Betsabe Martinez Botaitis — AIKON Co-Founder/COO
Our blog is usually devoted to product updates, but this week, I wanted to paint a bigger picture which illustrates how our products fit into AIKON’s long-term vision. While “make the world a better place” has become a Silicon Valley cliché, our roadmap actually reflects my personal experience as someone who grew up in Guadalajara, moved to the United States to build a better life in fintech, and often travel back home to advise startups in Mexico.
I know so many talented tech workers in the developing world who see blockchain and cryptocurrency as crucial tools for creating a better future — perhaps more clearly than most people in the Valley.
Fostering Inclusion Worldwide
AIKON’s ultimate goal is to help create greater global economic inclusion and democratize access to blockchain — so that the benefits of this technology are accessible and usable by all. With blockchain and cryptocurrency, developers are building tools and services that anyone can have access to.
In the US, cryptocurrency is often a buzzword, or something seen as another investment opportunity for your portfolio. But across the world, cryptocurrency provides access to an economy decoupled from destabilized governments and inflation, and importantly, a new way for developers to accept payment from anyone.
While we take for granted the ability to get a credit card and pay for goods and services, in many countries, citizens don’t have the same access to credit cards, making payment on the internet difficult. In Mexico, we’ve seen first hand the power of cryptocurrency to positively impact an economy: every day people have adopted bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in record numbers in order to pay for online services and online games.
With the freelance and gig economy skyrocketing, the ability to do a job from anywhere in the world is becoming a more sought after way of life. And it’s perfect for developers who could work from anywhere. (Moreover, we believe that developers shouldn’t have to leave their communities to succeed in growing their careers.)
There are millions of talented tech workers around the world, with all the intellectual capital needed to contribute to top companies — but without the financial and legal structure to protect their work. This is where we come in. At AIKON, we’re creating the tools to help developers build their products and companies with limited overhead — accessible from anywhere.
In the past, if a developer from another country wanted to secure a long-term, digital job, the only solution was to move to the United States. Today, the possibilities for employment and starting a business are more and more in the hands of the remote worker and in their local geographies as the local entrepreneurial ecosystems grow.
At the end of the day — in this global digital economy, developers are the ones bringing innovation to their communities and to the world, and we need to provide them with the tools to both make this innovation easy — and to make their technology easily adoptable by the end user.
Until now, a number of impediments have stood in their way.
What we’re doing at AIKON is architected to break through them.
Commercialization of Digital Work
Countless developers around the world, especially in emerging markets, have difficulty making a living in their local industry. In our marketplace, developers have to verify and validate their APIs, which is part of the trust we’re building. Using our tokenization process, if something goes wrong, a buyer’s money will be returned. This transparency and trust allows developers all over the world to build assets, as well as sell and commercialize their APIs. This will help open the market for developers across the globe, and give them an opportunity to make a profit.
Job Creation Across Borders
Borderless job creation will accumulate over time once guaranteed fair compensation for intellectual property comes. This brings dignity and autonomy — something that money alone can buy. And the purpose and pride that comes with a job that can’t be taken away is priceless.
With the trust and capacity building that AIKON provides, our goal is to bring developers in different countries to the next frontier of empowerment while working remotely, and enable them to create and run businesses where they reside.
Being a part of AIKON’s community gives API developers the opportunity to fairly commercialize APIs — their intellectual property. That value can lead to prosperity where a developer knows their rights, and those rights are managed ethically.
When residents have money, they spend more money on their lifestyle in their own city. The domino effect of AIKON’s Economic Inclusion strategy starts with the creation of more jobs and the circulation of money. We believe that the more this is perpetuated, the more jobs will come available for all.
In traditional offline commerce, agreements are often drafted using contract law, and disputes are resolved in the legal system. However, these services don’t exist in many parts of the world — or are choked by inefficiency and corruption.
We see property as being more than a number. We also see the need to model the transfer of property (or rights) between participants as key to enabling true automated digital commerce. Economies require more than the exchange of currency to function. They need legislation and a judicial system to establish and protect the ownership of property and the rights owners have.
Smart contracts can be written in a deterministic and transparent way so that all parties will know how they will run; this reduces the need for third-parties to deal with a legal system that’s often unreliable to address disputes and protect against corruption.
But before we can model many traditional agreements as sustainable, self-running smart contracts, we need a language or taxonomy for defining key parts of them like contract law does for offline agreements. This is where AIKON’s Open Rights Exchange (ORE) Protocol fills in the holes. Our protocol allows users to define complex relationships between rights and property by building a layer of taxonomy.
Ownership & the Open Rights Exchange
Using Open Rights Exchange, developers are able to build blockchain solutions that can exchange rights or property between participants. Like any protocol, ORE enables developers to focus on adding real value to their application, so they don’t have to worry about the ‘plumbing’ of how property is defined, agreements are handled, and disputes resolved.
Take car ownership, for example. When you buy a car, you need a trusted source to verify and enforce the fact that you have the right to drive or sell that vehicle. And you need to live in an area where that right applies. However, if your car ownership rights are defined in a globalized, decentralized management platform — which is what ORE is — then you can potentially live anywhere. Your right to the car can be validated, and you can have access to the digitized representation of your physical rights.
ORE works both as a registry, stating who has specific rights, and as a taxonomy that defines how rights can be traded. Through using ORE instruments, people can add rules and processes associated with their rights. This way, commerce can be automated without the need for a trusted government to protect and judicate their rights.
Future Applications for International Developers
We’re excited by the potential applications that developers can create on our platform. A number of blockchain solutions can be enabled by the ORE Protocol. These include but are certainly not limited to:
- API usage licensing
- Digital Media consumption (music, movies, etc.)
- Document rights management
- Professional certifications
- Supply chain
- End-user software licensing
While ORE is the underpinning technology that establishes rights, AIKON’s API marketplace is the first application using it’s rights management layer, and provides the place to buy API access rights as a developer or end user.
And APIs are just the beginning.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, and smart contracts continue to get smarter, the rights to physical property will be defined and automated in a truly decentralized economy.
And a decentralized economy will make any city — an ultimately, any country, and any tech worker within it — flourish.