AI, Crypto, & The Future

AI, Crypto, & The Future
"An information network with a person in the middle" Created by Dave Waring using Midjourney 3/13/24

I believe AI is set to transform our lives, and that crypto will play an important role in ensuring this change is for the better.

Here’s how:

The AI Revolution

The AI revolution is transforming knowledge work, just like the industrial revolution transformed manual labor.

Industrial Revolution: 1 person using a tractor = dozens of people working without a tractor.

AI Revolution: 1 person using AI = dozens of people working without AI.

Because AI is so useful, and anyone can use it, the AI revolution is happening at lightning speed.

Time for New Technologies to Reach 100 Million Users

Technology Time to Reach 100 Million Users
Telephone 75 Years
Mobile Phone 16 Years
Internet 7 Years
Facebook 4 Years
ChatGPT 2 Months

sources: here & here

Google Maps, which has been leveraging AI for years, gives us a small glimpse of where we are headed. It isn’t just a little bit better than using paper maps, it’s exponentially better.

Now imagine having a tool like Google Maps for all areas of your life.

That’s where we are rapidly headed.

In the AI Era, Data is the New Gold

AI systems need data to learn and improve, just like humans. The most powerful AI tools will be those that have access to the best sources of data.

This means data is the new gold, and every individual is a goldmine of data that can be used to train AI models.

Companies that understood and leveraged this fact dominated the last phase of the internet. Google, Apple, and Facebook became behemoths partly because they control so much of our data.

If we continue down the path we are on currently, large companies will control even more of our data than they do today. They’ll also be the primary beneficiaries of the value that results.

However, it can be different this time. This is where Crypto comes in.

How Crypto Fits

When most people hear the word “Crypto” they think of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies.

However, crypto currencies are not the only use of this technology.

The same technology that allows Bitcoin to exist, can also be used to give us back control of our data, and allow us to capture its value.

Which Do You Prefer?

Companies You
Control Your Data Control Your Data
Determine How it is Used Determine How it is Used
Profit from your Data Profit from your Data

The reason companies control so much of our data, is that they own the databases where it’s stored.

For example, when we use Facebook, all our photos, posts, community memberships and other personal data is stored in Facebook’s database, and controlled by Facebook.

The beauty of Crypto is that it allows us to own and control the databases where our data is stored.

Just like the Bitcoin database is not controlled by any company, the same can be true for the databases where our personal data is stored.

By leveraging this new technology, we can take back control of our data, determine how it is used, and be the primary beneficiary of the value our data generates in the AI revolution.

The Future

I believe that the AI revolution will be overwhelmingly positive for society for the following reasons:

  • It will allow us to dramatically increase production, and production is the primary driver of wealth and prosperity for the citizens of an economy.

  • It will democratize access to expertise. AI will give every person with a phone their own personal AI powered doctor, lawyer, personal trainer, psychologist, business coach, and tutor.

  • It will also give us self-driving cars and in-home robots that will free us from doing work that most people hate.

Similarly to what happened after the industrial revolution the average person will need to work less, do less work they dislike, and all while earning more and enjoying a higher standard of living.

Potential Downsides

There will of course also be downsides.

Here are 3 examples:

  1. The job market will likely change dramatically.

Prior to the industrial revolution over 80% of jobs were in agriculture. Now only around 1% are. The AI revolution has the potential to create a similar change in the labor market. Adjusting to this change will not be easy.

  1. AI can be used for both good and evil.

Powerful tools can be used for both good and evil, and AI is no exception. We are already seeing scammers using AI to clone people’s voices and create realistic looking photos and videos of people that are actually fake.

  1. The potential to further concentrate wealth and power.

If we are not able to successfully decentralize the technology, the AI revolution has the potential to place great power in the hands of a few people.

Crypto as the solution

While crypto and other open source technologies will not completely solve these issues they can dramatically decrease the downsides.

By leveraging crypto protocols, we can take back control of our data and the value that it creates. This will create an explosion of new ways we can share and monetize our expertise.

It will also create a much greater distribution of the benefits of this technology than will otherwise be the case.

Crypto also allows the signing of digital goods to prove their authenticity. For example, using crypto to digitally sign that a video or picture is actually authentic and not a fake created by AI.

And finally crypto protocols can provide the incentives to successfully fund and develop many open source competitors, and prevent the power of this awesome new technology from being concentrated in the hands of a few people.

The Bottom Line

We are at the beginning of an AI revolution that will transform society on a level not seen since the industrial revolution brought us electricity and the engine.

In the AI revolution data is the new gold, and crypto is the technology that will help ensure it is we as individuals capture its value.

I’ll be diving in more deeply on these topics in the coming months. If you’d like an email notification of my new posts, please click the subscribe button.

If you are working on or have thoughts on the intersection of AI and Crypto I’d love to chat. Feel free to leave a comment below, DM me whereever you are reading this, or email me at

Thanks for reading!