity, provider, computer producer) is the true holder of power. So, instead of your local government, which you CAN, more or less freely elect, you will have corporations, which you have no political power over and, in case of making electronic ID and currency the only way of transaction, you have no economic/market power over, to control your assets and movements. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain is a great technology but, like everything else, it has as much promise as ithas dangers and plunging in it with naive optimism can rrigger the dangerous side ore easily than if we are aware of its full range of implications. I would urge evryone to develop a more free and unemotional and less starry eyed relationship with this very powerful new development.

    • You ALWAYS keep a backup- as with EVERYTHING re: tech. After all, even the USA Pentagon has been hacked. Don’t try to apply expected “perfection” to new ideas when no other, prior or now, have had to do so.

    • exactly – that is why bitcoin (the first and biggest blockchain) is very popular. No ID is ever required. banks and institutions want their own blockchain versions where they have complete control over you.

    • I use a BTC address/Blockchain based global ID. It is NOT mandated by a government, just the opposite. I made it myself (graphic design & printing) and offer it as an alternative to monopolized, tracked and mandated IDs via government.

    • You can provide a signature proving you are a real person without disclosing your actual identity.
      I think that works way better than the fraud ridden system we have now.

    • It’s not coincidence. If you look at her profile on LinkedIN and the positions she holds for other companies (brand adviser for a couple of them; CEO of her startup/angel company) she is definitely a trust fund baby (works as angel investor as well as Yoga teacher). The fact that despite the fact she has a public profile and yet so little is known about her reeks of the anonymity the extremely wealthy have.

    • I have finished watching this video completely.

      I am a Taiwanese who cares about the global affairs.

      And, sadly, most of my fellow Taiwanese don’t really care about the world.

      Hopefully Taiwan can become increasingly globally-aware and globally-competitive.

      God bless Taiwan.

    • I have finished watching this video completely.

      I am a Taiwanese who cares about the global affairs.

      And, sadly, most of my fellow Taiwanese don’t really care about the world.

      Hopefully Taiwan can become increasingly globally-aware and globally-competitive.

      God bless Taiwan.

  7. This is exactly why Governments including their three letter agencies as well as banks have been attacking blockchain especially Bitcoin. They cannot allow us to cut the cord and be independent of their control. Another thing is blockchain could be used to secure elections preventing fraud by 99.999%. So if the government was honest, you would think they would love and embrace it. No way will we see the US government ever want to allow blockchain backed elections.

  8. As much as I believe in blockchain, this video looks like something you’d find as an initial clue in the post apocalypse as to why it happened.

  9. Can someone talk with me on the meaning of this girl who is obviously passing on a speech from someone/ something else. Why did they pick her and what advantage does she offer rather than some nerd?

    • fleischwolf82 who said anything about adding value?

      Which movement, blockchain or BTC?
      The talk is for blockchain, generalizing its potential, not blockchain specifically over cryptocurrency movement.
      People should stop associating cryptocurrency as the blockchain movement, or blockchain as the cryptocurrency movement, they are two different things, one operates as a trade commodity off the backbone of the other ones structured operational platform.
      One requires the other to succeed, that other can be its own thing and diversify to carry other things in its system

      Clearly more of these videos are needed to aid understanding, this is not her trying to hype or bring new valuable info, it is a presentation to assist clarification of info that already exists.
      It helps those who dont understand or want the information points to be from alternative sources. Why is that bad?

      You know, anybody who invests in something is generally getting in on the train when it gets popular, I would consider this an appropriate tactic to obtain value and see it increase. You dont go for something unpopular do you, thats kinda the premise behind popular and its counterpart, unpopular.

      Whos work is she taking credit for?
      I don’t see anybody else up there talking. This is just a presentation of information, she doesnt claim to own the work, the products or anything here, no sales pitch or even mention of company brands… who is she taking credit from?

      As a presenter in a speech for public interest, she deserves all credit for a good job.
      You know there is a good chance she did not get paid for this….

      Its time people stop reading into things before allowing the reality of our experience to come forward.
      Theres a difference between criticising things and having a critical mind. Also the contrast from having objective to judge and judging objectively. Holding an opinion with these perspectives twisted is risky to the intergrity of those who speak with complacency.

      Would be surprised if this is read entirely let alone taken on board with open mind, I anticipate your emotional backlash to follow.

    • fleischwolf82 Disagree, Warburg and other companies like her company are trying to communicate BC advantages and hurdles to many industries. Some industries do not understand, some have miss understood, some are concerned, etc., the BC consulting companies have a role to help smooth the way for BC. You ask a 100 CEOs, what is blockchain, I bet they still say Bitcoin.

    • Were you expecting a man? I suppose then we wouldn’t get these comments?? The ladie’s job is to be a block chain expert.

    • She grins like one of those models on “The Price is Right.” It’s hard to take her seriously.

  10. I normally avoid TED talks, but I love blockchain technology so I gave this video a go. I wasn’t disappointed. Like the points about how our societies got more complex and world trade grew. Right now we are at a stage where the world is a very small place. Movement is easier for people and ideas. Institutions can try (or just sabre rattle) to regulate and stop blockchain developments. I fear they are scared and not sure of what blockchain can achieve. If there is more regulation, sure privacy coins will become more widely adopted and demanded. DeepOnion in particular believes in decentralisation and total anonymity for transactions. Additionally Lightening technology will be a game changer in this industry.

    • Crypto Kiddie Crypto Kiddie Your kidding right? TED boasts a vast array of the worlds most informed, community focused and insightful individuals available. Driving a forum for insight and innovation across open source environment. These people are building an ecosystem for change in advantageous ways, using applied practices and techniques that are tested against real world situations. This is not an insignificant source for development of awreness and networks in newly emerging creations…
      Regulation is not necessarily bad, it allows guidelines for best practices. In can also assist the collaboration between two entities whom may benefit more in mutually practicing as opposed to starting a war for control over the currency domain.
      Maybe they do have fears, some half baked first year delevloper creating mediocre blockchain for a coin that he impulsively makes on dorm room bender… I would fear for my institution also if that fellow had 200k channel subscribers.
      Why would coins be adopted more? Is that a fact?
      In particular, what cryptocurrency out there is not saying they believe in decentralisation? Is this a marketing technique being used now?

      I like transparency, anonymity is okay I guess, is this why your profile image is blurry.+Doug Polk Crypto would probably enjoy this info.

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