Keynote speech: Mainstreaming Blockchain - Eric Ly | SVIEF
11:59PM Sep 29, 2018
Okay, our date of great sessions continues. Now our next speaker is a thought leader. And while I could almost bet that almost everyone here uses his product. Now, we all connected in a way that we mentioned before. So ladies and gentlemen, let's put our hands together and welcome Eric Ly co founder and CEO of LinkedIn, and founder and CEO of hub token, a blockchain protocol that aims to create greater trust in online interactions. Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome Eric.
Well, good afternoon. How's everyone doing?
Well, I'm here to talk to you today about a topic that I'm very passionate about, which is how we can take this very exciting topic of blockchain and bring it to the mainstream. So I have a modest proposal that I'm going to talk about. But I'm also going to try to talk about blockchain
in the context of all the historical innovations, technology innovations that have happened in the last 50 or 60 years, because I believe that blockchain is, you know, something as deserving as an as major as those other innovations as well. So,
I'm also you've heard a lot today from a lot of experts. I'm going to give you my view from practitioners view and entrepreneurs view and what we're trying to do to really bring blockchain to the mainstream world.
So a little bit about myself.
The next slide is a little bit about myself, I'm not able to advance the slide.
Great, thank you a little bit about myself, I am the one of the LinkedIn co founders, I was not the CEO, but the Chief Technology Officer of the company. And currently I'm working on this project called hub, which we'll hear more about a little bit later. And I'm based here in Silicon Valley, although it seems like these days I make lots of trips to China and Asia. So it's becoming a very familiar and exciting place for me to learn about the developments in the Chinese market.
So I want to again put blockchain in the context of some other technological innovations that have happened. So the computing era really started in the
1940s, when computers were the size of big rooms, and working very slowly, maybe about 1000 cycles per second, something like that. And the very first computers were used for mainly calculating projectiles of missiles, and things like that. Fast forward to, you know, this year. And the smartphone that we have in our pockets are more than 40 million times more powerful than the earliest computers. So we've come a long way in the decades since then,
the other the next big wave took many decades to materialize was was really the advent of the World Wide Web. And
as we experience the world wide web, the web browser, and all of the services that come from the web and the internet, you know, these days. And so if you go back to 1993, the web browser was something that looked like this pretty primitive, kind of ugly, but now fast forward, you know, 20 or more years later, and we have very sleek and very powerful applications. And so apps like WeChat really are the portal that lots of people in the Chinese population use to access the internet and all the services. So we've come a long way as well. And so,
in terms of blockchain, the concept of blockchain actually was first invented back in 1991, when some of the earliest mentions of blockchain really came. But last year was the first year that blockchain was really popularized. And we're all living in that moment right now, where the new paradigm of blockchain and decentralized applications and so forth are really coming now. And so what's going to happen over the next 8, 7, 8 years in terms of blockchain. So we all have a hand in creating this new world. And I would argue that it's a very, you know, exciting world.
One of my favorite descriptions of what blockchain is. And I go around and have quite a few talks to try to explain blockchain to people. I think people have an understanding of what cryptocurrencies are. But blockchain is a deeper and harder topic. And there's this gentleman who is a Canadian few years ago at the World Economic Forum, Don Tapscott, really gave a very good description of what blockchain really meant. And it really is, you know, using these words, right, the difference between the internet that we live in today, and the
internet that we could be living in, in the future. And so if you think about where we are, right now, the evolution of the internet in the last 20 years, it really has been a great way for people to share information online, all sorts of different ways to their interactive applications that have come things like e commerce, things like social networks, things like that, but you really don't know whether that information is
how accurate it is, how trustworthy it is, and we've seen some of the problems, some of the breakdowns that have occurred most recently, as they've been popularized in the press around David, data, privacy issues, that ownership issues, fake news, all of those are labels of I would say, cracks in the internet that are starting to emerge as we're getting to the limit of what present day technology allows us to do and the greeting that's about blockchain, you've heard some of these terms, already decentralization, immutability and those types of terms. What it really allows us to create is this new internet called the Internet of value and value, I would argue, is more
valuable by definition than information because we want to keep things of value. We want to trade things of value. And there are many things that are valuable to us. And one of the first examples of that is
currency or in the blockchain world cryptocurrency so that that has value. But there are many other things that have value as well, right, things like property that we own assets that we own, you know, information that is known to be valid. Those are all things of value. And this is the great thing that blockchain is going to allow us to do is to move us into a world where we don't know whether the information that we're getting is accurate or authentic into a world where the
internet is good enough to represent things that are valuable and allows us to to keep it. So
if you look at the state of blockchain today, we're very much in the early days of blockchain. I liken it to the time of 1994 95 back in the first wave of the internet the.com times where a lot of the tools are still coming. But there are hardly many applications that are we as a world are really using this technology for. And so we're still in the early days and you see a lot of blockchain projects now that are really working on fundamental infrastructure, improvements for blockchain, working on scalability issues, privacy issues, cost issues, those those types of things.
But what we really need is to move from that to a world where blockchain itself really creates value, not just for crypto enthusiasts, but for the mainstream audience. And so today, if you look at people have wallets, crypto wallets, they're probably about 30 million of those right now. And you have to keep in mind that a crypto person might have more than one wallet. So the actual number of people who have you know, who are into crypto is much lower than that, versus a population of three and a half billion connected people around the world, that's less than 1% of the population that still is not exposed to the benefits of blockchain, you know, let alone the benefits of cryptocurrency.
So we have to move you know, to from a discussion of technology to a discussion of use cases and value that this kind of technology can offer to the world. And so right now, we're working on a project called hub. And I just like to tell you a little bit about that. So
hub is concerned about the issue of trust. And you've heard some talks today about trust and how the internet or blockchain brokers, the trust between parties, and blockchain has, to some degree, solve that problem. And we characterize that problem as this idea of the third party trust, which is to say that when you are engaged in a transaction with somebody, you don't need to have trust in that other party. Because the blockchain will enforce the trust conditions to happen, the conditions must be satisfied for transaction to go through. And that's what we call the third party trust. However,
in a lot of cases, today, you need to find out who you want to trust, who you want to have transactions with, and today to trustworthiness of them. And this is a really great chart that I think summarizes what the problem that exists out in the world today. So prior to the internet, there was this concept called the Dunbar number that
said that people really could only trust up to about 150 people, it was very much of a communal village size, number of people who they could trust. And
that was without technology. And when you have that, those kinds of groups, there's a lot of trust in those, you know, small groups, people might move in and out of that group for you. But essentially, you have about 150 people. But what the Internet has done is really scaled everyone's ability to
interact with many, many more people, literally, people across the world, anybody. And in doing so, it's brought a lot of opportunities. But it's also created this problem in terms of you don't know the trustworthiness of the person on the other side. And so as a result, the need for trust increases. And you need trust in order to engage in any kind of meaningful interaction or any kind of meaningful transactions. So we believe that economic opportunity really can come from, you know, much greater trust and using something like blockchain to to
facilitate that trustworthiness between people. So the
use cases that we see there's lots of activities these days on the internet. And things like sharing economy, use cases, social networks, messengers, even FinTech scenarios, where companies are trying to charge the trustworthiness of a
customer that they have to make them alone, something like that all all those kinds of interactions require trust to happen. And we say that they can happen with much more frequency and much more effectiveness. So
in our project hub, we have this concept of
what we call trust stake, which is the idea that when you engage in it interaction with someone, the participants can use a token to
put down onto the transaction that says that they will act in a trustworthy way. And it's almost like a bond that says that, you know, if they act them trust worthy way, and the transaction happens successfully, according to all the participants, they get their stake back, and they may get rewarded even more so that they can come around and have the next transaction. And so that's the way that this, you know, sticking works in a successful scenario,
oftentimes, or maybe sometimes not all interactions with transactions go through. And so this is where the steak comes in, and
is that risk for those folks who maybe acted in a untrustworthy way. And so they have the, the possibility of losing their stake. And in some cases, when there is a dispute, there could be a trusted party that we call an Oracle in the network that can come in and arbitrator between who's right and who's wrong and have control over how those steaks get re distributed among the participants. So we believe this is going to lead to
more trustworthy interactions, and and leverages blockchain and
token incentives also, to create more trustworthy interactions and do it in many, many different domains in many, many different use cases. And so one of my favorite, you know, having come from LinkedIn is to help people, you know, find better jobs and to help companies and employers to find better employees as well. And so we can use this to create a more
trustworthy interaction between employers and employees, and create essentially a new hub that is
more effective, more reliable job marketplace.
Okay, so the pub is enabling what we call second party trust, as in contrast to third party trust, which is what blockchain is today. But adding another level, a trust layer, if you will, on onto the internet that allows people to gain more trust in many, many different kinds of interactions and transactions. And so our goal in terms of bringing blockchain and
token economies to the mainstream is to really leverage these kind of concepts to create more trust and to create a new platform that enables more trustworthy interactions.
Thanks very much.
Thank you very much for the insight for speech. Eric
Trust is one of the most is most important element in human interactions. And blockchain has provided us with the tool so we're really looking forward to Eric's projects new development