Cryptographic Tokens are Building the World Computer

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HTTP was an invention that changed the very way we publish information. As a communications protocol, it was revolutionary in the way it decentralized information. What it lacked was the ability to track the state of computational processing between machines. Blockchain technology is now being used to fill this hole and link computation across devices into a world-wide computing mesh.

The HTTP protocol changed the world but it didn’t make Tim Berners-Lee rich, even though he was its inventor. There didn’t used to be much money in developing protocols. That is now changing with the evolution of cryptographic tokens such as Ethereum.

Albert Wenger relates how a whole new business model is emerging around this tokenization opportunity:

A for profit company can now create a new protocol and create value for itself (and its investors) by retaining some of the tokens. If the protocol becomes widely used, the value of the tokens will increase. For instance, think of a decentralized storage service (a la Amazon’s S3). Anyone can implement the storage protocol in whatever language they want to as long as they meet the protocol spec. They can then get paid in the relevant storage tokens. The original creator of the protocol will make money to the extent that it is adopted and to the degree they have retained some of the tokens (so they can sell them at a higher price later on). This is not hypothetical as there are a variety of such protocols out there, including StorjSIA and Filecoin.

Crypto Tokens and the Coming Age of Protocol Innovation

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