Michaella Pettit on CoinGeek Backstage

Michaella Pettit: Transforming technology with data integrity and micropayments

Web3 has been developing in leaps and bounds over the last few years, but industry players say that the ecosystem is yet to reach its full potential, with several frontiers left unexplored.

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nChain Research Director Michaella Pettit said in an interview with CoinGeek Backstage that blockchain could record new use cases as several industries embrace Web3. Pettit shared her views at the IEEE COINS Conference 2023 in Berlin, noting that micropayments would be the next frontier for blockchain and other emerging technologies.

She added that the integration of micropayments with other emerging technologies like artificial intelligence improves the pace of innovation and adoption. Early forays into the concept of micropayments have been made, but Pettit says its applicability could balloon in the coming years.

“Micropayments is something that we haven’t even seen the full potential of,” said Pettit.

During the interview, Pettit likened micropayments to the internet, stating that it was difficult to predict that instant messaging would become mainstream in the early days of the internet. Social media platforms have already turned to micropayments to reward content creators, while movie streaming platforms are using the functionality to give users the option to preview a movie before making full payment.

“I really hope we have some great entrepreneurs that are going to develop new, completely crazy ideas that we haven’t really thought about,” expressed Pettit.

Outside of micropayments, Pettit says data integrity could be the final piece of the puzzle allowing emerging technologies to achieve regulatory compliance. She cited use cases in AI, IPV6, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT), noting that blockchain-based systems can offer immutable and transparent data handling.

“Data integrity is something that we’ve never had before blockchain,” said Pettit. “Blockchain is the first system that really enables us to have a secure immutable storage system.”

At the moment, AI developers are facing a litany of regulatory action and lawsuits over their handling and collection of data, issues that Pettit says can be solved by blockchain. OpenAI, makers of ChatGPT, is in the eye of the storm with European Union (EU) regulators probing the company’s data collection methods. At the same time, intellectual property (IP) holders allege violations of their copyrights.

While Web3 has become a hazy term in recent years, Pettit made a valiant attempt at defining Web3, likening it to a system consisting of several moving parts. She described blockchain as the base or fundamental layer supporting the areas of data ownership, security, and privacy.

She pointed to the Untangling Web3 podcast as a tool to assist new entrants to the space to understand Web3 concepts. In her closing remarks, Pettit hailed the industry for its diversity, noting the gender equality and eclectic mix of persons from different backgrounds and experiences.

Watch: What will the future world look with blockchain?

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