Jaan Tallinn, the co-founder of Skype, is working on finding ways to use blockchain technology to solve problems that require global cooperation, such as overfishing, crime, corruption and deforestation, according to The Telegraph.
Jaan Tallinn was speaking at the International Business Festival, a global marketplace for making connections, in Liverpool, U.K. The festival runs through July 1.
After helping people save long distance relationships with a video phone platform, the Estonian entrepreneur has committed himself to “effective altruism,” data and reason guided compassion, using blockchain technology. He has spent a year studying how to use the technology to correct problems such as corruption, crime, over-fishing and deforestation.
Tallin said blockchain technology makes it possible for mankind to achieve consensus about data minus the authority to dictate it. This capability can solve larger problems that require international coordination.
Tallinn is compiling research on ways to use blockchain technology to develop more coordination of mechanisms.
He said he came to this mission after he read a blog that pointed to a commonality among humanity’s biggest problems: They are caught in an equilibrium in which the players cannot change the outcome.
As an example, Tallinn pointed to over-fishing: no single fisherman can fix the problem by telling other fishermen to stop killing fish. A group of fishermen or an individual fisherman can stop fishing, but doing so will only leave more fish for other fishermen to kill. The only solution is through coordination.
The United Nations’ mandate to address the ozone layer was a famous case of a coordination mechanism. It is believed that the ozone layer is recovering after certain chemicals (like those used in aerosol cans) were phased out in the 1980s.
Tallinn noted that shaming people into being virtuous does not change behavior. Incentive schemes, by which people who do the most good for humanity are rewarded 20 years into the future, will create the expectation that long-term good has value.
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