The Anti-Hype Report #1 - Big Picture Cryptocurrency Predictions & The ICO Bubble
One of the biggest pain points I've heard from my friends that are getting into the blockchain space is that they simply don't know where to find high-quality information.
This pain point isn't unheard of - just look at all the people on Steemit who curate news about upcoming projects, ICOs, news, etc.
For those who've asked, I personally follow:
Just to name a few.
These guys are great at offering current news on what's happening in the market.
The challenge for the everyday user is that they're busy. It's unlikely that most people will read all of these articles in one day, or do crazy amounts of research to figure out what's happening, even if they do have the time.
They just want to get a bigger picture sense of what's happening.
That's where I feel like my expertise comes in.
I've never been the most knowledgeable when it comes to technology - there's lots of people who know way more than me when it comes to the specifics.
But what I'm good at is reading between the lines. I can synthesize information and make predictions based on the energetics at play - the combination of the forces of the market, including the average user, the tech users, the politics going on in the planet, etc.
I think that when it comes down to predicting where a particular project is headed is to take all of the forces at play and see where things do or don't line up.
Where the markets are out of alignment, and what potential gaps will be created that will eventually need to be filled.
That's where the long-term trends show up.
People who are into day-to-day operations love to keep up with the specifics, but for the average user it's simply too much.
So what I've decided to do is share my thoughts here in Steemit that encapsulates my perspective of the alignment (or mis-alignment) of the following forces:
- End-user behavior (mass appeal)
- Relational dynamics between founders and teams of particular companies (ICOs)
- Political and legal forces, and what challenges are being faced there
- The early adopter trends (what technologies are they picking up, how they are working, etc)
This is my first shared perspective of what's currently happening and what I see is going on.
I'm calling it The Anti-Hype Report. This is Edition #1.
The ICO Bubble
The first thing that comes to mind is the current ICO bubble.
Companies are raising millions of dollars in the form of crowdfunding campaigns.
Much like when the Internet formed, it didn't matter what type of website you had. If you were one of the first, and you found some way of monetizing it, you made money.
The ICO bubble is like the gold rush of the current age. It doesn't matter (largely) what's being created, it just matters that something is being created.
People are casting their vote into decentralization and cryptocurrency by simply participating in, well, anything.
To prove this point for myself, I created The Most Private Coin Ever in a weekend. I grabbed some open-source ERC20 contracts, modified them a little to suit my desires, and deployed the contract.
It took a couple days.
When I offered some free coins to a Facebook group, I was sent over 100+ messages with people wanting to get some.
With a little marketing and some press coverage, I sold 70 tokens. And it's still in its infant stages.
And this is for a coin that I marketed as completely worth nothing.
I consider that a Proof of Concept that people will buy anything that's involved with cryptocurrency right now. So it makes sense that ICOs are making millions of dollars - because they're tied to companies and services that could potentially offer a lot to the marketplace.
But here is the gap and mis-alignment that I'm seeing with the ICOs.
Most of these companies, in the long-run, will suffer.
Even though they're building their companies on the blockchain, they're still centralized.
What this means is that they still have a traditional hierarchical structure - a CEO, as the boss, with a board of directors and employees.
This means that these startup companies (yes, they're startups) will face the same problems that any other startups do - power struggles for control, investor problems, speed of implementation, ability to adapt to the changing market, etc.
Not only that, but I believe they'll be facing political and legal struggles shortly as the laws become more prevalent. And the emotional challenges that will come with running a bureaucratic structure under this amount of pressure will be very, very intense.
It's why the CEO of Uber is no longer with the company that he built from the ground up.
And so my prediction is that a lot of these companies that started with ICOs will collapse within the next year or two. I think they'll be fairly short-lived, except for a few who have been putting intentionality and measures in place to handle this type of stuff.
One other point I'd like to mention is that the Ethereum technology is still brand new.
There are bugs, there are problems, there are scalability issues.
I'm not 100% confident that these companies can deliver what they're promising to deliver because of how unknown the limitations of the current technologies are. We're pushing it to it's limits, and that's great for innovation, but challenging for a start-up that's unsure of how it's going to deliver a fully-fledged, globally-scaling SaaS product.
What does this mean for the future of the blockchain?
It's a good thing.
I'm a believer in decentralization and I love what these companies are doing.
I think all of this is pushing humanity forward in a positive direction. It's what I like about Ethereum and the blockchain community the most -- it's anti-fragile.
Meaning that the system will be messed with. It will be hacked. The bugs and limitations will be found.
And out of that discovery process, new and better technologies will be born.
The fact that the blockchain community has a high level of transparency means that this process can happen quickly.
It's happening faster than it ever has on the planet.
I see more companies launching with blockchain technologies. I see legislation being hashed out to make crypto more accessible to the masses. I see WIDE adoption of crypto into our technological infrastructure, embedded in the fabric of this reality.
I think it's only going to get more valuable, outside of the day-to-day ups and downs of the current news.
That, to me, is exciting.