No Coin and Idea Coin to encourage knowledge flow and innovation?

I guess it’s to do with my personality: I love many old things, old books, old buildings etc. Take music for an example, I love Chinese classic music and old folk songs and Beetles for western music. My wife used to joke that I am actually 70 years old (I am only 45 this year!). Fashion of course has nothing to do with me: I barely know any fashion brands. Many Chinese consumer have a love affair with the ABCD brands in the UK. I only know B represents Burberry (have I got the spelling right?) but not the rest. So when a hot topic such as Blockchain reached my ears, as usual I am quite suspicious. I am suspicious because of a seemingly too rosy picture it offers (or potentials suggested by the experts): it represents a world of real democracy, open but free from disruptions such as hacker attacks.


Suspicions aside, it is also useful to think about what Blockchain can offer in different fields so that old people like me wont’ be accused of blocking technological development. Well, has Blockchain anything to do with academic researchers like me who are interested in international business and innovation? The answer is perhaps likely to be ‘yes’.


One of the areas that I am interested in is knowledge transfer in a cross-cultural context. I have been following a case of Chinese acquisition in the UK for a few years. One of the biggest hurdles to knowledge transfer between the British subsidiary and the Chinese parent firm is indeed cultural difference between the two sides: British employees are willing to express their views and feelings even to their superiors whilst the Chinese employees are not. Blockchain, as a type of distributed ledger without a central administrator, may therefore facilitate knowledge transfer in this context so that, for example, the Chinese will be freer to express their views and ideas. Perhaps, we can indeed develop a NO coin to encourage the Chinese to speak out different views or to say no to unreasonable orders from managers. We may also come up with an IDEA coin to encourage new ideas from employees in order to facilitate knowledge exchange and innovation.

12 thoughts on “No Coin and Idea Coin to encourage knowledge flow and innovation?

  1. You won’t be surprised to know that there are other ‘old’ people like you who view blockchain with a pinch of salt and a bit of healthy skepticism. This in itself is not a bad thing, but then, as you say, there are also some great opportunities which we can exploit. I am very interested in forms of knowledge exchange and particularly how we exchange knowledge which is intangible. Ideas, are for example, intangible until something comes out of it. I was actually thinking about a ‘coin’ for knowledge. It could be a truly universal currency!

  2. Hi Cristina! You made a good point. If for instance we think about Bitcoin, once his value was meaningless but now, mainly thanks to its spreading, became unneglectable. If you then think that now BTC nodes use thousands of MW of energy for its mining with increasing competition and depletion of resources, and so currency creation belongs just to the most powerful entities in the system, is easy to understand that it does not foster sustainability and equality.

    As you mention, and I also believe, the real challenge is to exploit such technologies to induce a switching to currency which have value for the whole community, which is something completely different by the paradigm used by Ethereum or Bitcoin etc. In these systems for instance, their native currencies (ETH, BTC) cannot be coined by any node but miners (by mining reward) or by the admin (issuance). But a key concept in the decentralization of currencies wouldn’t be that everybody can issue such currency with the same criteria?!

    My answer to this question is off course yes. This is the reason why I am working on something similiar as you said. Although knowledge for me is energy (kWh) given there is no better minimum common denominator than such size to relate to account for everything in this world and to aggregate different fields of application. For this reason I have idealized a system where everybody can issue assets proportionally to the energy they saved. In this way, if such system is widespread and consensus is accepted among parties, such adoption brings towards a reduction in pollution, resource depletion, energy efficiency increasing, fostering of IoT home appliances and data communication, switiching in policies etc..all this by making “money”…

  3. Federico, you are making some really important points. Let me start with saying that i do see knowledge as energy and the fundamental and most important form of energy human beings have at their disposal. For this reason, we should move beyond a human capital view which monetarises knowledge (and invite speculation and exploitation, and accumulation through credentialism) to a humane capital which views knowledge as a common good with moral demands.

    In regard to the more technical part of your reply, we are moving beyond Blockchain 1.0 and 2.0 into a new, exciting but unexplored territory. Yet, there is an increasing demand for better ways to ‘measure, weigh, evaluate and value the impact of human beings. In doing this we will need to make quite a shift from considering currency only in terms of money to currency in terms of what we consider having ‘current’ value.

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