Welcome to IoT Day Slam 2020 Virtual Internet of Things Conference - April 9th, Online, in the Cloud

The Rise of the Decentralized Platform Economy

Brad Kirby, VP at EDJX

The Rise of the Decentralized Platform Economy

Session Abstract:

Today Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet (Google) are the four largest public companies in the world, each valued at over $1 trillion. Facebook and Alibaba are number five and number six. Not until the seventh spot does a non-tech company appear (Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway).

How did so many technology companies rise to become the most valuable in the world? The digital platform economy.

By definition, platform economy companies eliminate trade barriers between consumers and producers, often disrupting traditional business models. Uber, Airbnb and Netflix are great examples of the digital platform economy. Many significant tech innovations have contributed to this (see: the Internet), but recent innovations including powerful mobile phones and cloud computing have enabled the spread of the digital platform economy, with no end in sight.

There is no doubt that the rise of the platform economy has had a significant impact on our daily lives. This includes a more open economy, information sharing, and new opportunities.

But a number of legitimate concerns have been raised. The centralization and power amassed via data collection has demonstrated that centralized platforms often lack stewardship; data security and misuse fines are now an expense line item.

From abusive ad practices, regular antitrust claims, election interference, privacy violations, and a sprawling list of consumer data breaches, these platform companies continue to lose public trust. To date, tens of billions of user accounts have been compromised— and counting.

Re-democratizing our computing infrastructure is becoming a viable solution. As IoT inventions integrate into our environments, developers will rely on edge computing to deliver ultra-low latency, high performance applications at planet scale, along with robust security and privacy controls.

The following factors are key contributors:

1) Humanity is moving from the information age (spawned by the World Wide Web) and is embracing the “Age of Experience”, which will require edge computing.

2) Business models often depend on information to generate revenue, which may not be shared in a decentralized P2P (peer to peer) platform economy.

3) Developers are disenchanted with many major platform companies.

4) There is clear evidence that leadership philosophy on business models may not adapt. For example, Facebook is trying to create a “decentralized” digital currency, yet their only service offering is their wholly-owned “Calibra” wallet— an application similar to a bank account where centralized transaction data will reside (and generate revenue).


Brad Kirby

Brad is a seasoned finance, treasury and capital markets professional with a passion for innovative technology and digital transformation. He has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and after launching his first start-up in 2004, his professional career commenced at Deloitte in 2007. After the 2008 financial crisis, he achieved his Chartered Accountant designation and was offered a transfer to Deloitte’s financial advisory group in Cayman Islands, the capital of hedge funds. The crisis revealed unprecedented level of fraud and insolvency committed onshore by investment managers, tasking firms like Deloitte with challenging asset recovery, restructuring, and forensic litigation engagements to recover assets for investors. Engagements included Madoff and Level Global and Bras was also instrumental in creating proprietary data analytic software, developing a custom fund management system

In 2013, he moved back to Toronto to join Brookfield Asset Management, the world’s largest real asset manager and spent 5 years splitting time as Brookfield’s global finance transformation initiatives while also overseeing global capital markets and treasury, which included $400B of debt, 400 lending relationships, and over $1T in annual derivatives trading for financial risk management – the largest non-financial institution FX trader on Wall Street. He was the youngest officer of the company and a trusted fiduciary of over $250B of assets. In 2017, he was named Director of Brookfield’s private equity pubco (BBU), where he was instrumental in executing 13 acquisitions in 10 months totaling $21B in 6 countries.

In 2018, Brad left Brookfield to pursue his passion for technology and launched DLT Advisory, a consulting firm focusing on fintech and distributed ledger technology start-ups. In June 2018, an advisory relationship formed and Brad joined EDJX full-time in summer 2019.

He is considered a though leader in finance, technology and distributed ledgers. He has recently taughtCrypto Economics at York’s Engineering School, sitting on panels with central bank researchers, publishing in academic journals and speaking at various conferences, including Edge Computing World in Dec. 2019 and IT Tech Expo in Feb. 2020.

Session Tags

End-User, Enterprise, Small / Medium Enterprise, OEM

IoT, IIoT, Decentralized, AI, M2M, Edge, Fog, Serverless

CxO, VP / Director, Technical, Business Line Management, Operations

Advanced, Intermediate



Retail, Manufacturing, Telecom, Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Industrials, Healthcare, Consumer, Automotive

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