Our vision in one sentence: To power a decentralized Economy of Things that works for the world.
Deus ex-machina is Latin for ‘god from the machine’. It originated as a plot device in Ancient Greek theater. The hero would find themselves trapped, facing certain death, only to be saved at the very last moment by the gods. The gods would be lowered to the stage with the help of a machine, hence, god from the machine. The plot device has been used ever since.
Today, deus ex-machina is taking on a new meaning. Despite our transcendent hopes, dreams and aspirations, we are biological mortals. We are gods made from flesh and bone, limited by flesh and bone. This may be true of us, but it is not true of our creations, our machines. With tools, humans created machines. And with those machines we created more machines. Now, our machines are ‘smart’. They are artificially intelligent. Soon, they will be smarter than we are. We are on a path to creating gods from machines. The train has left the station and it’s not coming back. What exactly this means for humanity is unknown, but we do know that there are stops along the way, chances to guide the trajectory. Web3 is our most important chance.
We know it’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’. The age of automation is here. We’re transitioning from an age where humans did all the work to an age where machines do all the work — and more. Machines can create more value than humans, in more ways, more efficiently, and will also create value for one another. The pie is getting bigger — but it is also changing hands, from flesh to steel.
How many jobs have machines already taken? How many jobs will machines be doing by 2030? By recent estimates, anything from 5% to 35% of jobs per country are on course to be automated. To be clear, machines automating certain tasks and roles is not in itself a bad thing. Many of these tasks are of the repetitive, mundane sort that the people doing them would happily stop doing if it didn’t mean they’d be left with no income. The unemployment spikes resulting from overnight mass automation will cause problems, but there is a bigger issue: ownership. The question we should be asking ourselves is not: How do we stop this? We can’t. The question we should be asking ourselves is:
Who will benefit?
Who will own these increasingly intelligent machines? The 1% or the 100%? The decisions we take now will mold humanity, earth, and even our solar system. Perhaps humanity needs a deus ex-machina moment of its own. Perhaps we’ve already got one; in Bitcoin and Satoshi Nakamoto. The Web3 revolution, from blockchain to DeFi to NFTs, all stems from Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer, decentralized, electronic cash system. Web3 allows us to build open, transparent, democratic, decentralized systems, networks and economies.
You’re no doubt aware of the growing inequality in our societies, of what happens when innovation is kept behind walls, of what happens when we don’t own our data or control our identities, and the perils of economic systems which prioritize engineered scarcity over distributed abundance. Web3 is our chance to change this trajectory. Smart machines are here, and they are getting smarter. Web3 makes it possible to distribute ownership of these machines and the networks and apps they run on. It is the toolbox we need to build an Economy of Things that works for all people and machines. An Economy of Things that is built by people and machines, for people and machines. A decentralized Economy of Things that works for the world.
And so, there you have it, that’s peaq’s vision. That’s what we’re building towards.