It is the year 2030.Kate is going out to the supermarket to buy groceries. Unlike during her mother’s time, Kate is not doing it out of compulsion. Kate is doing it because she wants to take her daughter Eva out for a stroll. Her groceries have already been bought. Yesterday, her refrigerator, in collaboration with the kitchen shelf, and “smart” Tupperware, ordered and stocked up on grocery items. The payment was done by the “smart” appliances online. It was all paid for in ethers. Those ethers were “mined” by the “Smart” kitchen, “smart” fridge and the “smart” Tupperware. The delivery of the grocery items was done yesterday night itself by a driver-less vehicle from the supermarket. Kate’s house robot verified the items and stacked them in their nominated places.
The supermarket is now a place where the local community meets, once in a while to spend quality community time. Paper currency has now been greatly replaced. It is now used only in very remote and unconnected places, by people who live there. Kate remembers her mother struggling with the many bags of groceries that she used to shop every fortnight. Now she watches her daughter Eva play with other children while she comfortably sips a glass of complimentary wine with her friends at the supermarket.
Picture a world where your meals are paid for by the table on which you eat. Your beer mug pays for the beer that you drink. Your car pays for its own fuel. Your water bill is paid for by the pipes and taps of your house. And yes, your electricity and Wi-Fi bills are paid by your house itself. A pipe dream? A fantasy? Hallucination? Not really.
The Internet-of-Things combined with blockchain and “mining” technology gives rise to a new phenomenon which I have conceptualized. I call it “Smart Mining”. “Smart Mining” is the process where objects pay for the function that they are designed to execute. The IoT will give way to a situation where almost all objects will just be platforms on which to mount microprocessors which will keep mining cryptocurrencies. Since Regulated and Sovereign Backed Cryptocurrencies (RSBC) cannot be mined by private networks, only decentralized cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ether etc) will be mined. They can then be exchanged with RSBCs (or independently traded) at exchanges. This exchange will be done by the machines themselves with no human intervention. But one may wonder whether computing power will be enough for small appliances to carry out “Smart Mining”.
Moore’s law allows for doubling of computing power every 2-3 years. But there is a limit to miniaturization. At some point of time, Moore’s law will face a ceiling. What then? One simple answer in two simple words. Quantum Computing. In December 2015, NASA announced the world’s first operational Quantum Computer. It was built by D-Wave, a Canadian company. Right now Quantum Computing is in a very nascent stage. But its possibilities and applications are immense. A true Quantum Computer, the size of your thumbnail will have more computing power than the World’s current fastest supercomputer. And imagine a future where objects around you will be embedded with such Quantum Computer chips. Your House, Refrigerator, Washing machine, car, garage,Tupperware, and even your clothes can mine their way to glory. All that you have to do is to keep your Wi-Fi network on. Or even that may not be necessary with the advent of 4G and 5G mobile data technology. In fact if you host enough number of Quantum chips on the objects you own, in the future you need not even have to go to work to earn your livelihood. Your “Smart objects” will “mine” it for you.
This is as if the objects are thanking you and paying you , because you brought them into existence and own them. The only constraint will be the cost of the chips embedded in the objects.But rest assured that the costs will go down drastically. In fact most of the cost will be paid by the machines themselves that manufacture the chips.The question is not whether this phenomenon will become a reality or not.The Question is when?
Governments can tax the machines directly instead of taxing humans.And the machines will pay.A time will come when Automation and “Smart Mining” will make humans working-for-a-living practice a thing of the past. Man will eventually be freed of the need to work in order to live. “Ëarning for a living” will be outsourced to the machines-the ultimate slaves who will do “Smart Mining”