IOTA — The Bigger Picture
Does the Digital Revolution benefit everyone?
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect the position of the IOTA Foundation. Constructive criticism is always welcomed.
I always compare IOTA to a complex puzzle we all are trying to build. In this scenario, the subject of this puzzle represents IOTA’s vision, and the Foundation has provided its frame. Together with our brilliant community members, who are delivering puzzle pieces in the form of hardware, software, applications, educational stuff, meetups, products, ideas, and other content, the vision becomes clearer — bit by bit. The continuous teamwork between professionals and newcomers as well as the transparency of their work is what brings the whole project forward.
The driving force behind the development is technological progress. Unlike political or moral progress, technological progress can’t be avoided. It always continues and is followed by nearly every other developments nowadays. As David Sonstebo mentioned in the interview with Hackernoon, his interest was not in tearing down governments or systems, but how technologies “can be used to leverage something good for mankind.” That is what separates IOTA from 99% of all crypto projects out there.
The IOTA Foundation and its community are on the cutting edge of the digitalization and the road to a more sustainable and efficient world. The dimension of their vision and the speed of development is pretty impressive. The IF evolved from nothing to a globally respected institution working hand in hand with giants from industries, politics, finance, and other branches. You can get a simple overview by visiting the IOTA ARCHIVE. Also, the IOTA ecosystem grows organically day by day. As a consequence, we have become one of the largest and most productive communities within the crypto space, attracting some of the most intelligent people around the globe.
The focus on development led to a series of significant technological innovations, e.g., the IOTA Crypto Core FPGA developed by a very busy community member called “Microengineer.” Read through his multiple Progress Reports starting HERE. The FPGA module is just one of many examples. There is plenty more such progress you can discover while diving into the world of IOTA!
Yesterday’s announcement of Jaguar Land Rover shows that great things come to fruition when you put hard work into the realization of your vision and that the IOTA Foundation is serious about creating “something good for mankind.” It is a joy seeing how an initial idea finally gets implemented by a big company from the mobility sector. The news already spread like wildfire. The implementation of a smart wallet looks very promising. Look for yourself:
From Jaguar Land Rovers official website:
Drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover.
Using ‘Smart Wallet’ technology, owners earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities. Drivers could then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or conveniently use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles. ‘Smart Wallet’ removes the need for drivers to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services.
‘Smart Wallet’ uses the latest cryptocurrency technology and Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness ‘distributed ledger’ technologies to make and receive these payments. Unlike other similar systems, due to its structure, it requires no transaction fee to operate and over time transactions will get faster across the entire network, forecast to include some 75 billion connected devices by 2025*. Drivers could also top-up the ‘Smart Wallet’ using conventional payment methods.
In addition to autonomous driving vehicles conquering the streets, an implementation of “smart wallets” into cars is a logical step for an expansion of smart infrastructure. There will be more to come!
Industrial Revolution 2.0 vs. Industrial Revolution 4.0
The Digital Revolution is the most significant social upheaval since the Industrial Revolution (18th century), which formed the modern Industrial Society. But the Industrial Revolution wasn’t just sunshine since its beginnings. It has had a tremendous impact on our social lives — in a positive as well as a negative way.
Short term: The society wasn’t prepared, nor did insurances (Health/Unemployment insurance) nor school education for children exist. Business days have been long and rough. Usually, more than ten people had to share a single room for living, especially in upcoming metropolises.
Long term: Over the time a wealth beyond example spread over the Western World. Without this development, civil rights and liberties would have never gained acceptance. In the final analysis, this revolution has been a success story.
There are a lot of cool features and benefits for humanity the Industry 4.0 comes up with, e.g., autonomous driving vehicles, smart industry, sustainable business models, etc., but in this article, I want to talk about some adverse effects on our social life in the short term. Not because I am against this development, precisely the opposite is exact, but for drawing attention to problems, we will be confronted with soon.
A lot of jobs from the service sector, done by humans up till now, will be executed by robots and machines. At the moment there is a low unemployment rate and the economy does very well (Germany). But this will change significantly. Politics isn’t aware of a scenario where half of the population in the Western World won’t have a job anymore. That’s the result of an Oxford study done by Carl Benedict Frey & Michael A. Osborne you can read HERE.
Of course, the revolution will create new jobs as well, but presumably not in a significant number and most likely highly specialized ones older generations won’t be able to practice anymore — due to lack of adaptability.
Consequences: A lot of employees from the middle class will lose their job, for example, taxi & bus drivers, insurance agents, lawyers, etc.
Changes in the automobile industry
One of the most significant changes will happen inside the automobile industry. Keyword efficiency: Autonomous driving and mobility as a service (MaaS) will no longer require people to buy/own and park a car. Driving will be a piece of service soon. For example, the German Automobile Industry employs about 800.000 people. Additionally automotive supplier from Germany & Austria we talk about 2 Million employees.
It is roughly estimated that only 10% of these jobs will have a chance to survive. And this example can be applied to many other branches and countries, too. Let that sink in for a moment.
So in what direction does a society have to evolve where half of the population has no job anymore? We need to skim off the productivity or the profits robots, and machines generate and redistribute it. A possible solution might be the model of an Universal Basic Income (UBI). When there is no UBI and mass of people become unemployed, there will be a civil war like scenarios.
In contrast to the 9 to 5 job model where people are conditioned to complete work for a reward (money), people with UBI do have a chance to use their nature given will to be creative and productive. The same goes for the education system. Pupils often do their homework to earn a good grade, not because they want to improve themselves.
So the question is: How can politics fund the Universal Basic Income to avoid a social division in monopolies and super-rich people on the one side and alimented poor people on the other side? In what way can we change the education system to achieve these goals? And how can we, the IOTA Community, help with this matter?
To be clear, the problems I addressed are not IOTA’s fault! We are living in a complex world. Maybe it’s not possible to help everybody, but we could try to improve everybody’s situation by supporting the most promising approaches. IOTA can be a real game-changer for our way of life and how we are processing tasks. In my opinion, the IOTA protocol is a key enabler for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and all of its benefits.
But as lovely as it sounds, a revolution like this also has its downsides. Having a foot in the door of industries, politics and financial institutions, the IOTA Foundation might use its influence to advocate those, who don’t benefit from this development in the short term. I am convinced that if we stay curious and creative, we will overcome the problems of today and tomorrow.
I am not doing this for money, but donations are always welcomed :)
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