One possible trajectory is a world where the monetary system is digitised. The technology is already available. The payment platform / protocol is likely to be in the form of a decentralised block chain. This technology will allow for transfer of value without intermediary and the processes will be able to execute transactions of ever smaller denominations (value) and in greater quantity (volume) in a timely manner i.e. voluminous micro payments covering payments for a coffee fix, bowl of noodle, bus ride etc. This innovation serves to facilitate the divisibility of factors of production and could help to democratise the exchange of value in a fair and equitable manner.
From the perspective of an individual, the question is how can one participate in such an environment? Two ingredients are necessary. The ability/willingness to work hard in producing goods and or services that are demanded in the marketplace and the ability to reach the marketplace. The goods and services must be priced competitively and yet make a return in excess of the underlying cost of capital. Only then can value creation be sustained.
In the past months, the team has investigated various options that would empower individuals with the necessary tools to move forward. Taking into account the risk of a single point of failure, the team has observed that a decentralised peer-to-peer ecosystem can be a viable value proposition for individuals aspiring to partake in a digitised world that will revolutionise how we trade with one another in the future.
This requires the usual set of hardware i.e. computer, smartphone, router and Wi-Fi connectivity to gain access to the internet, create domain name, setup of online store front, installing payment processing plugins.
The project also covers configuring and customising open source solutions to allow for:
- setting up of digital wallets that are integrated to the online store
- using on-chain as well as side-chain (layer 2 solution – lightning network) that can handle transactions of varying values more efficiently (cost, speed)
- utilising applications on top of the payment platform (lightning apps or lapps)
The project has yielded interesting results. The layer 2 payment solution is near instantaneous with very low transaction fee. It is also possible to apply the same solution onto the physical world e.g. installation of a vending machine dispensing coffee with payment via QR code. As a result, it is possible for individuals to offer services when payment is received thereby enabling exchange of value in a virtual environment as well as in the physical world.
To-dos: to identify more use cases that leverage on the lapps and roll-out to communities in need of such solutions.