I want to preface this by saying that I am very passionate about blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. They have the potential to disrupt any industry that employs the use of a trusted middleman and give direct control back to the end user. However, as with any technological revolution and the paradigm shift that comes along with it, there is a process of trial and error. What works and what does not. And we are currently in that phase with blockchain technologies. 99% of the market are fueled by pure speculation. There are no fully functional blockchain products that are able to cater to the demands of the masses. Blockchains must be cheaper, quicker, easier to use and just as scalable, if not more so, than the current systems in place. No blockchain project has provably accomplished this feat…..yet.
The yet-to-be-seen potential of blockchain
The advent of the internet was the technological revolution of the 90’s. The industrial revolution of the late 18th century. These quantum leaps in human ability and achievement change our entire reality and disrupt almost every established industry. They change the way we travel, interact, communicate, do business with each other, even think. Everything we once knew is flipped on its head and life gets enhanced, making things alot easier and more efficient. No different is the advent of blockchain technology where the element of trust is all of the sudden put into the hands of objective numbers and computers. Blockchain is the first step at putting trust into computers. Sounds kinda scary and I would say that it is. Rest assured though, the times of skynet and terminators are far off and unless we develop ways of preventing self-aware robots from becoming a reality, then we should be safe. But let’s be real, what are the chances of that?! Anyways, I digress.
Blockchain technology is still very much so in its infancy. Blockchains are slow, user unfriendly, unscalable, and expensive. For example, DApps developed on ethereum require the end user to first purchase ethereum and then pay a transaction fee every time they do something in the DApp. On the other hand, EOS requires developers to purchase very expensive RAM to develop a DApp while the users get free transactions…..only after the user buys some EOS, downloads an EOS wallet from github, creates a key pair and sends EOS to that key pair. Not to appealing to the average consumer who could care less about decentralization. The point being that blockchain tech needs to mature before actual mainstream adoption occurs. UI is going to be of the utmost importance and so will governance. A blockchain that solves a massive real-world problem, finds a balance between decentralization and governance whilst providing speed, scalability, cost effectiveness, and an all around smooth user experience will be the blockchain that rises above them all.
2018 was an extremely progressive year for blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a whole. Many leaps in innovation were made and blockchain is entering the global consciousness more and more everyday. The question of mass adoption is when, not if it happens. I most certainly see this happening very soon, but as things stand at the present moment, the blockchain space still has some growing pains to get through.
The Current State of the Blockchain Space was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.