First came Bitcoin, then blockchains arrived. Cryptocurrencies and decentralized protocols followed.
Now, the ICOs are coming. And the ICO funds are also arriving. And a crash will be forthcoming.
To paraphrase Clay Shirky’s famous book title, Here Comes Everybody, a moniker describing how crowds form online as quickly as wildfire.
New tokens are being listed every week. Dozens of startups are planning their ICO’s, and funds that specialize in these tokens are feeding the investment and speculation frenzy. Even websites offer out-the-box services to create, promote, run and list your ICO with, describing the process to being as easy as microwave cooking.
The regulators are watching, mostly without taking harmful actions (so far), which is interpreted positively by startups who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Let’s do more. The door is open, and no one is shutting it….
The more we link our bank accounts to external services and applications, the more we realize that we are living in a world of decentralized banking.
The trend has started, and it is more than anecdotal because it’s happening frequently and with greater impact.
Here are some examples:
Linking your Eventbrite event lets you get paid immediately into your bank account.
Linking a Bitcoin account lets you move money around the world in less than 10 mins at the cost of pennies in fees, and then you can transfer the money back and forth to your bank account. Actually, here’s an example of a Bitcoin exchange (QuadrigaCX) that provides 9 ways to fund an account via various deposit methods, and 11 ways to withdraw money. Many of these are to/from a bank account, and several of them are free….
For every day that passes, I see more and more analogies between the Internet’s early years and today’s status with the blockchain’s evolution. In 1994, when the web came along, websites were the novelty, and up until about 1998, we kept lists of Fortune 500 companies with or without websites. It took about three years before most companies were on-board. Then, many of these early sites were criticized for being just glorified brochures or information sheets, and we looked to Amazon as one of the few companies that actually conducted business on the Internet.
Fast forward to 2015. The blockchain is the new website. Yes, blockchains are geeky, (and the challenge is to take out that geekiness), but fairly soon, every company will have a blockchain, or be on a blockchain, or several ones, just as organizations are involved in many websites today.
Why is the blockchain like a website, and what’s the novelty that blockchains bring to companies, individuals, society and governance?…