A major announcement just came out of The Digital Chamber of Commerce’s DC Blockchain Summit. Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, co-authors of the book Blockchain Revolution, have announced the formation of a multi-million dollar Blockchain Research Institute (BRI). The Institute will be based in Toronto, Canada and will be funded by businesses and governments from several countries.
The BRI exists to explore blockchain use cases, opportunities, and implementation challenges and will focus on eight areas of research: financial services; retail and consumer goods; media and rights ownership; technology and IoT; healthcare; government and democracy; manufacturing; and energy and power distribution. These are the economic sectors most primed for disruption.
There are two dozen entities listed as Founding Members of the BRI, including Accenture, Cosmos, Digital Asset Holdings, IBM, Pepsico, the Province of Ontario, and more. They’ve also partnered with several multi-stakeholder enterprises in an attempt to make sure the group is working towards collaborative and execution-based projects, with a focus on real-world use cases that businesses actually want and need. Some of those affiliate organizations are The Chamber of Digital Commerce, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and Hyperledger. As time goes on, the BRI will invite more corporations and governments to join.
Members want to incubate innovation in both government and the private sector, and won’t duplicate projects or solutions that are currently being worked on or are already known within the community. Fostering creative development in an already inventive ecosystem is bound to yield some revolutionary achievements.
Don Tapscott took to the stage to make the announcement and, after lamenting about his missed opportunity to invest in eBay years ago, spoke about the changing times and what might be the next big thing. He talked about how we’re entering into an entirely new era of the internet of value. The Internet, once invented, became the internet of information. Now, there are so many “Internets of (insert literally anything here)” that it appears we’re networking everything.
Tapscott sees the need for a ledger to record these interactions because transacting is the most integral part of an economic system. We need to securely track all of the transactions between the different “Internet of”s, as entities are buying and selling and building trust all at the same time, while a new paradigm in how we manage data emerges. Tapscott feels the second era of the internet is much like the Wild West, and we need more cooperation and collaboration between enterprises and projects for the future economy to succeed. The Blockchain Research Institute intends to lead the way.