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B For Blockchain, C For Content, D For Do They Work Together?

22/02/2016 11:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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It's the new buzzword and if you want to appear to be in sync with the latest and greatest in the business/fintech world, you should talk about it. News and views about blockchain and its uses are flooding the internet space and it's really quite fascinating. While I was researching the subject, I came across this interesting article titled "Blockchain 2.0: The Renaissance of Money". It's about a year old, but I found it traced briefly and crisply the history and overview of blockchain technology and also gave a perspective on different scenarios in which people can use it.

The section on how this technology can make it easier to consume or pay for content piqued my interest. The article states that "ChangeCoin" has also created a boon for content creators and bloggers in the form of ChangeTip. Consumers can now use Bitcoin to tip a content creator with a small sum (even 5 cents) instead of just liking an article. Not only is this an innovative way to show appreciation but it will change the business model of content creation and curation."

Making or receiving payments for content-related work continues to be a challenge, especially in a place like India.

Being a content crafter and having been a blogger for several years now, I do know from the blogging or writing community that making or receiving payments for content-related work continues to be a challenge, especially in a place like India. One, the digital/online/ media content industry is evolving. Two, in an economy like India, there is really no 'fair' price for content. It is really the contract between the buyer and seller of content. Three, it is so easy to forget or delay a payment for content-related work. After all, what real recourse can a blogger take with any big brand if they delay or default on a payment?

From a different perspective, as a content consumer, I do know that I have read a million blogs from all over the world, and learnt immensely from a vast ocean of published content. While a like or comment is really the only way I can acknowledge a writer's work, I must confess that there have been a lot of times when I genuinely wished to pay them back more concretely for the impact of their words on my work. After all, writing is a lonely profession and not so well-paid. So, every little bit counts! But alas, it is not possible for me to pay since I don't have an open payment infrastructure to pay another fellow writer for their work.

So what then is the recourse for most content creators and curators, especially for digital content? They settle for less. They don't get their due. Which seems unfair, right? After all, words can make or break individuals, companies, societies, economies and brands. Wouldn't things be different if there was a trusted and reliable payment infrastructure to make payments in a simple and seamless way to anyone anywhere in the world in your preferred currency?

Blockchain and content -- the worlds have potential to meet in more than one way. The question is when and how soon?

And that is where I believe lies the power of a payment infrastructure like Blockchain, which makes it possible to trust and transact with anyone in the world in real-time without any intermediary (like a bank). So if I really like what Seth Godin has written, or what Arianna Huffington has written, or what Malcolm Gladwell has written or what Maria Pappova has written and want to pay them in some way for the power and influence of their words and writings, I should be able to do it in a single currency and they should be able to receive and use that currency for anything they wish to buy! The same hypothesis should apply to any content form - be it a TED video, a private music album, a TV serial, a documentary or even a movie.

In short, for the average person to use such a payment mechanism for their daily needs what really matters are:

1) Security of the transaction.

2) Ease of making / receiving payments (the process).

3) How soon the actual fund transfer takes place (the speed).

Now who provides it, who embraces it and who benefits from it will continue to evolve...

So as I sign off, I'll say B for Blockchain and C for Content -- the worlds have potential to meet in more than one way. The question is when and how soon? Now, that's an answer I'll probably be willing to pay for! Leave a comment to let me know your views!

A version of this post appeared here

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