We’re sitting around the table and someone asks: ‘Do Facebook friends really count as friends?’
For everyone at the table – a group of over 60’s from around Hull – the consensus is that communities depend on something inherent in meeting people in person: on finding ways for people to participate, to contribute and to trust one another. Technology seems fraught with problems when it comes to building trust. While our increasing dependence on the internet raises concerns about privacy and disrupts traditional forms of work.
For Dave Shepherdson, the internet has the potential to create new forms of sharing economies and the revolutionary technology which is set to enable this is Blockchain. Blockchain is the technology underlying the digital currency – Bitcoin – but it’s shown potential for everything from building de-centralised systems which allow people to control their own data to helping refugees verify their identity.
I’m introduced to Dave Shepherdson by chance one rainy Friday afternoon in a busy cafe on Newland Avenue in Hull. Dave is one of the masterminds behind a new digital currency based on this technology called HullCoin. For a good five minutes, he enthuses about how HullCoin will transform our relationships with each other: encouraging participation and giving value to the social contributions we make to communities.
To find out what he had to say, watch his interview here.