“The first thing we do? Let’s kill all the lawyers.” ~ Vitalik Buterin
Don’t be fooled by the unicorn-llama-rainbow-UFO shirt. Vitalik Buterin, the polymath, polyglot, wunderkind of the crypto-economy – and founder of the 30 billion dollar smart-contract network Ethereum knows exactly what he is doing.
Vitalik saw the potential to build off the Bitcoin Blockchain to create game-changing smart, programmable coins: AKA, self-executing contracts.
As a simple example, imagine a bet between friends on the outcome of a soccer match. With smart contracts, instead of using a betting company to hold the stakes (and take a slice of the action), the friends simply programme a smart contract in such a way that the loser’s Ethereum wallet automatically pays the winner’s wallet as soon as the match outcome is posted in a particular table on a particular website. No broker required.
Now apply that logic to anti-nuptial marriage contracts, property transfers, stock market trades, music royalties and international shipping deals.
As Imogen Heap, musician and founder of MyCelia, a blockchain based music copyright and revenue share enforcement service says “It’s only a matter of math.”
If the advent if the Internet 0.1 was bad for middle men, the emergence of the blockchain should be downright terrifying for anyone who’s job involves being any sort of intermediary.
The Internet killed off a whole lot of publishers, advertisers (of the Mad Men variety) and record labels – the middle men of pop culture.
Now the blockchain is hunting down bankers, brokers, auditors and lawyers – the middle men of big business.
Should your industry be worried?