It works like this: after the sinking, the Radio Ship Act of 1912 was passed, which legislated on improving radio transmissions from seagoing ships. This in turn prompted the invention of an improved radio compass, which then gave rise to modern aviation landing systems.
The sinking of Bitcoin looks more or less the same way. And the naysayers don’t help the general sentiment much.
Opponents make up the other side of this tragic story: people who get a thrill from throwing bitcoin into the earth every time it falters. In all, bitcoin’s obituary has been written over 400 times, yet the digital currency continues to surprise us.
Those naysayers are having a field day now that the global value of cryptocurrencies has dropped below $ 1 trillion (R17.3 trillion). They sound a lot like Clifford Stoll’s article in Newsweek in 1995 where he tried to convince everyone that the Internet was as dead as the Titanic.
The first paragraph of that article will make some modern readers laugh: pretty much everything it says is “nonsense” on the Internet in that paragraph has since come true.
It is true that the dot-com crash of the 2000s was merciless in mowing down one tech company after another. But it’s also true that many concepts invented before that crash – “VoIP, eCommerce, big data and web experience” – now drive today’s tech giants.
And Amazon, one of the most powerful companies in the world, was forged in that crucible.
The strong survive: a sentiment shared by many in the crypto space. The larger crypto ecosystem becomes stronger with each crisis, and the players who survive are the ones who can be trusted.
Relentless innovation, countless investment opportunities
Today we are with cryptocurrencies at the point where the Internet was in 1999. The constant headlines of bitcoin’s immersion in the agonies of what appear to be its final agonies read a bit like a Stephen King horror novel.
But what those on the sidelines often fail to recognize is that cryptocurrency and the broader ecosystem are. much more than just bitcoin or the price of a token.
Investing in cryptocurrencies does not begin and end with the digital currencies themselves.
Public equities and private equity open up a myriad of opportunities that are less risky than bitcoin and potentially more predictable in their performance.
Under bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is blockchain technology, just like under Twitter, Amazon, Shopify and every online service is the internet itself, the same internet whose demise was so terribly predicted in 1995 in Newsweek. The internet never went away, not even through that dot-com bubble. And the blockchain will never go away because too much innovation and too many companies invest in it.
Innovations in blockchain could fill a book …
NFTs – non-fungible tokens that are entirely unique and have no possible duplicates – are now used as event tickets.
A company in the UK is using blockchain technology to create transparency in the UK’s broken renewable energy certificate (REC) market. At the moment, there is no way to say precisely how much energy a home with solar panels returns to the UK grid, potentially penalizing high producers. By equipping those panels with special gauges connected to a blockchain, it is possible to provide an immutable and transparent view of this problem.
A similar company exists in Australia where solar panel owners can sell excess energy to their neighbors.
The metaverse and the blockchain are practically inextricable. Nike has released a sneaker model that will have a double digital like NFT in the metaverse.
Tokenized real estate completely changes the playing field of ownership, allowing people by any means to own a real estate and easily transfer it to another. As blockchains are immutable and transparent, deeds and titles could become digital in nature and ownership will always be clear.
Insurance products use smart contracts.
The Brave Privacy Browser uses blockchain technology to bring privacy back to users and puts the power of the advertiser back in the user’s hands.
Some of the biggest ripples are created by Web 3.0 technology, a new version of the internet that runs entirely on blockchain. Web3 also allows users to store huge amounts of files online, fully encrypted and spread across millions of computers. Although Web3 is only in its infancy, one estimate estimates its potential market size in trillions of dollars by 2030.
Kodak uses blockchain to protect the copyrights of images. IBM played a leading role in its Enterprise Blockchain solutions and helped food company Kroger implement blockchain in its food handling procedures. Microsoft helped shipping company Maersk create a blockchain-based marine insurance platform.
Intel Senior Vice President Raja M Koduri announced in February that he intends to “contribute to the development of blockchain technologies”.
Walmart, Daimler Truck AG, Ford Motor Company: the list of companies using blockchain could go on and on.
The evidence is clear and irrefutable: the blockchain is unstoppable. Whether this is bitcoin’s latest obituary is completely irrelevant in the larger scheme of things.
Market innovation and the altered financial ecosystem we now live with will remain forever regardless of whether bitcoin lives or dies.
And the investment opportunities that the door opens to are immense.
* R Paulo Delgado is a cryptocurrency writer with an eye for the bizarre and human stories behind the ever-fascinating leaps and stumbles of this new asset class.