In episode 72 we welcome as our guest Kevin Werbach, professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and formerly Counsel for New Technology Policy at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, is a well-known expert on the business, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies. In this interview, we explore blockchain technology and its impact on traditional notions of trust. He delves into the different architectures of trust, including peer-to-peer trust, Leviathan trust, and intermediary trust, highlighting the limitations and risks associated with these traditional forms of trust, leading to the introduction of decentralized architecture offered by blockchain technology.
The interview focuses on the application of blockchain in enhancing trust in specific contexts, using the example of Walmart implementing a blockchain-based solution to improve food safety within its global supply chain. The guest speaker emphasizes how blockchain can overcome trust barriers and inefficiencies, leading to enhanced trust and improved outcomes.
The conversation also delves into the potential of blockchain technology to bring about freedom from corporate and government power, while acknowledging the risk of empowering criminals. Kevin highlights the importance of blockchain as a part of rebuilding trust in society, by providing transparent and decentralized systems for verifying information and maintaining integrity. He sets out the value of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, with an emphasis on how blockchain technology provides trust through the integrity and transparency of the ledger. The interview concludes with a discussion on the viability of blockchain technology, the collapse of centralized platforms like FTX, and the comparison between the telecom industry and blockchain.