Proof: Check us out:

DON TAPSCOTT is the CEO of the Tapscott Group and the bestselling author of Wikinomics, The Digital Economy, and a dozen other acclaimed books about technology, business and society. He is currently the fourth most influential management thinker in the world, according to Thinkers 50. He is an adjunct professor at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Chancellor of Trent University.

ALEX TAPSCOTT is the CEO and founder of Northwest Passage Ventures, an advisory firm working in the blockchain industry. In 2014, he wrote the report "A Bitcoin Governance Network" while on the faculty of the Global Solution Networks program at the University of Toronto. Prior to founding Northwest Passage Ventures, he worked for seven years in investment banking in New York and Toronto.

Alright that's a wrap. Good times everybody! Please check out the book:

Comments: 71 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

suaveitguy15 karma

How much is innovation truly innovation, versus evolution? There seems to be a lot of spin and overhyping of technology that never materialize as promised.

AlexTapscott5 karma

Hi! We think is a big innovation and not just an evolution, because for the first time, we have a truly native digital medium for moving, storing and managing value without the need for a powerful intermediary like a bank, government or technology company. This is a shift in paradigms (a term Don can use because he wrote the book Paradigm Shift) from an internet of information to an internet of value.

suaveitguy5 karma

How does the storing of numbers digitally really differ from a written ledger on paper when it comes to managing value?

AlexTapscott8 karma

Having a distributed ledger that's global and open enables anyone, anywhere in the world to have a record of who owns what, who owes what to whom, etc. A record of the truth. Paper records and even many digital databases today exist within silos of corporations, governments etc and can be altered by any one person or persons. Consider land title registries- 5.5 billion people in the world have a flakey title to their land, because even if they own a piece of paper that says the own property, a government server or another person might have a competing claim that says something different. A corrupt government official could change his paper records and choose not to enforce your claim. With a blockchain based land registry, like the one Bitfury is building in Georgia, that would be impossible.

junseth3 karma

Why can't a corrupt government, which issues the deeds simply change the immutable registry to reflect that they have taken your land?

AlexTapscott1 karma

The immutable registry is immutable so wouldn't alterable by a single source. HOWEVER, you do raise a good point - which is couldn't corrupt governments choose simply not to enforce it. And that's valid. If a guy comes to your door and points an AK-47 at your head demanding you turn over your home, having it registered on the blockchain doesn't help you get out of that situation! but maybe having a public registry available to citizens, media, NGOs and other stakeholders might compel governments to act with integrity. Certainly it's better than what most people have (according to Hernando de Soto, 5.5billion people) to enforce a claim.

blockchaindiva054 karma

you guys are canadian. how do you see blockchain 1) helping canada and 2) becoming a leader in blockchain tech?

AlexTapscott2 karma

Well, I think Canada is already a leading in blockchain tech. Ethereum, founded by a group of Canadian developers led by Vitalik Buterin (Toronto native and resident), recently surpassed one billion dollars in value. Consensus Systems, run by Canadian CEO Joseph Lubin, is building decentralized applications that promise to shake the windows and rattle the walls of a dozen or more industries, we have Blockstream, Ledger Labs, Paycase, Unocoin, etc - so Canada is doing well. But that position can't last forever, and it will require stakeholders beyond tech - including in the corporate sector and even gov't - to sustain leadership.

Of course, blockchain could help Canada, as it could other countries, in profound ways. Making a financial system that is inclusive and efficient, making governments more accountable for their actions, streamlining the delivery of government services, ensuring creators of content get compensated fairly, protecting privacy, etc.

junseth4 karma

Don, what actual experience do you have in this subject? Because based on a number of your tweets, you have written one of the most ignorant books on the subject of blockchain that has ever existed.

Dontapscott1 karma

I'm sorry you think that. Many other smart people think differently. Read the book and then we can discuss.

junseth8 karma

I don't believe that smart people know something by virtue of being smart. How can they know something with no experience in the thing they are discussing. Can you please define what a blockchain is before I consider shelling out any money for your book?

hotbutterpopcorn2 karma

The son's twitter kind of irritates me, it's all just a push for people to buy their book with well lit glamour pictures of himself . Perhaps I am just jealous of how square his jaw is .

I also agree with you on your point about smart people, but I must say that what they are saying in the thread about the blockchain indicates to me that they understand the idea behind it .

AlexTapscott2 karma

Haha! I am for sure putting this quote on the second edition jacket cover of Blockchain Revolution!

chilltrek973 karma

Downloading the block for the first time is a very lengthy operation even on a 100Mbps+ connection, are there plans/ways to speed it up?

Are there fears it will get too big, as in multiple TBs once it gets used for most everything?

AlexTapscott-1 karma

Speed and scalability are big implementation challenges for the network. Check out

blockchaindiva053 karma

What are the benefits of private corporations on a private blockchain?

AlexTapscott2 karma

Great question, and really goes to the hear of this whole 'bitcoin bad blockchain good argument' that has come into vogue recently, and which we think is deeply flawed, by the way.

Private and permissioned blockchains (inside a company or within a small consortium of companies) appear to have a few clear advantages though. For one, members can easily change the rules if they so desire, as they only need to get their small group to agree to a change, rather than convincing a huge network of people. Costs can be kept down, as transactions only need validation from the members themselves, not a network of millions of participants. This streamlining could reduce electricity usage too, which is good for the environment. Regulators might also prefer them over public blockchains, like the bitcoin blockchain, because they need not be anonymous or pseudonymous.

But there are problems here! Of course, the easier it is to change the rules, the easier it is to flaunt them. Intentionally limiting certain freedoms or access can inhibit neutrality. With no open value innovation, the technology is more likely to stagnate and become vulnerable. Further blockchains tied to a digital currency like bitcoin have a built-in system to incentivize people to do the work necessary to validate transactions.

blockchaindiva053 karma

That's cool! do you think major corporations will take the private blockchain route? or the public? How long do you think this will take to implement?

AlexTapscott5 karma

A lot of corporations have naturally gravitated towards the private route, especially in financial services. They like the many benefits of blockchain - speed, efficiency, cost, etc - but bristle at the idea of opening their businesses to a distributed network of millions of participants, many of whom would be unknown to them. So you get R3CEV and other consortiums popping up, and Ripple which was supposed to banker friendly.

Our personal view is that blockchains based on Satoshi's original white paper, which are distributed and open and invite experimentation and invention, will prevail in nearly all use cases. Even more recently, you're seeing hybrid versions, like IBM's hyperledger or Chain inc's Chain OS, which try to blend private and public.

junseth2 karma

If you believe in block chains based on the original white paper then can you explain your position on the feature of proof of work that is the backbone of bitcoin?

AlexTapscott1 karma

Hey man- so ya, I agree proof of work is the backbone of bitcoin and we think that open, public blockchains, with a native token, using proof of work, is the best way to secure the network. Check out the book...or don't. Free country :)

Norman2132 karma

Hey Alex, congrats on the new book launch; can't wait to read it.

The majority of focus on blockchain tends to be on its impact on the financial services industry. Is there any industry out there that you feel blockchain might have just as big an impact and what shape this impact will take?

AlexTapscott2 karma

Sure, in the book we actually identify 7 big transformations (the ways blockchain will change the world), and financial services is only the first. We think this technology will also 1. change the deep architecture of the firm 2. enable new business models 3. animate the world of smart devices "the internet of everything needs a ledger of everything" 4. Solve the prosperity paradox 5. ensure creators of content get fairly compensated 6. Make government more transparent, legitimate and efficient.

nicocesar2 karma

How do you see the innovation of "lack of personhood" needed to execute in a transaction (i.e. a smart contract triggered by an autonomous agent) going to affect our everyday life in the next 2 to 5 years?

AlexTapscott2 karma

We think in the not too distant future, billions of smart devices will be doing everything from driving us around, to generating our power to managing our health and identity, and these devices need a way to becomes autonomous economic agents - moving and storing data securely, making transactions, contracting etc. I see applications in two areas in the short term - distributed power and microgrids (what consensys and Lo3 are doing in park slope) and in distributed sharing economy models, like a distributed airbnb or distributed uber, where rather than an intermediary establishing trust, executing contracts, processing payments, etc, an autonomous agent running as a collection of smart contracts, could do it instead

WeRAllSatoshi1 karma

What is your favorite bitcoin wallet?

Dontapscott1 karma

I'm using Blockchain. It works fine.

AlexTapscott0 karma

I'd say Smartwallet, built by my friend Dino Mark, will eventually be the best wallet...when released (but I'm biased)

DSNakamoto1 karma

Developers are currently discussing a hard fork to make patented optimizations obsolete. How do you see Bitcoin's current development governance challenges?

AlexTapscott0 karma

I admire the passion and energy that's gone into many of the technical governance debates recently, and as a non-techie, i know better than to wade into the finer points on Reddit.

However, it's a mistake to assume that just technology (or math alone) can govern an important global resource, with many stakeholders, a growing user base and complex policy issues. In the book we identify 10 different challenges that could prevent bitcoin and blockchain from reaching its potential - including how to scale it, how to govern it, how to manage energy consumption, whether its a job killer, how to prevent governments from controlling it or large corporations from capturing the value - each and every one of these, though meaningful, are what we call implementation challenges, not reasons blockchain is a bad idea. We conclude with a call for multi-stakeholder governance and we think the Internet governance network, made up of non-state based organizations and institutions like the IETF, W3C, Internet Society, and others, is a good startting point.

More recently a lot of people have really stepped up on these issues. Not sure if they want me saying their names here, but they know who they are.

diosmuerteborracho1 karma

Who is the coolest dog you ever met?

AlexTapscott3 karma

Tough call! We had a family dog named Arnold who was a 135 pound Bernese Mountain Dog who was both noble and very chill. but I just got a miniature Dachshund puppy named Hugo who is the cutest thing on the planet and he is also pretty cool. Call it a draw?