Monday 21 December 2020 12:05 pm

A Crypto Carol: The Ghosts of Blockchain

Tis the season for crypto-mania. It’s always lovely to see all the crypto girls and boys with pound signs in their eyes huddled around their bitcoin charts waiting to see if Santa Satoshi is going to bring them another bull run before the end of 2020. And of course, the spoiled children are trying to hide all of their alt-coin purchases from Santa Satoshi because they have already lost so much they can’t bear to think about it.

The most important thing for each and every crypto-child is to repeat the magic mantra phrase over and over (In the same way that Trump gaslights himself about election results):

“I believe in bitcoin. I believe in bitcoin.”

So many bitcoin girls and boys do believe – especially your typically bright (but terribly annoying) relative. You know, the second cousin from your half sister’s side of the family – that one.

So when Morgan (or whatever your well-intentioned and over-excited relations name happens to be) starts trying to give you financial advice and tries to tell you how it’s not too late to get in on the biggest investment opportunity in their lifetime, take a deep breath, put yourself on mute, turn the volume down on the Christmas Zoom call and click over to your favourite holiday classic television show.

Or, you can read selected excerpts from A Crypto Carol – right here. I’m sure you’ll recognise some of the main characters.

We have ‘Bob KY-Crachit’, Ebeneezer Regulator, Tiny Retail Investor ‘Tim’ and ‘Jacob Marley’ (played by Craig Wright). Stars in our tale also include the ‘Gentle Giant’ (CZ) as the ghost of blockchain present, and of course the visionary for the spirit of blockchain future – played by ‘Vitalik Buterin’). Let’s take a peek!

Bitcoin was used to buy a pizza in May 2010, when 1 pizza cost 10,000 BTC

Just as Ebeneezer Regulator is awakened from his slumber, a spooky vision appears before him: The ghost of Blockchain Past, wearing a Santa Claus outfit with a giant Bitcoin B for a belt buckle. proclaiming that he is the real Santa Satoshi and that he has an important message for Ebeneezer.

“Just look at what has happened to baby blockchain from when it all started on the 3rd of January 2009.” A fog appears before a new 4K projector falls out of the ceiling and begins showing your atypical PowerPoint:

03 January 2009: The genesis block of the first public permissionless blockchain is written. carrying the message ripped from the headlines of that time: “Chancellor on the brink of a second bailout for banks.” The message written into the bitcoin blockchain for everyone to see – never to be removed. “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.

And for the next few years, blockchain trundled along. Bitcoin was used to buy a pizza in May 2010, when 1 pizza cost 10,000 BTC. Several people used it for questionable products and services on the Silk Road until that market was shut down in November 2014. And when bitcoin was mentioned, it was almost always associated with money laundering. 

Sadly, blockchain often took the brunt of bitcoin’s bad boy reputation. That was until July 2015, when Ethereum came on the scene. Ethereum was a new blockchain protocol and network that provided genuine utility and value – unlike bitcoin, which has no underlying value and never was able to realise its intended utility as an alternative to money.

Today, despite all the hype from the crypto community, blockchain is gaining adoption across enterprises in multiple industries. Companies finally realise that blockchain doesn’t mean crypto, and that by using blockchain it doesn’t mean they are going to be aligning with money launderers. And they can use blockchain for supply chain management, identity, asset tracking and more – without ever doing anything with crypto – or be a part of the latest craze – DeFi.

But what of the message from the ghost of Blockchain future?

Relying on the quote from Roy Amara, a Stanford computer scientist in the 1960s, “we overestimate the impact of technology in the short-term and underestimate the effect in the long run.” 

Here are my predictions for blockchain in 2021:

  • Blockchain is recognised as a critical element of infrastructure by at least one government, and work is started to create a framework for a new type of public service – owned and maintained by the public.
  • Enterprises grow to appreciate and adopt the value of distributed computing and storage systems like the ones available from blockchain-style technology. 
  • Blockchain will be seen to play a pivotal role in safely, securely and privately sharing information about vaccinations at a global level.
  • Blockchain will finally throw off the shackles of its association with cryptocurrencies, leaving projects like DeFi to languish by the side of the digital highway. At the same time, blockchain will deliver projects around creating real business value is created.
  • People in IT departments and boardrooms will actually talk less about blockchain and more about working together with other companies in a trusted way.

We overestimate the impact of technology in the short-term and underestimate the effect in the long run

Now back to the story!

Tiny Retail Investor Tim has just eaten his Christmas pudding, and he found the lucky sixpence. No – he didn’t buy any bitcoin that day. Tim knows that gambling is risky, and buying bitcoin is even more perilous than a weekend trip to Vegas.

And as for Ebeneezer Regulator, he awoke the next morning with a spring in his step and set out to ensure that there was appropriate crypto regulations to protect Tiny Retail Investor Tim from the crypto conmen shilling their coins to frothing Twitterati and Telegram fans.

You’ll have to read the whole story (not yet written) to find out if they all lived happily ever after!

And on an end of the year note, I want to say thank you to some extraordinary people who have been part of the Blockchain Rookies story since we first started it as a WhatsApp group in September 2017:

My Co-Founder: Caroline Day

Partner in Crime and New Business: Jon Walsh

Big Kahuna at Large: James Bowater here at CryptoAM

And all the rest of you who have come along on the journey in reading, listening and watching Blockchain Rookies content throughout the year.

Thank you!

And remember: Blockchain is still very new. There are no gurus. There are no experts. We’re all still learning. We are all Blockchain Rookies!

Troy Norcross, Co-Founder Blockchain Rookies

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