Jerry Chan: Bitcoin will improve the Internet by bringing value to data
As a newly-appointed executive for the Bitcoin Association, Jerry Chan is confident in the prospects for Bitcoin SV. The former Morgan Stanley and SBI manager has followed Bitcoin through its many incarnations from the early days and says he’s simply guided by the technology.
Whilst Jerry is a strong supporter of Bitcoin SV (BSV) – which is promoted by his new employer – he insists that he’s very “anti-cultism”, in the sense that he just wants to “support the technology that works”. Now, as Bitcoin Association manager for Japan and South Korea, Jerry predicts that the technology behind many of BSV’s rivals will fail.
Whilst the use of Bitcoin for financial speculation has been “the first use case”, Jerry sees the future as very much the merging of the “bit” (data) with the “coin”. “It’s a hybrid – it’s literally a merging of data and value,” he says.“Bitcoin brings value to the Internet, it brings value to data.”
The strategy for Bitcoin SV should be to make sure that the network scales – which nChain is busy with – but to be “completely agnostic” as to its uses.
On the question of private blockchains, Jerry is relaxed about their use by big businesses which only deal with a limited number of outside partners. But he believes that in time, those private blockchains will be absorbed into public chains: “there is room for some private blockchains in those cases, but I believe that if you look even one step further …eventually, you’re going to need one public one to glue them all together”.
“The ownership of data is one of the things that plagues the Internet age,” he says. And data laws need to be clarified. But blockchain solves many of the problems because “the owner of the data is the only one with the keys”. So worries about the responsibilities of cloud companies are largely eliminated: instead,“the liability is on yourself”. You could say ‘you have only yourself to blame’. To that end, wallet security needs to be looked at, with new ways for individuals to look after their crypto keys.
In the near future, Jerry hopes to see a big tech company like Amazon or Google start to use Bitcoin. By eliminating data centres, they could operate more efficiently – doing away with expensive infrastructure. Instead, data would be saved on the secure and “almost free” blockchain. That would be a “really, really powerful” change for business.
It would add up to “a revolutionising of the Internet monetization model”. Instead of the advertising model, users would be rewarded for sharing their data. “Ecommerce is just going to get better. People are not going to have to deal with advertisements; people are just going to sell their data directly.”
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