Applying blockchain, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve patents, the industry and the asset class is the IPwe mission.
Many have missed it – but not for much longer. The financial press is having fun talking about Bitcoin, but another important story that gets less attention is the technology underlying Bitcoin called “blockchain.” There are now books written on what it is and why it’s important and buzz phrases that are created and used to try to keep you out of the crypto club, but allow me to save you weeks of reading.
Blockchain is simply a new way of keeping electronic records. You might ask “isn’t this just a database?” It is – it just happens to be a much better database for many applications that is public, highly-secure, decentralized and permanent. There is no single third party that maintains it. What this means is there is no centralized authority (no government, Google or Visa—let’s call them ”intermediaries”) that maintains this database.
With a high-level understanding of what blockchain is, you might ask “why is it important?” Blockchain has many implications, but it is going to change how we interact with each other and over time will make peer to peer interaction the norm. Blockchain is going to disrupt the business model for many companies that make their money as intermediaries—and there are lots of them. There is a reason large banks, insurance companies and financial institutions are scrambling – they are likely to be among the first to feel the impact of blockchain technology—but many other markets, businesses and asset classes will be impacted.
Background: The Power of the Divorce and Blockchain Become Clear to Me
Getting divorced is a miserable slog. Since you have no incentive to do anything financially productive during a divorce, you have time to read, research and plan for what’s next. I was fortunate in that I first heard about blockchain in 2013, and by 2015 I had plenty of time to research and think about this technology. I completely missed the importance of the whole “internet” thing in the 1990’s, but the more I researched and thought about blockchain, the more I came to believe that this is a transformational technology. Now that my divorce is complete and I am less than half the financial man I was before, I can go back to figuring out how to translate this technological epiphany into a financially and socially productive endeavor.