Mark Pesce on How Money is Getting Smarter


Mark Pesce, a columnist for The Register and host of This Week in Startups Australia (among other talents), recently spoke at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas on the concept of "Smart Money." Mark is a mentor and supporter of ours, so we wanted to give a quick recap on his article.  

Mark covers the history of money (in short: it's a long history, but not much has changed in the last 2600 years), the impact of IBM's mainframe computer (which was revolutionary for banking), and the transformative power of smart phones. He then explains distributed ledger technology, and blockchain, using a simple example that everyone can understand: travel reimbursements. Mark goes on to highlight two applications of this technology: agriculture (yours truly) and renewable energy (Power Ledger). 

Then Mark brings it back to where he started: money. Here's what he says:

Twenty five hundred years ago the pressure of trade forced the minting of the first coins. Eleven hundred years ago the weight of all those coins forced the printing of paper money. Seven hundred years ago the challenges of international trade forced the development of bills of exchange. And fifty years ago the mainframes gave birth to the credit revolution.

Right now we’re on the cusp of a similar revolution. Because our smartphones want our money. They don’t want to have to talk to a bank for an authorisation. They just want to hand over the cash. But they can’t, because we haven’t got money that fits into a smartphone. Yet.
— Mark Pesce

The money revolution that Mark lays out relies on 'fedcoin', a blockchain-based currency that can move around inside and between our apps and smartphones. This has huge potential across industries, and for money as we know it. 

But we won't spoil the ending for you. Here's a link to Mark's post on Medium or you can listen to it here.

Let us know what you think!

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