Blockchain, digital currencies and DLTs have been at the forefront of conversations in recent years. In 2019, we saw consistent growth across the sector landscape, driven by new corporate and business models, increased VC funding and decentralized applications. These trends show no sign of slowing down if something continues to accelerate and integrate more into our daily lives.
This transformation to Web 3.0 and a more decentralized world will require new ways of thinking, interacting and doing business on a large scale. I sat down with Samantha Radocchia, an industry expert and author of Bitcoin Pizza: Blockchain's Unflinching Guide to get her perspective on our decentralized future.
Q: What started your journey in the world of Bitcoin and Blockchain?
Samantha: It's a crazy trip, that's for sure. In short, I grew up in a family where computer games were celebrated. Whether it's my father admiring the graphics of Myst in the early 90's, my brothers and I playing World of Warcraft or Age of Empires until the wee hours of the night or a competition in what we could call sports early on Saturday morning in a clan of Tribes 2, we could say we were pretty in it.
I became somehow a self-taught developer / hacker, so when I went to college, I was much more fascinated by the study of human behavior and social engineering than by the Technical engineering. I studied the anthropology of technology and, for my thesis, which I finally pursued in graduate research, I convinced the department to let me study a virtual world. called Second Life. It was in 2009. While I lived "in the world", I opened a t-shirt store to sell t-shirts to other avatars in exchange for the motto in the world, Linden Dollars. It was during my research that I discovered Bitcoin as well as the concept of virtual / digital / cryptographic assets, many people exchanging their Linden dollars into USD or BTC via these makeshift exchanges between counterparts. I ended up founding a few companies along the way, but it was only around 2013 that I got closer to people in the industry around a loyalty product, and then, finally, a blockchain. enterprise for the supply chain.
Q: In addition, what prompted you to write a book about our decentralized future? What will readers have to read?
I had the unique privilege of working at the cutting edge of technology for a good part of my career. What it is to start a business in Italy (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning were previously one of the first companies to use blockchain technology beyond cases of financial use. What I have seen, more than ever, is that there is a lot of uncertainty and fear around our narrative of the future. We see sensationalized media and the fear around automation. We see episodes of Black Mirror on killer drones or missing social credit ratings. We see dystopian films and terminators. So the question is: is this really the future we want to build? I think as we move towards a connected global civilization, we have also created many gaps in trust. We filled the gaps in trust with the institutions – governments, banks, retailers, auditors, and so on. A much wider change is taking place from a centralized future to a decentralized future. It is a change of mentality more than a change of technology. I have written the book so that readers can understand the great socio-cultural, geopolitical and macro-economic changes and understand why this technology is important, not necessarily what it is or how it works.
I think it's really a unique moment in human history. We may not be able to see what's going to happen yet, and that may not be a linear path, but we'll get there eventually. We all participate in the construction of a new system of social exploitation, the operating system of the future. A better future. A future where we reconnect with ourselves, with each other, with our environment, with the products we consume and where everyone has the power to shape that future.
Q: Why is the blockchain so crucial for the future of the company and does it know it well?
Let's think of the blockchain as a technical manifestation of a much wider change, a change larger than buzzwords such as "digital transformation", which also includes technologies such as blockchain, IoT, AI / ML, robotics, genomics, a change that represents the convergence of these technologies and exponential ideas at this unique moment. We are witnessing seismic paradigm shifts at the sociocultural, geopolitical, financial and environmental levels. Blockchain and, more broadly, decentralization are simply technical manifestations of these larger ideas. For me, they represent, at the very least, the continuation of Satoshi's much-needed conversation on the transition from centralized to decentralized, from opaque to transparent, and from a culture of mistrust to trust. So, why is it important for the future of business and business as we know them?
Let me give you an example of a totally independent technology: the plane. You do not necessarily know how an airplane works, is not it? I mean, you may know the lift, weight and drag forces, but you do not think about the rudders and fins, unless of course you're a pilot or a mechanic. But what you know is that once the aircraft has been introduced and the related infrastructure built (airports, airlines, etc.), the world has changed and activities that you do not have. Never imagined, as airline catering companies, were born.
We can do this exercise again and again for any new technology introduced and the social changes that it accompanies represent written communication / language, agriculture, light bulb, printing press, mobile phones, open source, propulsion by reaction. The problem is that this technology and this decentralization affects all sectors and affects the very nature of what it means to trust, what is money, which governs the systems.
Q: What are the three key factors that every leader should consider in preparing his business for a future guided by Blockchain and digital currencies such as Bitcoin?
- The Blockchain and the digital currencies are above all a change of mentality. If you want to harness their power, you need to consider them as much more than just a registry and apply the thought of decentralization to other areas of business, such as designing business models.
- Blockchain and digital currencies give us insight into the future of work and organizational design. Your organization of the future will most likely be distributed, potentially decentralized. The concept of salary and non-competition could cease to exist. Your employees will be free agents contributing to a number of projects based on the connectivity and dynamism of the community.
- Do not do pilot projects just for a pilot project or to take advantage of marketing. Look to start by solving a real problem. If technology is the right solution, then all the better, but be equally open to the combination of other technologies available.
Q: Where do you think the blockchain will have the most significant impact in the next 3 to 5 years?
👉 Financial services– Cryptocurrencies, Internet of value, decentralized finance, open bank, financial inclusion
👉 Supply chain– Not only to make supply chains more efficient, but also to move from a supply chain to an on-demand chain, where blockchains will interface with technologies. such as 3D printing and vertical agriculture to produce on-demand, on-site consumer products, with protected IP over a blockchain network.
👉 The governance– New governance structures, new incentives, fair voting
👉 Future of work– New organizational structures such as CAD (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)
👉 Game / entertainment– Virtual worlds, virtual token and interoperable assets, physical and fractional physical assets
If someone is a newcomer to the world, Bitcoins and Blockchains, what do they need to know about two or three things essential to prepare for the future?
- Read the Bitcoin white paper
- Keep an open mind. Learn to unlearn. The best companies and ideas come from the revision of the first principles and the design from the present, and not from what the past has told us.
- Maintain a state of mind of abundance. Many people I speak to believe that open systems are at odds with closed systems, competition and scarcity. Well, they are. But also think of the enormous value and opportunities that open systems will open. Collaborate to compete.
- The nature of your business and your daily life will inevitably change. If you are a factory owner who manufactures auto parts in one place and fears change, adopt it. Perhaps you will now have a worldwide network of machines that, if necessary, will produce parts on site. Maybe you charge a fee to maintain and secure the I.P. and design files or machines themselves. Basically, the change does not have to be scary.
Q: What are you excited about most in our decentralized future?
Honestly, I have never been excited by the incremental changes or modernization of existing systems. What really motivates me is the concept of transformational evolution – new ways of thinking, leading to entirely new systems. We are at a crossroads where, for the first time since the industrial revolution, or perhaps during the agrarian revolution, we revisit the very nature of money, posing difficult questions about nation-states, societies, finances , food, money, data. , knowledge and more. We all have the privilege of being part of this transformational change, in our daily lives, our businesses, our relationships, and we all have a responsibility to build a better future – more sustainable, more equitable.