The American Reporter team recently sat down with leading financial markets pioneer and innovator Thomas Carter.
With millions of Americans currently jeopardized financially by the COVID-19 shutdown, we asked Thomas how the marginalized and under-served can start to take protection into their own hands and discussed why it’s important for them to start to take advantage of the emergent blockchain internet.
1. For those of us lay-folk, what is the difference between today’s internet and the emerging blockchain internet?
Security, privacy, and certainty. Think of the biggest issues we see with internet technology today. Think data breaches, think banking scandals, think social media privacy concerns, think about how big tech monetizes its users and does nothing for them in return. This reversal of the above is the hope of the blockchain internet. Securing personal information, compensating users for the data they provide to platforms, guaranteeing financial transactions validity. We are in the early stages of these functions, but they are here today!
2. When do you predict the blockchain internet will arrive?
We are in the early stages of these functions described above, but they are here today! It is likely they become common place in 3-5 years. But the interesting thing is that as this technology evolves and is integrated, it will become more obfuscated. Meaning, in 5 plus years, you as a consumer will be using blockchain in much of your daily lives as far as technology goes. Your car, your online shopping, your banking, your social media and internet browsing will all use this technology and you wont even know youre using it.
3. What will be the most noticeable effects or changes in peoples lives?
Likely certainty and confidence around how you interact with service providers digitally. People will have more confidence in trust that when they are providing personal information to any business using blockchain that their information is protected better than it is today. The other component is cost savings provided by the efficiency of this technology. Banking, investing, real estate transaction and anything financial will witness a drop in administration costs that will pass directly through to the end user.
4. How is your company DigitalNames positioned to help consumers adapt?
This comes down to user experience and adoption of digital wallets. This is less important for the personal data security component of the blockchain and more important for an individual’s transactions. In a few years from now, no one will know they are using hexadecimal wallet address for their digital assets. In the same way only the early internet pioneers remember using IP addresses to surf the web, only early blockchain adopters will remember public keys. As adoption broadens, the average consumer will use a naming solution like digital names to access digital wallets.
5. What do you predict market adoption rate for digital names (or alternative solutions) to look like?
We already see blockchain power users starting to explore these naming conventions for digital wallets. Our best estimate is that 10’s of thousands of people are using these products today. In 2-3 years time, that number will be in the millions and in in 5 plus years that number will be in the 10’s or 100’s of millions.
6. How is the current COVID-19 epidemic either catalyzing or slowing down the shift?
The current pandemic situation is a major catalyst for this shift. One of the biggest promises of blockchain and digital wallets is serving the underbanked and unbanked global population. Billions of people fit in to this demographic. Think about what happens when a country’s government wants to provide stimulus to people that are financially impacted by these types of environments. That’s great! But what happens if you don’t have a bank account? What if your nearest bank branch is 100 miles away? Digital has been around for decades, but we have yet to reach critical mass in its impact on the lower classes of global society. Solutions like Elon Musk’s Starlink Global internet project coupled with smart phones, blockchain and digital wallets will enable billions of people access to financial transactions that they have never had until now.
7. Will traditional transaction platforms and payment methods disappear with the shift towards decentralization?
They wont disappear entirely. This movement is not a revolution but an evolution. A logical next step in technology. Each industry will use it somewhat differently, but the foundation is the same. This is an important point when discussing blockchain. The best developers understand and recognize that the best way to implement these solutions is to integrate and improve on existing standards, not replace them entirely. Mobile banking, check scanning from your smart phone has been around for years, but people still visit bank branches. Encrypted email and electronic document signing has been around for a decade but financial institutions still use fax machines. The same will be true for payment methods and transaction platforms. They will exist as options but they will be slower, less secure and younger generations will use them less and less as time goes on.
8. What’s the future look like after the blockchain internet? What comes next?
We hope the answer is logic and trust. A global awakening in doing what is right for you, your community, your city, your state, your country and the planet. A world in which people come together to solve local and global issues with trust that the companies and governments executing on these initiatives are doing so ethically, transparently and in a financially responsible manner
9. Why is Thomas Carter IO in the best place to predict market changes and empower businesses seeking to provide futurist solutions
This comes down to time in the market and effort of our team, portfolio companies and network. Since we have been exploring and testing this technology for just about as long as anyone in the space, we have a level of diligence and information that is on par with just about any other network. We may not be the smartest developers, we might not have the most sophisticated answers, but we convey what we see in easy to understand terms so that the average person can keep up with what is happening in the world and stay abreast with how these transformations present investment opportunity as well as how they will impact the global economy.