A conveyer belt with objects is used to demonstrate blockchain technology at the IBM booth at CES 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images
Why the World Still Loves Blockchain
After hype comes adoption, the future still doesn't know what blockchain can be.
Melanie Mohr BlockedUnblockFollowFollowing
The Foreboding Sense of Possibility
Imagine a world, where every asset will be tokenized? Imagine too a world where decentralized governance and distribution compliments technology to make the world a more compassionate and less corrupt place.
Imagine a world without intrusive ads, pyramid structures, institutionalized inequality and legacy frameworks of power imbalances in business.
Blockchain promises all of this, and more.
Imagine a world where businesses openly ask themselves
- Does a project need Blockchain?
- Does it need a token?
- How decentralized is our approach going to be?
Radical Decentralization is Radical Honesty
And then are fully transparent with their community, the world and their business model. In the debate now in 2019 between ICOs and STOs we are missing the reason why blockchain is important.
ICOs provide a go-to-market strategy that's more with the people, and as such, more attuned to the customer experience.
STOs provide a context for security, control, regulation and the protection of the investor without the benefits of the decentralized crowd-sourcing.
Blockchain is the technology and distributed ledger technology that's still very early, still very much evolving that businesses are adopting to do things better not just "back-end", but in how the world and the internet works on its fundamental levels.
Beyond just "Better Money"
Bitcoin might not be the final version of "better money" for a more global world. But Blockchain, could still be better accounting for a more automated world with artificial intelligence and a better emphasis on security, privacy and distributed freedom for the generations to come.
Crypto is not just a revolution we need, but an alternative of how cryptoeconomics can compliment the global economy that's not winning for everyone. A capitalism that isn't empowering everyone. A system of regulation that favors the few at the top.
Blockchain in this sense is political, just as crypto represents a freedom from economic slavery, control and aspects of banking and government that people no longer trust. Blockchain done right, is a society of higher trust, distributed opportunity and data transparency.
Blockchain needs to be re-explained, re-implemented, re-conceived until we get it right. Crypto needs to be reborn until scalability, decentralization, app-engagement and dApps are fully mature to benefit consumers, investors and participants in the best possible combination of all worlds. It's 2019, this may take some time.
Blockchain is a Historical Paradigm of Technological Evolution
There is no end of hype or failure for a technology with as much potential as Blockchain. It would be as if we gave up on "artificial intelligence" just because we realized AGI might not occur in our lifetime. That's not how human progress works.
Blockchain is not a magical process, it is a human technology fraught with very complex and mundane obstacles. Altcoins and blockchain startups are very early teams of humans seeking to make a better world with something so new, that we don't even maybe understand the full implications of it on the internet and what we as people will become in a more distributed and decentralized world.
Blockchain's real benefits are only just beginning. We are entering not just a crypto era, or blockchain age, but a time when decentralization is being seen as complimentary to a overly centralized world, and not simply as an axis of how things ought to be done.
ICOs and STOs can coexist, startups require different approaches, not everyone can actually manifest decentralized governance, products that embody the soul of blockchain or technology that is scalable and really utilizes dApps effectively.
Blockchain as Beyond Duality
Blockchain is not an if or not scenario, crypto is not black or white, and innovation is not up or down.
The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.
Yet we still don't realize the use cases that will prevail, we only get hints of how the world needs to change. As entrepreneurs, developers and communities of investors we get excited about the human potential in blockchain. And, rightfully so!
Nakamoto described the method for which the cryptocurrency would be traded from one bitcoin owner to another. But these methods, wallets, experiences online and frameworks are multiplying, what decentralization meant in 2016, is different from what it means in 2019 and will be again different in our conception of it in 2022.
Unlike cloud-based computing, which depends on a centralized database, on blockchain --- peers, nodes and more elegant designs are used. Transactions that feel right, organic, more natural and more authentic. There is a sense among young people that decentralization embodies the spirit of more shared experiences, more direction transactions, in more honest networks, that can result in more freedom.
The World Believes in Blockchain because...
The world still loves blockchain, inspite of the bad press, or Ad-bans, or what banking executives might say. The world doesn't just love blockchain because its some shiny, new or hyped up thing, we love it because it enables technology bring about change that the world badly needs.
Blockchain's use cases expands each year well beyond the underpinnings of cryptocurrency transactions or tokenization --- though they are as exciting as any. Blockchain champions an architecture of trust in a world of mistrust.
Like so many other emerging technologies that have risen to the pantheon of global "game-changer" status, a 10-year anniversary of Bitcoin makes us wonder where we are heading in a world so seemly at odds with actually changing for the better.
We've been hardwired by evolution to think of economic transactions as deals with heady concrete things like barter, rather than as abstract objects involved in a mutually reinforcing peer-to-peer network of symbolic connection. But as humanity evolves, and as the internet evolves, it will need blockchain more than ever to embody what transactions and communities could become for generations to come.
This is the first in a series on blockchain's possibilities, follow me for more articles like this in the weeks to come.