Bitcoin developer, Mike Hearn on #futureofmoney  at #turingfest  

Mike is going to talk about the future, hooray, money 50 years from now :)

Now: financial crises are here and now, but that's depressing so Mike's going to sprinkle some optimism

"Bitcoin is a solution to this problem". It's money without intermediaries.  It has limited predictable inflation, it has no political interference but MIke is not going to talk about that. Instead, what might money look like in 50 years time using an imaginery and glamouress red head called Jen

In the future we will have self driving cars so there will be no need to have one of your own. If Jen needs to get somewhere, she will use TradeNet, a standardised broadcast and advertising mechanism that doesn't have a direct UI but apps use its infrastructure.  As Jen is being driven into town, the car will be bidding for road space so Jen can bid for the fast lane.

But who owns the car actually? The answer is that the vehicle owns itself, a so called autonomous agent. How is this possible? Bitcoin allows them to function as Bitcoin will not differentiate between a human interactor or a non-human interactor.  What do they do if they make a profit? They have children who start to compete.  If it loses money then it will die (or at least sleep) so through market forces they will reach an equilibrium.  But they also need to evolve and they can do this by hiring humans to upgrade them! It can A/B test?

Why would we allow machines to out compete us? Because they will not be greedy, so services will become as cheap as possible.


A way to use quadracopter drone to deliver stuff. Matternet will be a fleet of them to be a competitor to the postal service.  But if dominated by one company?

If Jen is on a walk in the countryside and realises that she's forgotten her water. In theory she could call the local town and ask someone to come out with a can of coke.  In paractice though, she wouldn't just too difficult.

But a autonomous agents could and it be affordable. And tradenet could see the demand so if Jen had lots of friends in the same situation, maybe an autonomous agent would deliver a vending machine.

But who creates these machines? 

Kickstarter uses assurance contracts, if there are enough pledges then it happens, if insufficient pledges no money trades.  This concept of assurance contracts will lead to these machines being made.  It can also replace a lot of taxation.  If enough people want something, the entrepreneur will offer to do it, provided enough people pledge.

But what about jobs?

Non-creative jobs are doomed. In the long run Mike thinks all will be great but the pace of change is scary.  In the long run even the poor will be wealthy by todays standards.  Better education is the key.  
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