• 17 hours The Gold Rally Has Finally Run Out Of Steam
  • 19 hours Citibank Analyst Predicts $300k Bitcoin By End Of 2021
  • 4 days Bitcoin Lives Up To Its Safe Haven Status In A Big Way
  • 4 days 14 Million People Will Lose Unemployment Benefits On December 31st
  • 6 days Why 12 Million American Millionaires Isn’t Good News
  • 7 days Big Oil Is Paying The Price For Investing In Renewables
  • 8 days The Banking Industry’s $35 Billion Gravy Train Could Disappear
  • 9 days Did Amazon Just Democratize Prescription Drugs?
  • 10 days The Private Space Race Just Got Very Real
  • 12 days Short Sellers Are Willing Big In This Turbulent Market
  • 13 days SpaceX Gets Go-Ahead To Send Humans Into Space
  • 14 days Saudi Arabia Lost $27 Billion In Oil Crash
  • 15 days China’s Big Tech Takes A Hit As Regulators Crack Down
  • 16 days Black Friday Could Be Retailers’ Only Hope
  • 17 days Why You Should Not Dump Your Stay At Home Stocks Just Yet
  • 18 days The Real Reason Why Uber And Lyft Stocks Have Soared Nearly 50%
  • 20 days Bitcoin Heads Towards $16,000 And No One’s Cashing In
  • 21 days Elon Musk’s $250 Tesla Tequila Is Already Sold Out
  • 22 days Will The San Francisco Wealth Tax Spark An Exodus Of The Rich?
  • 23 days The Fin-Tech IPO Of The Century Just Got Crushed
What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

An economic slowdown in many…

How The Ultra-Wealthy Are Using Art To Dodge Taxes

How The Ultra-Wealthy Are Using Art To Dodge Taxes

More freeports open around the…

Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes is CEO and chief investment officer of U.S. Global Investors, Inc., which manages a diversified family of mutual funds and hedge funds specializing…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

Bitcoin Is Just the Latest Trend Toward Decentralization

It’s been called a number of things: The sharing economy, or “shareconomy.” Peer-to-peer economy. Collaborative consumption. What all of these terms have in common is the idea of decentralization—and blockchain applications, including bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, are just the latest in a trend toward this new economic paradigm.

If it’s unclear what decentralization means, consider the following visual. You might have seen one like it before. On the left is a representation of a centralized, top-down system. Think of a traditional corporation, one that has only one CEO and one head office.

Now compare that to the next two visuals depicting decentralized and distributed systems. Instead of being top-down, their infrastructures are more collaborative, helping to prevent systemic failure, collusion and more.

This is the “sharing economy” business model that’s growing in prominence thanks to the internet and practiced by companies such as Facebook, Airbnb, Uber and more. Although these firms have one CEO and headquarters like a more traditional company, their assets are decentralized and widely distributed: Facebook’s content is collaborative among 2 billion users worldwide. Airbnb and Uber’s hotels and cabs are privately owned. Jack Ma’s Alibaba has no inventory of its own, relying instead on a decentralized network of retailers and manufacturers.

Blockchain, and bitcoin specifically, is the logical conclusion to this trend. Bitcoin is completely open-source and peer-to-peer. No one owns it. Unlike fiat currencies, it’s not controlled or regulated by a central authority. This is possible only through the power of blockchain, the decentralized, unmodifiable electronic ledger that records all activity across the entire system.

We’re in the very early stages of this new paradigm, but already much is expected. Mastercard believes the sharing economy will inevitably graduate beyond social media and accommodations, spreading “into new sectors, including insurance, utilities, health and social care.” And UBS estimates that by 2027, blockchain could add between $300 and $400 billion of annual economic value to the global economy.

Indeed, something interesting is happening!

By Frank Holmes

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment