At a keynote address given for the York Angels Investors group, William Mougayar noted that the key component of Bitcoin is its underlying technology – the blockchain. The blockchain is “decentralized, auditable and secure.”
With blockchain there is this concept of smart property. Mr. Mougayar describes smart property as “a digital asset.” This is the very essence of the Internet. Everything on it is “digital in nature.”
He continues by describing smart property as a “digital asset..who knows..who their owner is.” As a result the ownership is attached to the asset itself. Mr. Mougayar notes “that’s important because “if you change the ownership it’s part and parcel of the asset itself.” There is no longer a need to confirm ownership of the digital asset via separate channel.
This same logic would also apply to identity. Identity itself could be a digital asset and easily confirmed via public access to the blockchain. Also note that identity would remain secure. An entity could confirm identity without having access to the underlying components of that identity putting less of a burden on a merchant, as an example, to make sure that they protect their customer’s data. With the blockchain this responsibility shifts away from the merchant saving them cost for both fraud as well as data breaches.
Mr. Mougayar outlines 3 key areas in this space: infrastructure, middle-ware and applications.
The infrastructure space consists of the actual blockchain like Bitcoin. There are other companies that have built new blockchains such as Ethereum, CounterParty and Ripple. The best way to think about the infrastructure is in the context of protocols or standards.
In the middle-ware space we find companies operating between the infrastructure and applications, similar to the Internet twenty years ago.
But what most consumers will care about is the last area which is applications. This is the layer that makes the blockchain accessible and usable to an average user.
“Decentralization is the new Internet,” according to Mr. Mougayar.