Its hard to imagine if the creators of Bitcoin were completely aware about the implications of releasing the Bitcoin whitepaper 14 years back. Since then, crypto as a space has come to challenge the centuries old banking practices. So much so, it has made the governments around the world a little more defensive about the power they wield.
What started as a pet project by a group of hackers and tech enthusiasts is today an asset rivaling gold. Yes, gold - the asset that traces back from the Egyptians and the Mayans to the Hindus and the Chinese. But its not quite there yet, is it? Like any new asset, Bitcoin is yet to stand the test of time. There’s nothing we can do about it but give it more time.
Gold has outlived the holy wars and the black plague. It has survived draughts and floods, has seen human misery and the times of calm. Simply put, there’s no shortcut for Bitcoin but to stay still and witness the dance of time.
That said, we cannot hold our thoughts in the present, just to wait for decades and realise we were right all along. How do we know if crypto is here to stay, without growing old in the process?Well, there are a couple of aspects to the answer
Society as it stands today, is the result of micro-changes over thousands of years. We have always managed to understand the need of the hour, and then work towards achieving it. The French Third Estate realised that the Nobilty had to give way to the commoners, so did the colonial settlements in the America, so they did what was needed of them. The English realised the power of steam engines in ramping up production, and so they did what was needed of them. Era-defining changes happen slowly and then suddenly, always. These changes always have 1 thing in common - they are all very idealistic in their principles. Its difficult to suppress voices and bring order to them.
This is exactly where the Bitcoin movement stands today. The believers are very vocal with their beliefs. The non-believers keep an eye on the movement, and are reducing in count with every day. It is only a matter of time until the believers realise their victory
Every new tech has an adoption curve. It is first adopted by the people closest to it. The creators and the architects. They first learn about the tech, try to figure out the best use-cases surrounding the tech and try to commoditise it. This is where most tech dies down, and this is exactly where the most revolutionary tech finds it product-market fit. Computer, as we know it, was first heavily used by the research communities around the world, before we tried fitting it on our palms. The internet followed the same trajectory. What if Mark Zuckerberg first launched Facebook in the Hollywood instead of the top graduate schools in the United States? Would it still have followed the same trajectory? Maybe not.
Bitcoin, or blockchain as a technology as it stands today, is very heavily used by the more tech-friendly people amongst us. It has been for some time now. Although, true mass adoption is still a few years away, the crypto-natives of the worlds are now very active participants in this completely new economy. Although positive, this does not mean we are there yet. This only means one thing - so far so good.
The crypto ecosystem has been steadily proving its real world utility for the last 2-3 years. This was an area that was quite frequently brought up by the vast majority that did not believe in crypto. Now comes the phase of mass adoption - building applications that are not just used by the tech enthusiasts but also by the masses. This is already happening to some extent. NFTs are now a household discussion. People deep into gaming are already exploring metaverse games like Alien Worlds. People not so deep into gaming are exploring arcade games like Splinterlands.
That said, crypto adoption will not totally be a function of the masses being attracted to what crypto has to offer. It will also be a function of what the governments around the world are prepared to accept. No government anywhere in the world would be willing to give away a piece of their power, it may not matter if it may be going back to the people. What they would be comfortable with, is bringing in a bunch of regulations and framework around how things should be - norms around KYC and verification, around fiat on-ramp and off-ramp and around tax declarations. Agreed, policy is a slow space and it always has been. But we see governments around the world keeping up with the happenings in this space everyday, and this is a good sign. In the longer term, we believe that crypto is here to stay and flourish. It will co-exist along with fiat money (CBDC, we hear you) and maybe even act as a counterweight to it.
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