Monopoly & the BlockChain

Monopoly and the BlockChain

By Marcos!, marcos@social-blockchain.org, January 6th 2018

The art of teaching is in the simple explanation of something that is complex. For many, BlockChain and Smart Contract are words whose full meaning are difficult to figure out.

I do not expect to explain the concept either of BlockChain or of Smart Contract in as few lines as these. However, I do hope to make a wakeup call to alert as many as possible: much will be changing in the years ahead. And this change will happen at a faster rate each day.

I have worked in the financial market in different locations, from Paris to New York, and of course, in our beloved MERVAL –Argentina ́s Stock Exchange Market. I am modestly familiar with the internal machinery of the financial market. And what surprises me the most is that market players don ́t have a clue about the earthquake that is already shaking its foundations.

To describe this technological disruption, I will use a parable. Try to imagine with me a game of Monopoly, one of those long, tedious games where we all ended up arguing and in a bad mood specially if you are running out of money and your brother shows no mercy in charging the fees for your kind visit of his brand new hotels in New York Avenue or, worse, in Pacific Avenue. Let us imagine that we have been playing for the last five hours, we are more than half way into the game, we have got the railroad owners, the utility owners, the premium location owners, each player after five hours has his status and, furthermore, his fate is almost set. Let ́s now try and imagine that each one of the players represents a Central Bank: the FED, the European Central Bank, the Japanese Central Bank, the Chinese Central Bank, and, last but not least, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. Each player represents one of these big Central Banks and of course, has its own set of allies in public and private banks. All of a sudden, after five hours of playing, someone “accidentally” kicks the board and sends all the game chips flying into the air, the title deeds get mixed up, houses and hotels are all over the place … what a mess … after five hours … there is no way back.

We look at each other asking: “Who kicked the board? Who ruined our game?”. And while our players, whom we have made represent the Central Banks and their allied banks, ask what happened… all of sudden new players start coming in grabbing title deeds, some houses and hotels, maybe even the railroad company … very agile hands and swift moves … which the bankers are unable to stop.

Is BlockChain or Smart Contracts disruptive? We could ask the Hilton Hotel chain how the paradigm shift that Airbnb brought along affected them. Or we could ask the retail chains about the challenge they face with Amazon, or even easier, what does Uber represent to taxi drivers.
This upcoming change that will, for certain, affect bankers, will as well affect the whole of credit markets, brokers, insurance companies, transport companies, public offices and registries, trading platforms, only to name a few of the industries which will be deeply shaken.

Internet had a profound impact on the real economy throughout the years.
Now it is having a tremendous impact on the financial market. We could be one of those who manage to get a place at the Monopoly board game with the big financial players.

Coming back to our Monopoly game, bankers are still sitting at the table, but they are sensing someone might kick the board. They know that all their experience and years of know-how ensure that they will continue to be sitting at the table. But they still do not know the new players with whom they will share the table. I intend to be the one with agile hands and swift moves, fast enough to join the game.

Don ́t fall behind. Join me at the table to which no one invited us.

 

I gladly invite you to this table which BO is currently hosting … feel free to join us at SBC

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Marcos !
Marcos !
El mejor sueño es ... el realizado y el perseguido.

El equipo manifiesta el carácter del líder.

El talento se paga, el carácter se asocia.
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