“Attention is the Product” — Thomas Power
In the first of our Speakers Series blogs we hear from Thomas Power, a world-renowned crypto and blockchain expert, currently ranked eighth in the Crypto 100 Most Influential People. Thomas was speaking at the BlockChip Launch event in central London where he discussed the phenomenon of tokenisation and the potential future of blockchain. Here’s what he had to say:
“We’ve lived through all this before- dot com is now dot coin. From 1984 to 1999, it took the dot com boom 15 years to be fully realised. That’s because markets are based on humans. Humans need time to adopt emerging technologies and participate in new markets. And every innovation requires this time to reach the mainstream. You can’t defy history and you can’t defy the time it takes to absorb knowledge and information.
“Amazon floated in May 1997 and you could buy a share for $1.50. The share price today is $1,500- that’s a thousand-percent increase. So here we are again with the same story but different actors. We don’t believe it again. We don’t believe Bitcoin; we don’t believe Ethereum; we don’t believe Ripple. History is repeating itself, just in a different form.”
“Let’s go back to Bitcoin in 2008. We have to apply the fifteen-year cycle from 1984 to 1999 to the Bitcoin blockchain now. If you apply the fifteen-year principal, we should hit mainstream blockchain adoption in 2023.
“The Netscape IPO was 9th August, 1995 and valued the company at $10 billion; the Ethereum ICO was in July 2015, valuing the company at a similar price. We’ve seen it again, the cycle is repeating. That’s what’s happening with blockchain. But this is a journey that is going to require a lot of capital, a lot of talent to make happen.”
“Now, let’s have a think about what’s happening in all of our lives. All of us are bombarded with information: tweeting, answering WhatsApp messages, the rise of social media. We’re bombarded with information; we’re bombarded with messages- overwhelmed. What happens when you’re overwhelmed with information? You lose focus, attention. You don’t know how to focus because you have over-choice: you have too much choice, too much information. Attention is now the product.
“How are we going to be paid for our attention? We’re going to be paid for our attention with tokens. Tokens that are interchangeable on the Ethereum platform on every single product. Every brand is going to attempt to tease us with tokens. Every brand is going to attempt to buy our attention with tokens to get that focus and we’re going to be overwhelmed.
“There are between three and five thousand major brands in the world. The average loyalty programs Americans are members of is 29. We’ve got to store and manage all those tokens in a single wallet. We’re going to be able to redeem those tokens on the Amazon marketplace or the British Airways marketplace or the Facebook marketplace. Who’s going to win out in that world?
“We need people take care of us, people who keep our data safe, people who keep our tokens safe, people who keep us safe and right now our only real data guardians are Apple and Google. We want our KYC, our ‘Know Your Customer’, our ‘Anti Money Laundering’ profile; we want our AML cleared in one click. So where is that going to happen? Is that going to happen with Apple? Is it going to happen with a bank? Because you want one-click verification when you’re receiving, buying or trading tokens on exchanges. You want that to happen in an instant. That is the safety that BlockChip wants to achieve with the BlockChip wallet.”
“All companies are now faced with the same challenge — how do they do it? Where do they go to do it? If attention is the product and your time is focused on Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat or WhatsApp, you’re going to the rewarded for your time and attention. So if we have a “Facecoin”, how will you be rewarded? Will you be rewarded for every “Like”? Every “Share”? Every photo? Will you get a token for each of those actions? Every interaction with your device is going to be rewarded. You’re going to be buried in tokens that you don’t want to redeem everywhere, whether it is a coffee, a flight or some BlockChip tokens. That needs managing, who is going to manage that?
“Blockchain 2018 is dot com 1998. We didn’t know who would win. And only a few people can win out, only a few companies can win. It takes a lot of thought; it takes a lot of organisation; it takes a lot of talent; but most importantly, it takes a lot of capital. What is going to happen to the brands? What is going to happen to the banks? How are they going to be able to respond and what are they going to do to respond? So what’s your plan? What’s your personal plan for trading your attention, your data? What price your attention? Because attention is now the product.”
Thomas Power is a Board Member @9Spokes and an influential blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneur.
You can follow Thomas on Twitter @ThomasPower.