We're stuck in a world of data silos; my photos are spread across dozens of apps and most services try to capture my data instead of working together. Bitcoin and the blockchain's novel form of consensus might inspire us to think about new ways of running databases in a more decentralized manner. With these systems, we're pushed to think about issues like interoperability, transparency, and open access when we start to design our applications, making it easier to work on data across trust domains.
Research Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. Interested in distributed systems, databases, cryptocurrencies, and programmable money.