Prior to the development and mass adoption of the internet, many were skeptical of its capabilities and influence. In a 1995 Newsweek article, Clifford Stoll stated, “The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.” In his piece he declares with confidence that the “internet won’t change anything.” Little did he know it would change the world.
The rise of the internet was impressive; and, although Bitcoin may be behind the internet’s timeline relating to commercial use cases, it has already achieved comparable social functions. The current Bitcoin adoption rate has been outpacing the internet’s user growth rate. Nasdaq states that as of May 2021 the Bitcoin inflection point is similar to where the internet was in 1997. Bitcoin’s mass adoption rate exceeds the internet as well; the one billion user mark will be hit nearly two times faster than the internet did.
Crypto is “here to stay” says Rosenberg, who is the chief economist and strategist at Rosenberg Research & Associates Inc. Even Goldman Sachs’ top authority has argued that “cryptocurrencies and digital assets are going to be a permanent feature of banks and asset managers’ investment portfolios for the foreseeable future.” Furthermore, Matthew McDermott, the bank’s global head of digital assets, said that “cryptocurrencies have now passed a point of no return in terms of adoption as a store of value.” Cryptocurrency has an important function in capital markets; but, price charts of many cryptocurrencies indicate a bubble.
Mark Cuban admits that he believes the cryptocurrency market is bound to burst, but still crypto will survive. Mr. Cuban states “I think [Bitcoin], [Ether], a few others will be analogous to [companies] that were built during the dot-com era,” which “survived the bubble bursting and thrived.” According to Coinopsy, there are over 1,085 coins that have died already. If the crypto bubble does burst, more will evidently die off, and superior ones will remain. Some cryptocurrency companies may have to adapt via reorganization, new leadership, redefined business plans, or other such measures to be a player in the game.
Bitcoin, as compared to some other cryptocurrencies, is one of the cryptocurrencies that the majority believes will survive for various reasons. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are similar to the internet in the way that it develops. Just as the internet upgraded from ARPANET to dial up to broadband connections, crypto will evolve in the same way. It’s predicted that layer two and three solutions will develop along with related infrastructure; this technology development will push the cryptocurrency sector forward. Furthermore, bullish individuals believe that Bitcoin is a hedge against inflation and can survive an economic or infrastructure collapse.
One thing for sure is that blockchain is here to stay, regardless of a bursting, deflating, or inflating bubble. Mark Andreessen has named blockchain “the most important technology since the internet itself.” Furthermore, Alex Tapscott states that “blockchain technology represents the next generation of the internet.”
Blockchain in simple terms is a technology that records and tracks ownership. The blockchain ensurers verification of authenticity and is a decentralized digital ledger. Blockchain has Silicon Valley titans, entertainment leaders, and financial managers running to learn about the technology in an effort to get ahead. The technology has potential and has already begun to shape industries across sectors. Duncan Stewart, director of technology, media, and telecommunications research for Deloitte Toronto Canada, states that “blockchain will be widely used regardless of what happens to Bitcoin. Many companies are already using blockchain, not just in trials but in actual internal processes, (and) more of that will occur. In many applications it will become the new normal.”
“It’s very back-end, it’s difficult to demo or touch or feel, which makes it more challenging for people to wrap their heads around. It’s kind of like a database in some of its functions … but it essentially enables multiple stakeholders to transfer value or information amongst themselves in a way that is secure (and) transparent.”- Iliana Oris Valiente, head of Accenture’s blockchain division
One can’t turn a blind eye towards this new technology. Whether you like it or not, whether you can see it or not, blockchain is here to stay and contribute to applications of the future.
Blockchain has the potential to transform businesses and functioning in several ways. One way is it can contribute to a more seamless process of making payments. Secondly, blockchain technology will enable more efficient decentralized marketplaces, where businesses can list their goods or services with a small fee or no fee at all; this is in contrast to marketplaces like Amazon where intermediaries lead to higher costs. These are just a few examples of how blockchain technology can improve and transform businesses. Blockchain technology, though, goes far beyond just transforming businesses; its potential is exponential across industries. Clout and exposure to this tech has only just begun.
If you’re not familiar with blockchain technology, or even cryptocurrency, now is your chance to get ahead. Imagine it is 1990; you are sitting in a room reading the newspaper about the coming of the internet. You question, “huh, what is the In-Ter-Net?” But you know about it prior to its mass adoption. Knowing what you do now about its potential, what would you have done?
Well… lucky for you, you are currently in that room now.
Some investors relate the current adoption state of blockchain and cryptocurrencies to “being on the ground floor of Amazon in 1995.” Blockchain and cryptocurrency is the story of the internet all over again. History does in fact repeat itself and I only hope from this article that you can grasp that blockchain and crypto are the portal to the future.
In a 1918 speech by Nicholas Klein, American labor union advocate and attorney of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, he stated “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
*Disclaimer: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are risky and volatile investments. These comments above should not be perceived as investment advice.