It has occurred to us -- and probably to you at some point -- that our very existence is based on a series transactions, both discreet and open. From online purchases, to handshakes of friendship, all of our actions are basically a series of expectations viewed through lens of relative reciprocity, either monetary or societal.
Even if we expect nothing back immediately, we ultimately do expect measurable value and worth from our various arrangements and investments regardless of what category they fall under. This expectation is driven by, and allows us to more finely evaluate, 'value' in real terms.
We often place value and worth on people and things based on notions of social acceptability -- what our friends, peers, or nations perceive to be good or bad. In this way, we cross an emotional boundary between intrinsic value and personal VALUES, which is a notion at the very heart of what it will mean to be human as we work and socialize within the emerging Internet of Value IoV).
Blockchain and other innovative new ledger technologies like Ripple and others are presently building a digital infrastructure that is frictionless and automatic, eliminating the need to 'trust' either buyer or seller as all the relevant financial and legal instruments become part of the code of the transaction. Hence, we have a large number of companies poised to deliver the technology necessary for so-called trustless contracts. This being the case, what can we expect when we no longer require either branded or interpersonal 'trust' when negotiating any of life's infinite transactions? How will we determine and measure value in the Blockchain era?
In monetary terms it seems easy enough to place value on the things we do or buy in the commercial sense, as that boils down to -- in general terms -- what a given market will bear. The value of 'gig-economy' workers vs. on-site employees and the value of a sweater from Gilt as opposed to Neiman Marcus; all eminently quantifiable.
However as markets continue to shift polarity to include previously un- and under-represented people, primarily through (1) mobile-centered connectivity, (2) enhanced identification and authentication technologies for people and property, (3) expanding markets, (4) global competition in goods and services, and (5) frictionless transfer of capital and payments, how might our values -- our view of ourselves and others -- shift as well?
The answer is: there is no answer that can demonstrably be offered (right now) -- Agentic Group exists to find those answers. We are charting unknown territory; possibly the greatest, most important social experiment ever envisioned by humankind.
In the short term there is no doubt that we will unlock new areas of untapped monetary value, human inclusion and global opportunity. The more difficult, more important long-term concepts will revolve around how we adjust to life in a world where trust takes on new and fascinating shades of relevance. This is where the coming IoV is on pace to significantly change the world as we know it.