"I'm pretty disappointed with the way Ethereum has gone since its launch," said Vinay Gupta, founder of Mattereum and former coordinator of Ethereum's initial release, during Cointelegraph's AMA session. "The idea was that we could use blockchain to govern infrastructure in the real world. There was this idea that we could tokenize real-world assets and get these new efficient economies, just better use of capital globally to provide people with bare goods, bare services with less waste and inefficiency. But that didn't happen."
With Mattereum which focuses on asset tokenization Gupta wants to go back to Ethereum's roots and address the original problem. “We’re not inventing fractional ownership from scratch. Big publicly traded companies like IBM, Google or Meta offer similar options as stocks available to everyone.
What we're doing is using the efficiency of blockchain to apply this fractional ownership concept to much smaller things, much cheaper and lighter. This brings the benefits of fractional ownership governance down to the point where you can start dealing with individual cars, homes, or works of art, rather than at the scale of power grids, airplanes, or utilities that serve hundreds of millions of users every day on the Internet," Gupta said.
He identified unreadiness in regulation as one of the factors that led Ethereum to off-track, which became a priority for Mattereum to solve. "Working with lawyers and convincing them to support our cause proved to be a lengthy process. It took us four years to complete our first transaction and six years to reach a point of being able to securitize. As a result, it's now possible to legally gain control of almost any asset in most countries in a completely legal way. This means that we can go back to an earlier vision of Ethereum and fully implement it," he added.
In addition to explaining that tokenization can significantly reduce the time spent on legal and paperwork, Gupta shared his vision on the other benefits that it could bring to the world: 'Tokenization takes ultra-powerful tools from high finance and makes them accessible as a means of replacing massive mortgages and credit card debt. It changes the current debt-based relationships in society to an equity-based economy and the idea of "we own this thing, we cooperate together."
In this case, I expect a level of social transformation and revolution much greater than what happened with the invention of credit cards and debt. Moreover, co-owned societies are much more benign and friendly.”
Regarding other possible changes due to blockchain mass adoption, Gupta envisions an economic democracy revolution and the integral role of DAOs in it. He anticipates DAOs to become as popular as social media platforms with “governance geeks managing their portfolio”. "I believe such a transformation is necessary and inevitable if we intend to democratize the world," he claimed.
Gupta views Mattereum as a backend powerhouse similar to how Amazon assisted in launching thousands of businesses worldwide. He elaborated: “Anyone can bring a deal to Mattereum to examine the possibilities and limitations and then to secure and fractionalize it as Mattereum Asset Passports. So If any company with specific expertise wants to make assets transactionable or create companies with backend transactions, they can reach us.”
Mattereum Asset Passports, which Gupta mentioned, are NFTs that prove the value of physical objects. They come with a built-in legal layer, providing a warranty claim mechanism that addresses liability. Gupta provided more details on Mattereum’s flagship Asset Passports: “We put on chain with our customers legally binding promises from different third parties about the goods being sold. If any of those promises are inaccurate the third parties have to pay.
It's important to note that it’s the third parties who are providing risk management in the deal and bear the costs. They’re putting up money which could be in on-chain escrow contracts to guarantee that the buyer will not be defrauded. That’s how we get trustworthy oracles to prove all the assets on chain are legitimate.”
"I truly believe that moving from a debt-based economy to an asset-based economy and implementing a fully transparent financial infrastructure will solve many of the world's political problems," Gupta said, summing up the AMA session. “It is still possible to implement Ethereum's original vision. However, it requires a massive bridge, which Mattereum can become. I envision Mattereum as a fundamental part of the financial infrastructure for the entire planet, much like Swift or Visa”, he added.
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