The field of finance is extremely tribal and opinionated, with its squabbling groups entrenched in their ideals. Have you ever tried to change a friend’s or family member’s mind about the legitimacy of blockchain technology or Ethereum/Bitcoin/Polkadot/Stellar/Insert Coin? You probably were not able to. We’re currently in something of a Holy War where the different tribes have deep seated unchanging beliefs about what finance is and can be.
For me- I’m on a group chat with a few guys- I have a friend named Rocky who is a crypto pessimist- he sees no intrinsic value in the technology and thinks that technology is being invented just for technology’s sake- and he could be right. Despite my other friend who is a crypto bull like me (Brian) and I’s attempts to ridicule Rocky for being a fiat and commodities dinosaur, he won’t budge or invest in the asset class ( to be fair fiat and commodities have their uses and have made many a billionaire). If you don’t have someone like Rocky in your life, follow Peter Schiff on Twitter- a gold dinosaur who loves to hate on Bitcoin. Side note: it helps to not be an asshole when trying to change someone’s mind, something I can struggle with. Don’t burn bridges because you believe in this technology.
It’s going to feel really good and personally gratifying for all of us when the crypto asset class continues to keep exploding.
The wonderful thing about technology and blockchain in particular is that there aren’t very many hurdles for its development. Imagine if people were trying to declare a new fiat currency(‘fiat’ literally means ‘authoritative decree’) to be adopted in the UK over the Pound Sterling. Imagine entities as big as the US government trying to reform its healthcare system (you don’t need to imagine). The problem is that these things are heavily centralized and regulated, and it’s easier for them to face headwinds and be attacked from different angles.
Digital money and especially smart contracts are without so much historical precedent- the space is wide open. Hundreds of exchanges worldwide allow users to set up wallets and start playing the game. Vitalik and the creators of Ethereum are hard at work improving ETH’s gas fees and network, IOHK and Charles Hoskinson are working around the clock to ensure that the Goguen/Alonso smart contracts launch for Cardano rolls out smoothly. Stellar’s developers are focused on their mission to limit fees on remittances from people of richer nations sending money back to their families who still live in poorer nations. Plus crypto’s decentralized nature means there is no central entity for any government to attack- imagine if a nation banned all crypto- how would it be able to foster the resources to confiscate all hardware wallets, or even detect software wallets? The anonymized, decentralized nature of blockchain makes the direction of progress a one-way street: forward.
Why will it move forward? Because there is intrinsic value that blockchain technology provides. Money can be sent fast and anonymously- smart contracts can remove middlemen who slow up the pace of business with antiquated practices- the world’s unbanked can become banked, and have access to financing they have so desperately needed to propel their societies forward- and people will agree to value Bitcoin ubiquitously even if it has no intrinsic value at all, just like gold.
“At some point, it’s all going to just work- just like WiFi” is one of my favorite Charles Hoskinson (founder of Cardano and Ethereum) quotes. Given the one-way progress of blockchain adoption, and the fact that its development answers to no one government or central entity, it’s only a matter of time before it’s going to be everywhere you look, before the Pope even owns some, and the prices of BTC, ETH, and whatever other coins make it are moving across the electronic tickers in Times Square and on the tops of newspapers.