Ruby Protocol — Your Privacy & Access Control & Parallel Universe
In this world.
The last 20 years have seen a significant increase in global warfare. Countries have been striving to move away from the dominance of the dollar and the yuan. At times, this economic turmoil has led to violent conflicts. As a result, rich countries suffer from political decline and intractable recessions. In contrast, poor countries teeter on the brink of near-total collapse as successive economic crises further consolidate wealth and power into the hands of centralized powers.
Conglomerate firms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and Tencent control the Internet market. After several rounds of government pressure, sweet-talking, antitrust litigation, and settlements, they have all agreed to hand over user data in exchange for market protection and dominance. These giant companies hand over all kinds of user information to governments worldwide, knowing everyone’s purchase history, audiovisual records, what everyone posts on social networks, and everyone’s real-time geographic location.
Technology companies have become the “satellites” of state power.
Personal privacy no longer exists.
This has allowed governments to exercise unprecedented control over their citizens. The gap between rich and poor widens as the Cantillon effect continues.
Those with crony ties to the regime gain a disproportionately high share of the wealth. Digital surveillance was the norm, and criticism of authoritarian governments faded. The control of currency by governments and large corporations means they can censor speech, and dissident content creators cannot be paid to support their work.
Free thinking has now become a product of infidels. Police around the world use the Internet of Things, medically implanted data, phone tracking, transaction history, and search queries to locate and punish dissidents. Dissent is impossible because cash has disappeared, and all purchases (including items such as subway tickets, newspapers, and masks that might hide one’s identity) are digital and monitored.
The state and multinational technology companies are more powerful than ever.
In a parallel universe.
A dynamic global economy continues to thrive.
People around the world are building wealth, able to afford housing, and launching new businesses. Entrepreneurs from what was once known as Third World countries are driving innovation in the global economy. As a result, it’s easier than ever to live in a different place. Governments have to compete with each other because citizens can choose where they want to live, work and pay taxes. Personal income taxes have been reduced, and the quality of municipal infrastructure, services, and schools has improved as governments compete with each other around the globe.
The proliferation of multiple emerging goods and services offered by many small businesses has led to more innovation than ever imagined. With it, small businesses have outpaced many of the multinational corporations that once dominated the market from around the globe. In addition, anyone can pay for anything using a license-free, private means of payment.
Many dictatorships have been overthrown or weakened as citizens have become increasingly adept at circumventing draconian capital controls and keeping their wealth for themselves rather than handing it over to elites.
Governments have been forced to shift from control to market competition.
Individuals are freer than ever before.
What does the future hold?
Predicting the future is always risky. Perhaps neither extreme is possible, but it certainly is a better future when individuals can collectively have a say in the direction of their society’s future. The monetary system is in the middle of a crossroads. Your ability to control your privacy and ownership can separate the currency from the state.
Since the 20th century, the state has largely controlled the economy. The transition to digital currency would initially allow governments to control the economy in an unprecedented way by easily increasing the money supply to pay for various financial programs.
But as the digital age progressed, the economy began to transcend the control of the state. At the beginning of the 21st century, this was obvious when consumers were buying goods produced around the world. Yet cross-border payments were still slow and expensive when all communications were digital, instant, and seamless. Payments for online goods still rely on traditional channels, while dollar settlements between financial institutions still take days. The monetary system has yet to adapt to an increasingly interconnected digital world.
The development and protection of personal privacy and data ownership will drive the next wave of financial development. As they grow, they will further erode the economic control of the states. As more wealth comes from borderless networks and is denominated in borderless currencies owned by individuals and protected by technology, wealth will become easier to circulate and move and will be liberated from the physical economy of any nation-state.
When personal privacy and data ownership are ubiquitous, the ability of states to simply print more money to fund wars will be more limited. Wars will no longer be as easy to support as they have been for the past hundred years. If wars do occur, they will be more limited and shorter. As a result, long-term conflicts, such as the Russian intervention in Syria and Ukraine or the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, may become a thing of the past, as such operations will become increasingly difficult to finance. Wars between nations are becoming more of the final and worst option, as governments prefer to find cheaper ways to resolve their differences.
*An adaptation and excerpt from The Little Bitcoin Book
Ruby Protocol is a programmable privacy & access control middleware framework encrypted with zero-knowledge proofs (zkp) algorithms.
Driven by abstract accounts, it builds an access control gateway across different entities and organizations in DeFi and Web3. The solutions and products include all kinds of private tokenization (zkToken, zkNFT, zkDID, etc), private payment bridge (zkConnect), authentication (zkAuth) and account/sub- account system (zkWallet), etc.