What is Exchange of Value?
The phrase “exchange of value” can technically be referred to as a trade that encompasses servitization and/or any trade in which services or products are traded (exchanged) for digital currency. However, in the blockchain world, exchange of value is more idiomatically used to distinguish Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) operations that are designed to transfer cryptocurrency (between an originating account and target account) from DLT operations that are intended for the business outcome to be less financial in nature. For example, in the same way that the consensus algorithm of a distributed ledger is used to immutably place financial transactions in order (which in turn plays a key role in transaction validation), the same algorithm can be used to fairly order other, non-financial business events.
the term “exchange of value” is not only used to start conversations about DLT as an application platform versus conversations about using DLT to store and transfer cryptocurrency (e.g., “Are we talking about an exchange of value application or some other form of utility?”). It also comes up in the unresolved conversation about how the blockchain industry should be regulated. Stakeholders that look at the blockchain industry through a store-and-transfer-of-value lens will often favor the regulation of cryptocurrency in one way. Others consider the blockchain industry as not just about storing and transferring value but also about blockchain’s utility as an application platform, and typically favor different forms of regulation.