Tim Swanson’s useful new guide, Great Chain of Numbers, came out this morning. In it, Swanson explores emerging developments that are taking us beyond cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin into the broader world of “smart property.”
If you’re wondering what the heck smart property is and how it’s going to change our world, you could do worse than to start with the foreword to Swanson’s book, by Adam B. Levine:
The physical world has an intractable problem; things exist.
Whether a bar of gold or a bus pass, left to their own devices these valuable objects will not move or act of their own accord. Furthermore, if you want to sell such an item, you have the unenviable task of finding someone who would like that item from you, is willing to pay you in the thing you desire and is local enough to make such a deal Beyond Bitcoinlogical.
Money used to have this problem; we used antiquated systems that move promises for dollars around the world at 1960 speed. Bitcoin changed the equation, introducing the distributed ledger technology that allows value to change owner with no regard for where the transacting users are geographically located.
Bitcoin is to money what Smart Property is to ownership. A fundamental reinvention of how things should work, and a better way. The problems are not new, and the solutions enacted to this point were designed with that liability of physical existence in mind.
We are no longer constrained by this liability.
Great Chain of Numbers, now available for free right here.