Hello, I'm Don Tapscott, and I've spent my career studying how digital technologies can transform our lives. I've written a lot of books about this, 16 in total, such as the digital economy and also Wikinomics, How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. I'm also the co-author of the best-selling book, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World. As well, I'm an Adjunct Professor at the business school, INSEAD. We're thrilled to have a couple of minutes to talk to you, to talk about what we're doing, and what we hope to do with this course. Hi, I'm Alex Tapscott, and I'm also the co-author of Blockchain Revolution, which was published in 2016 and remains to this day the best selling book on blockchain, translated into over 15 languages. Harvard Business School's Clay Christiansen told us The Blockchain Revolution is the book on how to survive and thrive in this next wave of technology driven disruption. Tim Draper, the well-known venture capitalist of Draper Associates, told us that this book has the predictive quality of Orwell's 1984 and the vision of Elon Musk and Satya Nadella the CEO of Microsoft told us that the book has had an enormous impact on the evolution of blockchain in the world. It's quite high praise and more deeply humbled by all of it. So it's clearly got a lot of people thinking about the power of this technology to transform both business and society. Well, those quotes are pretty humbling. So CEOs and government leaders started asking some big questions about blockchain. How will this technology transform specific industries? What are the real challenges facing blockchain development today? How can we overcome those challenges? How will blockchain change the nature of the enterprise, the way we manage our companies? What will it mean for government architecture and the creation of services of public value? How could this technology help us solve some big problems such as climate change? So a couple of years ago, we founded The Blockchain Research Institute. This is a think tank dedicated to answering these big questions. We're conducting the definitive investigation of blockchain's impact on business, government, and society. Overall, we have more than 100 projects underway. This is a big multi-million dollar program. We also developed this specialization of four courses, and much of these four courses are informed by the work that we did in those 100 projects, and much of the work that we have done to date is going to be available to all of you. We're also collaborating with INSEAD and Coursera to share what we've learned thus far and thus what we think is important for you to know. There are many big ideas we'll cover throughout this specialization. First, we are witnessing one of the largest transformation of assets in human history, from an analog to a digital media. Bitcoin is but only one type of digital asset, and we're going to look at the other six types of cryptoassets. The ones that we can create, record, and trade on the blockchain, and this ability to trade assets peer-to-peer on the blockchain without going through a bank or some other intermediary is already disrupting the financial services sector profoundly. We'll look at that and the many other opportunities in the finance industry. Second, is the idea of self-sovereign identity. That's about our rate to establish our own digital identities. Self-sovereign identities can't be given or taken away by any central administrator. They're enforceable in any context, in person and online, and anywhere in the world, and they let us capture and control our own data and manage our own identities to benefit us and our lives. We no longer need to give up our data to big Internet landowners such as Alibaba, Facebook, or Google just to use their websites. We can store our data in a virtual black box that moves around with us, and we can sell that data or do whatever we want with it if we choose to do so. Third, is the idea of smart contracts. A smart contract is a piece of special purpose code executing a complex set of instructions on the blockchain. It's a means of codifying the terms of a deal in software. Now, this could be a business deal between producers and consumers, or it could be a social pact between a government and its citizens. What's important here is this, smart contracts ensure contractual compliance. They hold parties accountable. The blockchain provides a high degree of certainty as to the outcome of these agreements. Oh and smart contracts self-executing without the need for intermediaries like banks are governments and frankly, we've never had that kind of assurance before. Fourth, is the idea of decentralized business models. These are business models distributed across a blockchain network not centralized in a traditional corporation. They can be fully autonomous too, meaning no humans involved. There's big potential for true peer-to-peer models like ride-sharing without Uber as a middleman taking fees. Owners of driverless cars will someday be able to put their autonomous vehicles to work. So even the big disruptors can be disrupted by this new technology. Fifth, is the idea of the ledger of things. We're already seeing applications of this new Internet of devices and things. Soon though, most transactions will happen between devices and not between people. Consider the smart home, homeowners are adding smart devices such as thermostats and solar panels. Soon potentially, trillions of devices will be connected to the Internet. Doing everything from driving us around to keeping our house lit to managing our affairs and managing our health information. These devices need to be resistant to hacking. They need to be able to communicate value such as money or assets like electricity, peer-to-peer. Consider electricity, if you imagine that your neighbor's home is generating energy from a solar panel and you've got a device that needs to buy that electricity, then those two devices need away to be able to contract, bargain, and execute a payment peer-to-peer. It's not going to happen through the Visa network. It can only happen on the blockchain. We've given you a glimpse of cryptoassets, digital identity, smart contracts, new business models, and the ledger of things. These are all themes of the modules ahead of you. We're just pleased to be working with NSEAD and Coursera to share all this information with you and we're happy that you're joining us. If you've got questions for us, then just post them on the discussion forum and remember, technology alone doesn't solve problems. People do. It doesn't create prosperity. People do. Our hope is that you'll connect with each other, identify your common interests, and let's solve some big problems together.