The Internet can rightly be identified as a precursor to the blockchain era for many reasons. The internet opened a frontier for easy access to intellectual property. Today, intellectual property paradigms have been altered with the rise of the blockchain.
The subject of intellectual property can be very emotive depending on who is involved around the globe. The coming of the dot com age as introduced by the invention of the Internet by Sir Tim Berners-Lee was a first.
The WWW provided a window for the democratization of information and knowledge sharing. In effect, this made inventors think outside the box when patenting and reservation of rights were broached. What good is an invention that is unknown or used by a few people when a mass adoption is possible?
How open source platforms rose to the limelight, and their global recognition is a testament to changing paradigms. The Internet, open source platforms and the blockchain have a connecting ring that is clearly identifiable. Several blockchain technology benefits can be x-rayed in this light from different angles.
Internet and Open-Source Intersects
How the internet and open-source platforms intersect can be examined on several fronts. For one, before the Internet, the idea of open source platforms was inconceivable. However, as the dot com age blossomed, many thinkers began to explore ownership systems that can benefit the world.
The very nature of the Internet is such that makes it easy for an idea, a product or platform to gain global prominence. While the success of any invention in terms of recognition and adoption depends on its utility, globalization sure does some good. The idea of globalization is limited without the Internet.
The operational framework of the Internet opened the possibilities for open source platforms to thrive. Inventors realized that they can develop an app for mass adoption without restricting usage rights and still make money. How this is possible is seen in the success of Red Hat and Linux technologies.
Enter the Blockchain
The Blockchain as a distributed ledger that is immutable, public and decentralized leverages on the Internet and open source features. Blockchain usage requires Internet connectivity and the nature of the blockchain thrives on its open source design by Satoshi Nakamoto and his ilk.
The application of blockchain in today’s world extends to such sectors as investment brokerage, medicine, supply, and procurement as well as education. Cryptocurrency arose from the blockchain and for those looking to make money, Bitmex signals have come in handy.
How intellectual property gravitated from a pay-to-use to an open source description in the tech revolution is worth examining further. From the power of numbers to the perpetuation of trade secrets, some definitive can be highlighted.
The Power of Numbers
It was fashionable in the past decades to lock-up the usage rights to any invention so that every user must pay to access such. Such was the reign of intellectual property protection that patenting, and usage restriction was the only way to incentivize innovation.
Years down the line since mankind first experienced the Internet, it has become clear that a different line of thought was inevitable. Our world comprises billions of people, and the power of mass usage is such that cannot be overlooked.
When cryptocurrencies first emerged on the global radar a decade ago, only a few people paid attention. However, all that changed in 2017 when more people bought into the crypto ideology. Increased adoption has led to an impressive current bitcoin market value of $6300 plus at press time.
The initial value of 10,000 bitcoin in its early days were only worth a pizza, but today, the story is very different. Such is the power of an open source strategy behind an invention that can grow a mass market for its adoption.
The Power of a Trade Secret
It is also understandable that an inventor might opt for a pay-per-use route in order to get an immediate reward. However, clearly aligned to mass adoption is the power of a trade or product secret. For many businesses, the time needed to develop a capacity for a new technology can be a turn-off.
In a sense, who can be better-placed to customize a product or platform for the use of an entrepreneur better than the inventor? So, with a new app, the inventor-organization has better prospects to make more money as it gains traction with mass adoption.
Any new app or platform will require an understanding of the code, service, and maintenance as well as best practices to be used. If the inventor has the capacity for all the allied spin-offs, using the open source route will be profitable.
Clearly, what an open source platform can leverage on is the expectation that the product or service will be globally adopted. On the tech scene that is subject to massive disruption by daily inventions, companies have a better chance to incentivize users using the open source route.
The Greater Good
Using the oft-repeated example of Bitcoin, the patience and foresight of the early developers can be commended. The open source approach to bitcoin and blockchain meant that more people were able to work on the innovation. Today, further research is leading to a wider sphere of application of blockchain across the globe.
The use of blockchain for the greater good of mankind has been expedited because of this open source algorithm. Developers are therefore not impeded by the access cost that would have been a limiting factor if the platform was a pay-per-use type.
While some private blockchains have emerged that requires payment for access, the code that underlies the workings of blockchains are free to access. Several developers are looking at different and a multitude of applications they can host on the blockchain.
In summary, there is no doubt that blockchain has redefined how intellectual property should be governed or protected. The availability of blockchain in the public domain makes it clearly identifiable and this is a huge plus. The question of who to credit for a blockchain invention is also settled as its records are immutable.
As more developers look forward to platforms that can provide the best outcome for their apps, open source technologies hold a promise. The success story of Linux tells us that open source can be a commercially rewarding enterprise if it answers to a great need.
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