After the cryptocurrency craze of 2017 the world of blockchain technology seems to have retreated or at least went into hibernation. Blockchain technology is the underlying technology that allows the cryptocurrencies as we know them today to exist. It’s the playing field and the cryptocurrencies are the players. But without the spectacle of the tokens and ICOs, does blockchain stand a chance at integrating into the mainstream?
Filecoin, the massive undertaking from the mind of Juan Benet, raised $257M and has since retreated into a building phase. Ethereum is working on their scaling issues. And major platforms like NEO are still working on branching into a global blockchain brand.
Can blockchain technology succeed without the crypto-craze? My bet, it will succeed especially in the absence of the crypto-craze:
1. The technology has to be the most important part: when the crypto-craze hit, so did FOMO. Everyone was afraid that they would miss out on the concept that you could make your own currency. Late 2017 I had several entrepreneurs convinced they should do an ICO without knowing, at all, what a blockchain was. That’s crazy. The use cases of cryptocurrencies are specific and often narrow because the uses of blockchain technology are specific and narrow. The technology is the legacy. The technology has to be the most important part and companies that truly want to be successful must play the long-game. Again, Filecoin’s team, which had the second largest ICO raise in history is working to decentralize the internet with IPFS (inter-planetary file system) and create a storage to withstand that. That type of technology is worthy of long-term and massive financial rewards if they get it right.
2. We are in an anti-competition environment: the open-source environment of blockchain technology and the rapid transformation of the space, paired with the decentralized mass collaboration of users/miners/farmers/people committing code and more, simply means, we are in this together. The better we get at solving infrastructure issues together, the better we will get at solving institutional issues. The competition is not with other blockchain companies but with time — relevancy for consumers and investors is a requirement in order for mass adoption and it has to happen fast before interest wanes.
3. From Series A capital to seed stage product-market fit: ICOs enabled companies to go from no funds to astronomical amounts of coin in their accounts basically overnight. This meant that prior to building a proof of concept and finding product-market fit, these companies reached Series A levels of capital. If they want to succeed post crypto-craze, they will need to look at the consumer and not be seduced by the monies in their bank accounts. But then again, it’s easier to pivot a canoe than the Titanic.
At TheDataVault we aren’t opposed to ICOs, in fact, we believe that ICOs are revolutionary, specifically if there is a low barrier to entry for everyday folks to invest. While I see the necessity of having accredited-investor only pre-sales to appease the SEC, this simply maintains the status quo. And, if we are going to maintain the status quo, than what are we doing here, really?