Will blockchain/crypto be like the Dot-Com Bubble that eventually (after the crash and rebuilding phase) propelled us into the days of using the internet in everyday life? The short answer is… Yes. Blockchain technology is superior to the centralized technology we are using right now. I’m going to explain the reasons why this technology is the future, regardless of government regulation and tax laws. This becomes clear when drawing comparisons to the time when people were questioning, and soon after, mass adopting the internet.
Blockchain Technology and The Problems it Solves
There are many problems that blockchain technology solves, but before we go into these problems it is important to understand the different sectors of blockchain technology.
You have probably heard this term thrown around, and it stands for Decentralized Finance. It’s a very broad term for anything related to finances that is run on the blockchain.
DeFi is superior to Centralized Finance (CeFi) like Chase, Bank of America, etc. because of the user’s ability to have complete control over their own assets. If you want to borrow money from a bank, you need proof of identity, a credit check, and likely some kind of income verification. But with DeFi, a customer can often be anonymous and keep their personal information and identity a secret. The only thing you usually need is a crypto wallet. DeFi replaces your banking institution with a line of code called a smart contract. No middle man.
This is the big one that most people in the world have heard about.As of 2021, it is estimated there are over 300 million crypto users worldwide.You can classify certain parts of cryptocurrency “DeFi” but as a whole, they are two separate things. Bitcoin, for example, is a store of value similar to fiat currency, that operates on its own blockchain.
Cryptocurrency can do a lot of things so much better than fiat currency.Ethereum layer 2 solutions promise 100,000 transactions per second, essentially without any fees. Mastercard (a centralized entity) claims it can handle only 5,000 per second. Mastercard also has the ability to cancel your transactions, delay them, and add extra fees. With crypto, all of these problems go away. Perhaps the biggest positive to cryptocurrency, that I do not see enough people talking about, is its ability to fight corruption. Not only does crypto require transparency (everyone can see everything that happens on the blockchain), but it fights purposeful inflation.The U.S., for example, is in debt over $30 trillion.This debt does not change with inflation, so if the U.S were to do something like purposely crash the value of the dollar then, what do you know? The U.S just paid off twenty percent of its debt without spending a dime. Just an example, of course. This problem is completely solved by crypto because there is no centralized entity. No one can pump massive amounts of Bitcoin into the markets without mining it first, unlike the U.S Government who can print money at will, crumbling the U.S Dollar along the way. Cryptocurrency is not yet a hedge against inflation, but once it is mass adopted by the world it will be. The price is affected by not only the U.S economy, but every major economy in the world.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible-Token. It is on the blockchain, just like cryptocurrency, all of the data is available to the public so nothing can be hidden or “messed with”. Recently, we have seen many NFT projects release digital art, but NFT’s can come in many forms like music, video, trading cards, moments, memes, virtual fashion, video game items and a lot more. Simply put, NFT’s give you the ability to have true ownership of something online, which was previously not possible. “I see all of these profile pictures of NFT’s on Twitter. Can’t I just screen shot them?” Well technically, yes you can. But you wouldn’t actually own the token as your screen shot image doesn’t connect to the blockchain in any way.
NFT’s give the artist a direct way to get artwork, whatever form that may be, to their fans directly. The need for a middle man, like a record label, is eliminated. NFT’s are also easily transferable through NFT marketplaces. Ownership of a piece of art has never been able to move this fast.
There are many other classifications of things that can be made or built on the blockchain, but these are the main things that I will be talking about in this article. There are hundreds of subtopics that go into each of these three categories that make them what they are.
The Internet and The Problems it Solved
The internet was originally released in 1983, but was extremely limited. We are talking about the 1995-2000 “Heat up” so to speak, a time when everyone was excited and talking about the internet. Companies were also getting ridiculous evaluations on the worth of their companies, which led to the actual Dot-Com Bubble that eventually, as all bubbles do… popped. Although it popped, that time propelled us into the ages of the internet. Everyone was trying to get in on the internet. When everyone is trying to get in on something new, it leads to mass innovation and shortly after, mass adoption. The technology becomes superior. Now that we have addressed the problems that crypto solves, here are a few of the major problems that the internet solved.
Before the days of the internet, were the days of the encyclopedia. The days of phone books. And of course, if you want to go one step further, which I almost always do, the days of propaganda. With no way of connecting to the other side of the world or to other communities, it was extremely easy for governments to spread propaganda without anyone even questioning the information. Anyone can look up and learn almost anything.
Democratization of Commerce
The internet gives the little guy, with no capital backing, the ability to compete. Globalization became accessible to every entrepreneur. E-Commerce has changed the world in a lot of good ways. Yes, it does damage small businesses, but Walmart does too.
The internet gives you the ability to connect with people around the world at any time. Instagram, Reddit, MySpace? This one is obvious.
Blockchain Usage and Interest Compared to the Early Internet
In 1995, the beginning of the Dot-Com run up, Internet usage was at a global all-time high, but still wasn’t as popular as you might think. There were only 25 million users in the U.S and 2 million in Japan, which was the second biggest country in internet user base. In 1995, it is estimated there were less than 32 million users worldwide. By 2000, this had increased colossally with 361 million internet users worldwide. We have seen something similar to this happening in blockchain technologies. From 2011 to 2013, there were less than 1 million blockchain wallets. Now, in 2022, there are over 80 million active blockchain wallets (See chart below).
Figure 1. Adoption rates of cryptocurrencies and Internet.
The similarities do not only lie in the usage of both of these technologies, but also in the value. You can see in the chart below that Bitcoin’s price has been very similar to the NASDAQ price evaluation of the Dot-Com Era. See the chart below.
Figure 2. Bitcoin Price History vs NASDAQ Tech Bubble
They called it the Dot-Com Bubble, but within 15 years everything was recovered. If you would have bought those tech stocks at the bottom after the bubble you would be rich today. Did you guys know that crypto is hitting all-time lows right now? Use this history lesson and do your own research into the opportunities that could arise from this.
With technology comes opportunity. In 1995 there were 23,500 websites. (The year before that, there were only 2,738 websites) by 2000 there were 17,000,000. Similarly, in 2013 there were only 66 cryptocurrencies and today, there are almost 11,000 cryptocurrencies. This does not account for most NFT projects. According to a Morningstar analysis of data from CoinGecko, the market capitalization of crypto now sits around $2.1 trillion. That is still a relatively small industry compared to the tech. industry sitting at $5.2 trillion. One thing to keep in mind if you are interested in starting a crypto project is the marketing of the project. It is the key step to getting any project off the ground. Connect Crypto Marketing is one such specialised agency, they have worked with some of the biggest names in crypto such as Stake and Kucoin. If you are interested in starting your own project then speaking to an industry specialist such as Connect should be one of your first moves.
What Will the Future of Blockchain Technology Look Like?
As this article has explained, blockchain technology is looking similar to the early days of the internet. That being said, in those early days of the internet no one could have predicted what the internet is today. I have no idea what the future of this industry will look like. However, I do know that there are teams all around the world, working day and night, on what they think will revolutionize whatever space it is that they are aiming to change.
In a time where a lot of projects are pushing everything out too soon, rushed and mostly for cash grabs, I got a chance to speak to one of the Blockchain Architects of a true and honest project. Adam Roorda has been involved in cryptocurrency development for over 13 years. Currently, he is part of a project (LITH Token) aiming to revolutionize NFT marketplaces, NFT technology, fix problems with ESG ratings, and many other things related to blockchain technology.
“I see blockchain becoming more user friendly and it will allow users to own their own data which will be the backbone of any data transaction. This allows for machine learning, artificial intelligence and other types of data science to operate on the blockchain infrastructure. This provides a decentralized control factor instead of a few centralized parties who control and profit off of your data. I also see augmented reality, virtual reality and real life coming together in an automated fashion. Things that you purchase in the metaverse, you will also purchase in real life.”
Legal disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor