Over the next span of time until 2030, there can hardly be any doubt that the blockchain industry will continue to raise massive amounts of capital and grow rapidly with new entrants rushing to join the crypto hashpower race and build up innovative new blockchains. Crypto startups are also racing to build out new supportive infrastructure to make crypto assets more practical, cost-effective, and truly disruptive at addressing their respective use cases. Look to the DeFi space for a coming technological revolution in lending and capital markets over peer-to-peer, decentralized finance networks. These developments will drive massive ROIs on a wide range of crypto assets.
Blockchain was first invented and deployed by Satoshi Nakamoto with the advent of Bitcoin in Jan 2009. It would be years before anyone outside a small community of mathematicians, cryptographers, software engineers, and anti-establishment cypherpunks would take notice. By the time the world’s mainstream journalists and politicians began to take notice of BTC returns on investment and Google search volume for “bitcoin price” that could not be ignored in 2017, most mainstream analysts and commentators regarded cryptocurrency as a flash in the pan bubble of over-enthusiasm for a class of securities they believed were highly dubious if not something positively nefarious or even criminal.
Microsoft Founder Bill Gates denies saying it, but in 1981 he reportedly predicted, “No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody.” He definitely said in 1983 of Microsoft’s future products that, “We will never make a 32-bit operating system.” In the early years of cryptocurrency, there were so many smart, well-educated, credibly reliable, and authoritative individuals declaring cryptocurrency to be an all-froth speculative bubble or dead end scam, that the industry began keeping track of these pronouncements in Bitcoin obituaries lists that have only grown funnier as time goes on.
But the days of blockchain ignorance, uncertainty, and doubt are falling quickly behind us in 2022, with an overall very promising medium to long term outlook for the appreciating value of a host of crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a fast-evolving field of Ethereum competitors in the NFTs and DeFi spaces. This is not only true of the cryptocurrency enthusiasts among blockchain’s early adopters. If the blockchain industry isn’t mainstream yet, it is mainstreaming rapidly among the investment class of incumbent financial institutions and their clients, as well as the software and big data incumbents, comprised of information technology workers with higher percentages of high income earners and high networth individuals (HNWIs).
The total market value and future growth prospects of the blockchain industry for mining and securing crypto assets has experienced a remarkable burgeoning in the aftermath of the events that transformed the world forever in the year 2020. Until then, crypto assets were viewed as very risky, if not certainly toxic investments. But as the world’s capital markets went risk-off, and the world’s economies faltered into a GDP sink unlike any in modern financial history, the value of crypto assets, including the still very new DeFi blockchain industry soared on liquid exchange markets, including a new class of completely decentralized exchanges (DEXs) out of blockchain’s nascent DeFi sector.
As the cryptocurrencies swelled with massive capital inflows, the industry’s developers have also elaborated cryptocurrency’s tooling to make it acceptable for the standards of institutional investors seeking exposure in crypto assets, and usable to mainstream early and early majority adopters. Private venture capital and angel investments have backed scores of these projects along the way with seed fund rounds ranging from respectable to eye-popping figures.
Blockchain also enjoyed a huge wave of adoption by celebrities, artists, and athletes with the NFT mania that took off in 2020. Meanwhile, the blockchain industry has innovated in many directions, building upon and disrupting its own incumbents along the way, creating an entire blockchain subsector with very promising use cases and crypto assets that look increasingly attractive to hedge funders seeking ROI as well as seasoned cryptocurrency investors with deep pockets from their early ventures in the blockchain space.
In the ZDNet article referenced above for the Bill Gates predictions about future computer memory requirements and OS specifications, there are nine other famously terrible predictions made about the future of IT. They weren’t made by luddites, or skeptics, or the usual crowd of naysayers. They were made by the people who created these new technologies and platforms built on them to make them useful to industries, commercial businesses, and end consumers, while they were hard at work building them.
When he appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2018, Gates told Ellen he was surprised Microsoft’s products and business model were worth so much. He said, “I just loved doing software. I was stunned when it ended up being so valuable.”
These giants of technological innovation never failed along the way to underestimate themselves, and the value of what they were creating. Over the long term, their failed predictions should stand as a strong admonition not to underestimate the value of blockchain and the crypto assets that live on them. And over the near term, they should ring in the ears of students, researchers, financiers, digital entrepreneurs, and investors evaluating the prospects of the DeFi industry.
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