In a number of interviews I’ve had recently the same question came up: What is the future of cryptocurrency? It’s an intriguing question and I can only earnestly approach it with my community expertise. In my opinion, there won’t be a single “a-ha!” moment for crypto.
Disruptive systems, particularly the ones that occupy similar spaces as institutions yet untouched by technology, cause friction. Disruption is uncomfortable for people – it creates uncertainty and potentially requires one to adjust. For many, this disruption and lack of familiarity make them suspicious of and slow to accept new technologies.
Generally speaking, we can approximate disruption by weighing the significance of a new thing over time. The more significant something is over a shorter period of time, the more disruptive it will be. With that said, the longer something is around the easier it is for people to accept – it appears less disruptive.
The incredibly disruptive nature of blockchain technology, in my opinion, means that it will likely need a fair amount of time before it becomes ubiquitous. It is still very young. Again, this is why I doubt a single moment we can point to as the marker for crypto-success.
I realize I’m not the only person who says this – indeed, many blockchain technology leaders have surmised as much. Interestingly, it follows a formula that dates back for as long as humans have existed.
Remember when the internet was dismissed? When television was bemoaned? When radio, the telegraph, and railroads elicited the loudest eschatological cries? Or how about when even the written word sent shock waves through society?
All of the examples above were highly disruptive because of their immediacy in upending the status quo. Their integration into everyday life required time. While every new technology has important milestones in their development and deployment, to say a single moment can define success is too reductive.