Money Streaming

"When you change the medium, the message changes"

Said Bitcoin Evangelist Andreas M. Antonopoulos in this talk.

The term "streaming" was coined when Internet superseded physical containers (CDs & VHS) as main 'container' for audiovisual content.

Product/Industry Old medium Today
Music CD, Vynils, tapes Streaming
Video VHS, tapes Streaming
News Newspapers, print outs, books, radio Blog posts, tweet, podcasts

Behaviours regarding the consumption of music and video were conditioned by our perception of their medium/containers.
The physical constraints of the containers translated in framed definitions and limited opportunities:

  • Format and quality were conditioned by the medium: albums had to "fit" on vynils or CDs, films had to fit on a VHS or DVD. Short movies were not produced. Too short meant waste.
  • Buyers valued the object. They cared about the ownership of the container.
  • Production of new content was conditioned by the production costs of the medium: press the vinyls, manufacture the VHS, print the newspapers/books.
  • Distribution was also conditioned by the medium.

When Internet became the new medium, it lifted off the limitations of the previous ones and created unexpected opportunities. As production costs decreased and distribution got easier, new formats became popular. People started valuing shorter videos (30s, 20s, 10s, GIFS...). Short films or even clips of a few seconds get millions of views nowadays. Behaviors changed: people moved from valuing ownership to valuing experience: listening over owning a CD, watching over owning a VHS.

Money Streaming

Music, Video, News...
What about money?
What are the current mediums and containers of money?
Cash bills and coins, bank transfers, bills with fixed amount, monthly invoices, monthly payrolls...

The current money mediums present limitations.

  • Bills and coins can't be carried conveniently in high amounts. They have fixed denominations. Can be destroyed.
  • Banks have high operating costs and involve inefficient processes, can't run 24/7, can't fully rely on automation
  • Invoices and payrolls have to be manually created, edited, reviewed...

The limitations of the money mediums lead to pratices that are annoying and inconvenient for the users.

  • Having to go to an ATM to get cash
  • Bank transfers not processed over weekends
  • Subscriptions that can't be cancelled at anytime (notice period) because of the whole administrative process involved
  • Income and rent paid once a month
  • Interest on savings account, or dividends paid once a year
  • Paying for more than what you actually get

Why is payday once a month? Why isn't pay DAY every DAY?
What if it would be possible to make payment on seconds or milliseconds frequency?
Cryptocurrencies on blockchain networks as new money mediums make this possible. Especially thanks to the latest scalability solutions (Layer 2 solution like Lightning for Bitcoin; Sharding, MATIC ... on Ethereum, zk SNARKs).
The changes in behaviours would be bigger than what we experienced with video and music streaming. The opportunities would be bigger too.
Any time based service could be transformed. Some are even already built on Ethereum.

Applications

Lending and credit

Compound offers interest saving accounts where interests are paid every 15 seconds. Compound made then the creation of an innovative lottery system possible: PoolTogether. PoolTogether is a weekly lottery pool. Tickets sales are invested in the Compound protocol. Winner of the lottery earned the weekly accrued interest only. All loser participants get their money back: a lottery system where nobody lose.

Salaries

With Sablier it is "Payday, Everyday".
"On Sablier, time means money, literally. As a worker, you see your earnings increasing in real-time in the Sablier wallet. As an organisation, [the] technology helps you get rid of the hassle of payroll admin. After a one-time deposit, [the] smart contracts will start "streaming" the money towards the payees, without you lifting a finger again."

Concerts & shows

Instead of a price per ticket, one could imagine a price per second. Who has never been disappointed by an artist ending the show after less time than expected?
With money streaming a shorter show means that the concert price decreases accordingly for the fans. A longer show means more revenues for the artist.

Attention & advertising

Every second of ads watched could be monetized. Today it is done already only for the advertisers who pay for a broadcast time. Not for the viewers of the ads.
With Brave Browser and Brave rewards, the viewer's attention is valuable. Users can "earn by viewing privacy-respecting ads and pay it forward to support content creators [they] love."

Real Estate

On realT, houses are first "tokenized". It enables fractional ownership. Then with "money streaming" blockchains, you no longer need to wait 30 days to receive a bank transfer.
"Owning property with RealT allows you to collect rent every day. Rent is paid using a US-Dollar stablecoin" (DAI).

Other assets renting (cars, rooms...)

Cars could be rented per seconds instead of on a day basis. No need to worry about having to pay an extra day because you returned your car too late.
Same for hotels: stay a little longer, pay more; stay shorter, pay less. Although in the hotel industry the constraints about the current pratices doesn't only come from the money medium but also from e.g the need to plan room cleaning etc...)

Subscriptions and bills

Combined with Internet of Things devices that would track consumption, money streaming would enabled utility bills on a second basis. Or it would be possible to "pause" your consumption.
Holiday scenario:
I go on holidays, I pause my utility bills (gas, electricity, home internet) to have more cashflow on holidays. I board a plane. I know I can't use my phone for calls or browsing anyway. I pause my phone subbscription. During 7 hours I have more cashflowI can "flow" this cash back in on e.g on board entertainment offers.

# phone subcription
10€/month ~ 0.014€/hour
# Home Internet subscription
20€/month ~ 0.028€/hours
# bills
120€/month ~ 0.17/hour
# total saved in 7 hours
(0.014 + 0.028 + 0.17) * 7 ~ 1.5 €

Video and music

Business models would switch from pay per click to pay per seconds viewed.

Conclusion

The convergence of old music & video mediums towards Internet had a major impact of both consumers and producers behaviors.
Cryptocurrencies powered by blockchain networks are becoming a new medium of exchange. Behaviors with regards to money - spending, earning, saving, investing - will be radically changed.


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