Decentralisation and disintermediation are some of the most often used words in blockchain literature, and yet, as far as I am concerned, they miss the bigger picture. They are just the means to an end, which to me is empowerment.
In fact, these words are somewhat negative, as they focus on destroying. The reality is that I am not aware of any single business that has been destroyed by blockchain, but I aware of almost a trillion worth of value that has been created.
How is it that with technology that is meant to destroy, has only created? I think it's because existing centralised trust-based businesses are often very good at what they do, so it's hard to disrupt them. Yet, they tend to be largely mass-produced domestic value propositions.
As the world becomes more international, largely driven by the internet, where no single organisation can be trusted by a multi-national stakeholder set, the need for very secure and resilient global blockchain networks to manage distributed ledgers arises.
At the same time, people tend to favour bespoke solutions, but have had to settle for mass-produced ones due to cost pressures. Smart contracts enable tailored trust products and services at near mass-produced costs, ushering in the era of mass-customised trust.
So when taken together, blockchain-based distributed ledgers and smart contracts, empower people to create global mass-customised solutions for under-served markets, that were simply never possible before. I call these new value propositions the long tail of trust.