One of the fascinating aspects of new technology is that it gives rise to a new vocabulary. A new series of nouns and verbs that govern the technology and articulate how we interact with it. Blockchain is no different.
When we first started working in blockchain people talked about tokenization as a way to describe recording real world physical assets on a blockchain. The digital token would represent your right to the physical world asset. This notion became muddled as more and more tokens were introduced.
To alleviate the confusion, industry talking heads reverted to an old economic term, dematerialization. This definition from Gary Wollenhaupt writing for Supply Chain Dive sums it up very well. "The process of converting physical assets such as diamonds or aircraft engine components into digital assets for entry into a blockchain is called dematerialization."
The issue is that in dematerialization we have to reduce the material side of the equation. So how do we describe a process of recording a physical asset onto a blockchain when we do not reduce the material aspect of the asset?
Defined as the process of creating a digital twin, or geminus, of a real world asset, and then recording that digital twin to the blockchain. Interactions with the physical world are then replicated on chain and digital information pertaining to the object can be retrieved via smart query to the chain on the status of the gemimus.
The potential for supply chain management and digital track and trace is astounding. This new technology allows us to create sovereign identities to individual assets and then interact, manipulate, and address those identities in parallel to their real world counterparts.
We will continue to explore these ideas in coming posts.