“Bitcoin Class with Satoshi” returns to discuss EDI and record keeping—and why it’s better to use the BSV blockchain to handle all this. The series covering Bitcoin methodologies and use cases features Dr. Craig S. Wright and sCrypt’s Xiaohui Liu, and covers some basics as well as more advanced concepts.
Episode 9 is a little shorter than usual at 30 minutes, but still manages to cover a lot of ground. Those familiar with Dr. Wright’s work will know he has a particular interest in EDI (electronic data interchange), the at-times messy set of standards for the secure exchange of information that was intended to bring business into a more paperless digital age.
— xhliu (@sinoTrinity) July 13, 2021
It’s hard to make this sound exciting, because supply chains and logistics are (for most of us) things that happen in the background. Yet we rely on them every day, and surely notice when things go wrong. For those tasked with making these processes run smoothly and without things going wrong too often, a new set of secure, auditable standards would be a godsend.
Dr. Wright says people like Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen made proposals for such systems when they were still involved in the Bitcoin world. It’s important that others continue to develop the concepts, creating methodologies so regular users can start using them without issues or hassles.
An important stage before executing any contract is defining upfront all the terms it contains, and ensuring the contracting parties agree to all the terms. This includes things like the agreed unit of account, descriptions and values of “goods” involved, and so on. For example, you could create a schedule of commodities, parts numbers, an inventory database—and then create digital BSV tokens to represent each item.
Even a warehouse bin number could be tokenized, or a delivery vehicle, so whatever goes into/comes out of it can be recorded, tracing an item (which is itself tokenized) along the way. Amazon drivers, Dr. Wright says, are already informally photographing the deliveries they make as proof they delivered them, so there’s clearly a need for better systems to exist.
This is the real value of BSV tokens, Dr. Wright says. He clearly has disdain for the type of tokens people create as speculative assets, or those created as gimmicks for “junk art”—however he does admit that tokens could be useful for tracking ownership and ownership rights of a genuinely valuable work.
“This is really where I see the concept of tokenization going. Not ‘how can we flip non-existent value to get rich quick.'”
Tokens are meant to represent and record real items (including both physical and digital items) real assets, records of what we’re doing in real life.
They’re beneficial for supply chain and logistics companies (as some in the BSV ecosystem like UNISOT have already realized) but may be useful for tracking provenance of other goods. He gives the examples of second-hand markets or perhaps gun parts. The U.S., in particular, has a complex set of laws defining what you can and can’t buy, and what you can and can’t do with individual parts of weapons, and a universal system of tracking them all could be useful.
Xiaohui asks again why all this couldn’t be done with a regular database. Dr. Wright points out that such databases do exist already, but the problem is incompatibility—each company might have its own system of recording and tracking, a customer might have another. It’s where these different systems could interact, and provide instant (and long lasting) information to any business needing it to function better, that could find BSV standards beneficial.
So in other words, just like EDI—or at least, what EDI always should have been. But when EDI standards were created there wasn’t a universal ledger on which to record everything. Now there is. Dr. Wright admits that EDI is “still terrible” in many ways, with several gaps and paper-based processes. Bitcoin and the BSV blockchain is now here and ready to reset those standards, perhaps this time in a way everyone can agree on.
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