When Bitcoin (BTC) was launched in 2009, it was driven by distrust of financial institutions, their fees, and the inflationary practices of central banks during the Great Recession. Bitcoin ushered in an era of decentralization, economic integration, and democratization.
However, more than a decade later, as bitcoin prices rise, we see the digital asset stored in large central financial institutions, risking the principles behind its creation. Bitcoin is now under threat of its dominance in financial inclusion – exactly the kind of institutions that innovators wanted to avoid in the beginning.
Related: Why Institutions Suddenly Offer Something With Bitcoin
Meanwhile, in the context of other potential blockchain applications that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built on, Big Tech has matured in the middle as many have seen the challenges of restricting competition and abuse of power that comes with scale. Issues such as economic and financial controls, privacy, misinformation, and general user use are symptoms of the structures we have left extremely powerful.
This is 2021 and we never risk delivering on the implementation promise that these technologies will make possible. While the community has been interested in cryptocurrency profits, we have an opportunity to add value to the industry. The potential lies not in the market value of cryptocurrencies today, but in the billions of users and trillions of dollars in market potential, which is the true promise of this technology.
Skepticism is trending
As an entrepreneur involved in the latest Internet breakthrough, I have played a role in one of the most dominant classes of the Internet: social media. As a co-founder of LinkedIn, I am amazed at the kind of idealism that has permeated the Internet 1.0 era, but I also see a gap between those who practice this new art and those who have not yet experienced its benefits, and I question its existence.
Cryptography and blockchain remained in their infancy for many years after their creation. There are several hundred million Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) wallets, while the Internet has 4.7 billion users. Even with the optimistic assumption of 250 million wallets and one user per wallet, the cryptocurrency user base is only 5% of internet users. The recent rise in cryptocurrency market capitalization to $ 1 trillion represents only 1% of the total market value of the world’s stock markets, which is $ 90 trillion. Unfortunately, the adoption of most blockchain projects today is still limited, and tokens are the subject of volatile speculation.
With the exception of Bitcoin, which has been finally approved by the experts, and the decentralized economy, which in its current state of speculation is capable of demonstrating true value, this community knows its fair share of skeptics. The mainstream continues to question whether cryptography and blockchain are solutions for finding problems, when centralized solutions seem to work well on a large scale. The industry has not yet captured the imagination of ordinary people and has not shown signs of mass adoption.
When I set ideals aside, I believe that decentralized technology can solve the vexing problems of big technology and the economy in the coming years. To do this, we must take a more pragmatic and business-oriented approach to our industry. This way of thinking can conflict with the sensitivity of our entrepreneurs in society. I’ve seen a lot of efforts that didn’t work on generic companion products. We also don’t measure success when it comes to traditional key metrics like product market adaptation, user base, or revenue. We are still talking about utopian beliefs and the scale of our societies, which speculate in symbols but don’t use them most of the time.
He is liked by the general public, not just enthusiasts
As an industry, we must work with solutions that reach a mass segment, with a focus on apps or decentralized apps. We must discover applications before investing too much in infrastructure projects that are widespread in the ecosystem.
Today the world’s largest companies offer applications to end users, not infrastructure providers. Take a look at the top 50 internet companies: almost all of them offer solutions for a large routed user market with a large active user base. Moreover, for those providing infrastructure solutions, they were the first to bring applications to market. Only after these applications reach a certain scale do these companies offer infrastructure tools.