It is amazing to watch all the influencer wannabes circle like vultures, trying to monetize Blockchain. It is never clear to me how intelligent people can miss the point on how disruptive technologies mature in the marketplace.
Blockchain is being touted as a “revolutionary technology,” and I agree. But unfortunately, most truly revolutionary ideas follow a destructive path ultimately becoming a low cost, widely available commodity. Grand inventions like radio and the Internet, true disruptive technologies, were generally greeted with distrust at first but then complete adoption. This happens even when artificial market forces like government licensure, monopoly and regulation try to put these revolutionary technologies in the hands of a cloistered few.
Take word processors. There were dozens of them in the 80s and 90s: Wordstar, Volkswriter, MultiMate, etc. But in the end it was a battle between two operating system companies, Novell’s WordPerfect and Microsoft’s Word. And today we have really only one option: Word. I am not suggesting that people didn’t profit from the early days of the word processor revolution, but today most of us shell out a few bucks a month for Office 365, and it is pretty much your only choice.
Along similar lines, Blockchain technology is destined to become a pseudo-monopolistic commodity like telecom or electricity. And one that is very likely to become regulated by Governments with a capital G. Why? Because given Blockchain’s threat to major parts of the F.I.R.E. Economy (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Education), there is no doubt that many corporations are using their lobbying arms to codify lines and lines of regulation to keep Blockchain at bay and maintain their market share.
So what is the next big thing? Not Blockchain, because it is pretty clear that this technology will be highly regulated within the next few years. We will most likely be using Amazon.com or Apples’s Blockchain technology or both. And we can practically count on monopolistic government intervention. So when I see my colleagues flutter like moths to the flame around Blockchain, hoping to get some small piece of the pie, I wonder why they are missing the real revolution.
Blockchain will not be the next big thing.
It will have a role, but the real winner in the next decade will be encrypted P2P global mesh networking. There really isn’t a sonorous name for it yet. Maybe we can call it the global datastream. Its low cost to entry, its greater security, and most of all its decentralized model of control will flourish. Blockchain will definitely play a key role in its infrastructure, like TCP/IP did with the Internet, but the implications of this global mesh datastream are much grander than Blockchain’s will ever be.