The clearest way to capture value is to find out where it lies unattended, quantify it, and sell it.
For example, if you know a lot about something, and you share a bit of your knowledge with someone, it would be great if there was a simple way you could get paid for it. It’s possible now through complicated mechanisms, and for big chunks of value. So you get paid for writing a book. But what if you are writing a small article (like this one), or simply a helpful email?
There could be many such ‘micro’ ways. And blockchain enables making money from these micro ways.
“Bounce unsolicited emails back to the original sender, and let them pay to reach you… set up the earn.com Gmail integration and then forget it. You will bounce messages from folks outside your network, and they can pay you to get in touch if it’s an urgent matter.”
This is just a simple way to monetize energy spent in replying to cold mails.
Companies like Facebook and Twitter do the same thing, but in a middle-man sort of way. They use your attention, even tiny chunks, and sell it to advertisers. But what if you could sell your attention directly to advertisers? What if you could say, hey, I will watch your ads if you pay me. This might be desirable for both consumers AND advertisers. And this is something blockchain enables.
Let’s explore further. Right now you are reading this. You are giving your time and attention, now. What if you get paid for it (apart from hopefully enjoying reading this)? At the other end, how about me getting paid for writing something which is worth reading? I am also giving my time and active attention. But if we both earn, who pays? Well, an advertiser can pay. When the ad is viewed on an article, both you, the reader, and I the writer get paid. The advertiser gains by putting the ideas about his product in your mind. The writer (publisher) gets paid more because of more energy spent in writing.
Also, if you think I wrote a good article, you can pay me further, and if I want you to promote my article (by posting on social media), I can pay you in return.
This whole set of transactions… this is what the blockchain enables. The example in the last paragraph is essentially the Basic Attention Token – a digital currency. Have a look at this video.
This is just one example, there are many avenues in life where we sort of waste away our time, attention, and energy. Blockchain can help us find these ‘leaks’, and help us monetize them. Given the 7 billion people on earth, with growing connectivity, this economic potential is, to use a mild word, huge.
And this is what makes the blockchain so interesting.