by Thomas Carter
Blockchain technology saw exponential growth in 2019, unprecedented adoption and interest by governments and institutions around the world validating its utility.
But here’s where things get really interesting from an investor’s perspective. 2020 is indeed shaping up to be the tipping point towards the widespread adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
From a global macro level, the stage is set.
“At the end of the ICO craze in 2018 what was apparent was that raising capital with digital tokens was efficient and viable. What also became apparent was that regulatory oversight was badly needed. What we are seeing now is that the regulatory framework is evolved and the infrastructure is in place. For those who can see the perfect storm of indicators going into 2020, it’s game on.”
With core infrastructure being built out across the planet, enterprise investment and regulatory pathways being defined the stage are set for 2020 to be the year for mass adoption of blockchain technology.
“With blockchain tech and cryptocurrency, we aren’t dealing with a typical market adoption learning curve. Bitcoin was born of iconoclastic ideas and philosophy. If you were a technologist and you resonated with the philosophy behind Bitcoin, then you would figure out how to use it. In other words, user-friendliness wasn’t ever a consideration until now and that was mostly on purpose.”
Key 1 – The Fat Protocol & Next Generation Blockchains
Joel Monegro’s Fat Protocol thesis describes how the value of blockchain technology is based on an opposite paradigm to the way value was created via the internet over the past couple of decades.
The protocol layer of the internet (HTTP, FTP, SMTP, etc) which is the technology that provides the underlying mechanics for websites, file transfers, and email isn’t where the value was created.
Instead, the apps that used the protocols (Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc) were the winners.
Thus, the “thin protocol” designation.
In the Blockchain ecosystem, we see the inverse is true where value creation will be realized by the market cap of the underlying blockchain protocol as opposed to the apps being built on it.
In other words, the value in the Ethereum blockchain can be expected to be more than the dApps (decentralized apps) being built on it. Fat Protocol.
This thesis holds true only if the blockchain in question has solved the TPS (transactions per second) or throughput problem.
First and second-generation blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on consensus mechanisms that put a huge drag on transaction speed making them unviable by enterprise adoption standards.
Third-generation blockchain is all about increasing transaction speed without compromising the security, immutability and distribution of the chain.
To solve the TPS problem, various new consensus mechanisms are being developed along with sidechain technology.
Sidechains are a separate and parallel data layer that off-loads some of the data from the mainchain thereby reducing the amount and frequency of needing to wait for consensus confirmation.
Gorbyte’s GNodes system eliminates the need for miners which has been the traditional bottleneck for TPS.
George Gilder, a legend in tech and economic circles and author of Wealth and Poverty was the guiding light for Regan’s economic policies which ignited the rise of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from roughly 800 in 1979 to where it is today and he predicted much of the ubiquitous tech in use today years before it existed in his books: Microcosm, Telecosm, Life After Television, and The Silicon Eye.
In this latest book, Life After Google – Gilder coins the term “The Cryptocosm”, to describe the emerging wave of innovative blockchain-based technology companies who are not just bringing paradigm-shifting solutions to the market — but redefining the market itself.
Gilder recently had this to say about DealBox security token issuer Giuseppe Gori in this latest newsletter.
“With Reinventing the Blockchain Gori becomes the reigning prophet of the next phase of the Cryptocosm, and Cryptocosmic investment.”
“Gori is the tribune of a new generation of blockchain inventors and their companies.”
Giuseppe’s company Gorbyte has built a blockchain that is faster and vastly more scalable than Bitcoin. It’s easier and more affordable for running smart contract applications than Ethereum.
Key 2 – Usability
One final problem needs to be solved – usability.
Market research shows that newcomers to the world of blockchain/cryptocurrency are intimidated by the technology.
Highly technical concepts such as addresses and public-private key encryption are not inherently intuitive and equate to a cumbersome cognitive load for most crypto-curious consumers.
Note, that addresses and public-private key encryption are in fact core conceptual requirements for using cryptocurrency in any capacity and as such comprise the onboarding gateway for the billions of new users forecasted to enter the market.
New users get stuck at the front door on basic concepts is a huge problem for adoption. How do we solve that problem? Focusing on simplicity and usability for a digital wallet designed for new cryptocurrency users seems to be a logical solution to the usability barrier to widespread adoption.
Blockchain is different from the traditional internet in that it incorporates a shared data layer rather than data being siloed and monetized by companies like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc.,
For those companies, the better model would compensate the users for creating the content and empower them to take their content elsewhere if a better deal became available. With data decentralized, security would be much better and privacy would be better protected.
That’s exactly what a decentralized application built on an open data protocol would do. And the compensation of the users is what a native cryptocurrency token would satisfy in this new business model.
Why isn’t this being done en masse? Bitcoin is now over a decade old. Bitcoin miners have been incentivized by receiving tokens and that is precisely why Bitcoin works as well as it does. The model is proven.
Actually, a number of entrepreneurs have tried. Steem is like a decentralized Reddit with a token incentive model and it has been chugging along for some time.
There are 150 + decentralized apps in the Blockstack app store and a similar thriving ecosystem can be found on Ethereum.
We know that TPS/scalability has been a problem but there is a second key component and that is usability.
Usability for blockchain is in dire need of refactoring. No matter how amazing technology is if it is hard to use, people simply won’t use it. More accurately, if they can’t figure out how to use it – they can’t use it.
We now have scalability solved with next-generation blockchains like Gorbyte and a consortium of other ventures are now working together on a shared vision to improve blockchain usability called “Make Crypto Easy”.
The Make Crypto Easy consortium venture members are focused on solving usability issues in 4 areas of user blockchain user-experience: Transactions, Identity, Education and Digital Banking.
To learn more about the ventures and groundbreaking technology spearheading this initiative please visit http://www.makecryptoeasy.io/
As blockchain technology and the verifiable distributed trust it confers continue to reshape the world of finance that directly impacts the fundamental ways we all transact online.
Addressing the 2 Key issues of scalability and usability will remove the final friction points to widespread user adoption.
With the pace of progress being made by the ventures mentioned above as well as by other projects in the crypto space, 2020 is likely to be the tipping point for massive disruption and opportunity.
Thomas Carter, founder and CEO of DealBox, Inc; read about Thomas: “This FinTech Veteran Is Making Cryptocurrency Startup Funding Legitimate“; connect on LinkedIn and Instagram.