First lets agree on a few basics, the blockchain is not only a means for logging financial transfers of a cryptocoin; some examples of broader uses here.
Crypto coins are currency, stock and asset, with their value controlled by demand and supply (free market). Stocks, assets and currency in real life are heavily regulated, controlled and monitored.
In 2010 the hype was about SoLoMo, and it was difficult explaining to your elders or anyone outside the tech circle why you needed to check-in to foursquare and tell the world where you’ve been. In 2012 the hype kicked off on AR/VR, people were getting dizzy, virtual game worlds got super popular and your grandpa had no idea why you can’t just go out to talk to normal people instead.
…and the list goes on.
The common factor to all these technologies: the hyped calmed down and got to business. Location based technology has come a long way with billboards now able to collect real-time data and serve targeted ads. Augmented reality (and virtual reality) have gone beyond gimmicky advertising to medical surgeries and immersive audience experiences.
Does your grandpa ask about how all these things are served? No. Some basics should be universal, as everyone has the right to know what the future may look like, and on what principals it will operate. But let’s cut the technical jargon from mass media please.
Blockchain vs Bitcoin
Did you know, that a blockchain can do much more than record bitcoin (and others) movements?
In 2013, the conversation around bitcoins started to take center stage for many of us “geeks”. I clearly remember a night hosted at Dubai International Financial Center hosted by The Online Project (shout-out to Ola Doudin, David El Achkar and Zafer Younis), where global bitcoin leaders came to discuss the future impact of the technology with bankers, brokers and financial consultants. It sounded like the apocalypse to everyone in the field, lots of skepticism on this “coin” and who’s behind toppling the world order. However the real message was: The coin is not the key, the blockchain is.
In my humble opinion, there are two futures for the cryptocoins:
I don’t think ICOs are going away, but they will become more structured and targeted. Startups and companies will never miss an opportunity to raise funds. However ICOs will not replace traditional venture capital (smart money), as what you get from them is far from just money in the bank, but also the experience, support and network.
Over the next few 18–24 month we’ll see some big public offerings burst (and ponzi schemes revealed), more accountability and demand for insurances in raising capital. We will probably also see more traditional investors (VCs) utilizing ICOs to raise funds for their own investments.
Most people will pay for your service or product in their respective currency, your system will token-ize that value and run the service as needed (Yes, no one is buying a coin just to use your service). The average consumer will not need to know how, where and why. Your system will need to be optimized for the customer’s most seamless experience and your products best productivity. In this case the coin / token is a verification component that helps the founder optimize their product.
The future is for the practical
The future is seamless and secure (hopefully). When the hype calms, the conversation will return to developers and product developers to discuss the importance of distributed ledger technologies (blockchain) in improving their products. Whether securing their verification systems, payments and unified access, or coming up with creative new adaptations. It will die down from the media and move to the drawing broad. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
No offense to all the grandparents that are trading, mining and investing in crypto currency. Regardless of your age spectrum, chances are you’re the plugged in minority.