Thanks to the Internet and more recently, blockchain technology, the world is waking up to a political, economic, social and technological renaissance. The next two decades will result in a fundamental shift in human interaction, sharing, and freedom. All aspects of vertical and horizontal markets will be affected, including Finance & Banking, Healthcare, eGovernment, Communications, Information Technology (IT) and the Internet of things (IoT).
This series is presented in three parts and will analyze society’s paradigm shift in behavior and present a vision for the future. In this first part, the creation of virtual communities is explored, fueled by blockchain innovation and explores the evolution of the crypto sphere.
Before exploring the evolutionary changes of cyberspace in our social fabric, let’s first understand how we got here. Let’s begin with society’s tendency to erect borders. Some borders are physical, such as land and sea, but others are less obvious. Governments establish political borders to separate enemies from their allies. They restrict the flow of people through passports, visas, and border controls. States use utilities as borders, restricting the use of gas, water, electricity, or even telecommunications.
While these borders control cross-regional competition they also restrict citizens to fewer options. Less obvious are cultural barriers such as language and religion. There are economic borders limiting the street-use of one country’s fiat currency[i] abroad. There are less tangible examples, such as left vs. right side car steering wheels[ii] and metric vs. imperial measurements[iii]. The commercial industry also chimes in with broadcast signal restrictions (PAL vs. NTSC video standards[iv]), and 120V vs. 220V electricity[v]. Some of these borders exist due to localized evolution, but it’s hard to ignore the political motivations of their origin.
Even though society tends to erect borders, many actors want to break them down. Initiatives across multiple disciplines are driven by a goal to unify the world. It’s hard to ignore that many of these entries were established in the aftermath of World War I or II, in an effort to learn from the tragedies of our past. Regardless, the effort is ongoing:
- In 1993 the European Union[vi] (EU) was established to unify the economic zones of member states. A global initiative has yet to be attempted.
- The Schengen agreement[vii] came into effect in 1995 (named after the city where it was signed), allowing citizens to freely cross certain borders in Europe.
- North American Free Trade Agreement[viii] (NAFTA, est. 1994) created a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization[ix] (NATO) was formed in 1949, establishing a “collective defense” to ensure the atrocities of World War I and II would not be repeated.
- The United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945 “to promote international cooperation and to create and maintain international order” [x].
- International Court of Justice[xi] (ICJ, est. 1945) settles legal disputes between member states.
- International Monetary Fund[xii] (IMF, est. 1945) was established to facilitate international trade, sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world
- European Space Agency[xiii] (ESA, est. 1975) consists of twenty-two-member states dedicated to the exploration of space.
- Various cross-border humanitarian initiatives were established throughout the 20th century, such as:
- The World Health Organization (WHO, est. 1948) mandates the “attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”[xiv]
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, est. 1945) “is charged with collecting, evaluating, and disseminating information relating to nutrition” [xv]
- Unicef[xvi] (est. 1946) mandated by the United Nations General Assembly for the protection of children’s rights
- The International Labour Organization (est. 1919) is “devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights”. [xvii]
- The borderless movement is also part of international standards initiatives, such as:
- International Telecommunication Union[xviii] (ITU, est. 1865), is one of the oldest intergovernmental organizations in the world. The ITU allocates global radio spectrum, satellite orbits and ratifies international technical standards.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers[xix] (IEEE, est. 1963), directed toward the advancement of the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications, and computing.
- Internet Engineering Task Force[xx] (IETF, est. 1986) defines Internet operating protocol standards.
- General Public License[xxi] (GPL, or GNU GPL, GNU’s Not Unix! GPL, written by Richard Stallman in 1989) is intended to ensure the freedom to share and improve software for all users.
- International Organization for Standardization[xxii] (ISO, est. 1947), with a mission to promote worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN[xxiii], est. 1998) is a non-profit organization with a goal to ensure a smooth functioning Internet.
Borders are integral to our lives. Technology has helped remove many of them, but some will perpetually exist, such as culture and religion. One of the main catalysts of the borderless movement has been technology and the Internet in particular. The internet brought transparency to the world, and this has led to an awareness of various social, political, and economic levels.
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About the Author
Gabriel is the co-Founder and General Manager at Adel Ecosystem Ltd. He is a seasoned sales and marketing expert with over 25 years in senior positions at Motorola, VeriSign (acquired by Symantec in 2010), and SecureWorks (acquired by Dell in 2011), and Cognitive Security (acquired by Cisco in 2013). He is a blockchain entrepreneur, with strengths in international business strategy. Gabriel has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and expert knowledge in blockchain incubation, cloud computing, IT security, and video streaming, and Over the Top Content (OTT). Gabriel also runs his own company, Euro Tech Startups s.r.o, creator of MyKoddi, and manages a professional blog.
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[ii] ” Trivia about driving on the left” (World Standards, https://www.worldstandards.eu/cars/trivia-about-driving-left/)
[iii] ”Imperial vs. Metric System” (Interchange, https://www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-usa/2012/05/24/imperial-vs-metric-system/
[v] Dhawal D, “Why does UK/USA use 110/120V and others use 220/240V” (The DNetworks, http://thednetworks.com/2012/06/10/why-does-ukusa-use-110120v-and-others-use-220240v/)
[vi] ”History of the European Union” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_European_Union
[viii] ”North American Free Trade Agreement” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement
[xi] “International Court of Justice” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice)
[xii] ”International Monetary Fund” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund)
[xiii] ”European Space Agency” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Space_Agency)
[xiv] ”World Health Organization” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization)
[xv] ”Food and Agriculture Organization” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Agriculture_Organization)
[xvii] ”International Labour Organization” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Labour_Organization)
[xviii] ”International Telecommunication Union” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Telecommunication_Union)
[xix] ”Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Electrical_and_Electronics_Engineers)
[xx] ”Internet Engineering Task Force” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Engineering_Task_Force)
[xxi] ”GNU General Public License” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License)
[xxii] ”International Organization for Standardization” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Organization_for_Standardization)