ZeMing Gao - London Blockchain Conference 2023

ZeMing Gao: Blockchain brings physicality to digitality

At the London Blockchain Conference, prolific Bitcoin researcher and author ZeMing M. Gao was given 15 minutes of stage time—and in these 15 minutes, Gao taught us to stop thinking of blockchain as a purely digital phenomenon.

Gao explained that the universe consists of energy and information, and we, humanity, are an expression of knowledge as in a special kind of information. There are obstacles to overcome in the digital age, but the solutions cannot be found simply in “more digitality.”

London Blockchain Conference 2023

Digital Humanity and the need to step further

Gao said that “We live with data, but data has lost both reliability and legitimacy, and it is gradually losing more of that. This is not to deny all the benefits we have already received from the digital revolution.”

According to Gao, the next step should be adding physicality to data.

“The merging of physicality and digitality is the most profound technological transformation in today’s world. On the one hand, you see that the Internet of Things, and AI, and VR, these are basically a move to bring digitality to physical things. But at the same time, we understand that blockchain is a move to bring physicality to digital things,” Gao said.

With this thinking, Gao is closely aligned with Bitcoin inventor Dr. Craig Wright’s understanding of blockchain technology. As Dr. Wright said in his keynote speech at the London Blockchain Conference, BSV blockchain could bring the concept of digital paper to life (“physical scarcity for digital goods”).

How to bring physicality to digitality, according to ZeMing M. Gao?

Gao used the chance to point out that we find many of the answers within the name Bitcoin. BIT stands for bits, bytes, and information, while COIN is its cash and money aspect. Gao explained that cash is a physical object, not just data.

“Settlement, that is physicality. When I give ten dollars to you, hand it over to you, you have a certain guarantee that I do not any longer have the ten dollars. That is the indication of physicality,” Gao said.

So, in Bitcoin, according to Gao, we already have a merge of digitality and physicality, as Bitcoin serves both the informational (digital) and the cash (physical) side of the network.

Gao explained that blockchain is a machine that transforms a generic digital thing into something that is more—“phygital,” Gao said, a combination of digital and physical.

“Blockchain can move the control of a set of bytes from A to B,” Gao explained. That is a hint at the commodity dimension of Bitcoin. With the BSV blockchain, we put data onto Bitcoin, and by that, we kind of refine data into information—precisely by adding a monetary dimension to the data.

I recommend reading Gao’s articles on Bitcoin as a commodity and settlements with Bitcoin. Inspired by Gao’s work, I called Bitcoin complex cash.

London Blockchain Conference 2023

Tokenization with Bitcoin through BSV blockchain

Gao sees tokenization as a way to make digital elements active and actionable. When mentioning tokenization, Gao is not referring to the superficial NFTs that have dominated the digital asset media coverage for a while now.

“Tokenization is not a new thing. When we express a concept in our minds using language, we are already doing tokenization. The thing that is new on blockchain is that all these things that I talked about can be tokenized, and the blockchain would give these things physicality. That is what is revolutionizing everything. It is not the tokenization itself; it is the tokens now gain physicality—I call it phygital things— it has both, a dual property,” Gao said.

Gao concluded by calling for The True Web3, a digital environment with physical characteristics. For this, Gao proposes:

  • a single source of truth (blockchain) on which we perform
  • peer-to-peer interactions (digital cash), leading to a
  • self-sovereign identity.

London Blockchain Conference 2023

ZeMing M. Gao is a BSV blockchain asset

Gao has published excellent articles concerning Bitcoin and blockchain on his website. Having researched the digital asset market in depth, Gao concluded that the original Bitcoin, as in the BSV blockchain, delivers the best outcomes for digitally sovereign humanity.

Do not mistake the author for yet another tech blogger, though. Gao is a perfectionist that writes about blockchain as precisely as the blockchain processes its transactions.

We have yet to see another writer that can break down highly complex blockchain questions—in simple words. Gao himself is kind of bringing physicality—in a sense—to the digital mess of “crypto” we are currently trapped in.

To quote just one example from Gao’s works:

The speculative coin value is the entire economy of BTC. It does not have a design, a plan, or even a vague hope to create a multilayered and multifaceted economy based on human creativity. (…). The fact that BSV price does not skyrocket is a healthy thing for the development as well. It flushes out excessive speculation, and has a hardening effect on the remaining community, especially developers and investors. This is a necessary type of mentality that is toughened onto real development based on human creativity instead of pure speculation.

(Source: Why BTC is a value-absorbing system, while the real Bitcoin is a value-creating system, by ZeMing M. Gao)

London Blockchain Conference 2023

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