Almost a month on from World Telemedia Marbella and we are celebrating the 10thanniversary of the creation of distributed ledger technology and Blockchain and the creation, thereafter, of Bitcoin.
The importance of crypto currencies and the distributed ledger technology can not be overstressed. While the mainstream media delights in writing off Bitcoin and Etherium as a flash in the pan, the whole blockchain idea – and the way it proves provenance of anything digital – is going to change the world.
Why the mainstream media hates Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies is because it will eventually replace money as we know it. Like the idea of the Internet of Me – where suddenly, the big corporates that own all the data no longer hold all the cards – cryptocurrencies take the power of money away from centralised organisations such as banks and massive corporates and distribute value.
This is a fundamental shift. No, cash money as we know it won’t disappear any time soon, but what is valuable and who controls it will.
Blockchain allows for all things digital to be proven to be what they say they are and to be exchanged. This means that, in theory, anything digital has a value. If someone wants it then it can be traded. By proving it is what it says it is, then that process can be done really fast… and suddenly all things digital can be traded and exchanged and, voila, a whole new barter economy is born.
Of course, the powers that be will seek to stymie it, but the grey world of adult and gaming, the dark web and the underground will see that it gains some fairly widespread use.
So what has this all got to do with telemedia? Well, as the World Telemedia show showed, changes are afoot across the industry. Messaging is evolving – taking in OTT and RCS – and the VAS that use that messaging is also changing as a result. Carrier billing is also changing and evolving, seeing much uptake across the board now in mainland Europe as consumer habits start to change.
In this climate of change, it is only right that forward thinking entrepreneurs in the industry start to look at how to leverage the alternative currencies and technologies that underpin them.
As we saw at the show, developers such as Tony Pearce, Adriaan Brink and Tim Williams are all leveraging blockchain and ICOs to make things happen. The next stage is to look at how to use blockchain to start to underpin digital VAS and to deliver new services, fight fraud and create new revenue streams.
This is the sign of a mature and well developed industry. While we gear up for Mobile World Congress in February, many will start to see that if you want to do business in this niche space of the mobile and telecoms world, World Telemedia is the place to do it. While Hall 8.1 at MWC seeks to offer it, it is World Telemedia that offers the place where VAS, content, messaging, billing, marketing and more come together. And this nexus is now the root of a brave new world.