Technology is a one-way street. This notion wasn’t obvious at me when I first heard it from Tom Bilyeu. But the thought of it leaped at me when I was in the shower. Perhaps I was experiencing a deep relaxation wave in my Alpha state. It is safe to assume that we’ll never go back to the time when we use horses as our mode of transport. We’ll never use floppy disks again, and we certainly wouldn’t be using pagers and rotary telephones. The days of a phonebook is, ironically, numbered.
Now, we have Google, iPhones and seemingly limitless amount of cloud storage. We have these technological tools at our fingertips that we couldn’t even fathom the idea of it 2–3 decades ago.
Now, we have cryptocurrency. Some of us are happy that we are a part of this technological evolution. On the other hand, there are others who feel like they’re simply caught in a tide. They feel like they’re being swept along in a current they cannot fight. Why is there a need for surveillance devices masked as inevitable evolutions? Why is there a need to digitize everything by impersonal algorithms and pay rent to these devices every second of our lives? Why is there a need for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology?
I believe the answer lies in the progression of technology constantly attempting to solve the bigger problems in society. Technology is a big part of solving inequality, inopportunity, stagnation, debt and falling living standards.
An example is Axie Infinity. People in the Philippines are turning to this Play-To-Earn game to earn cryptocurrency to fund their daily livelihood. Imagine when more of such games are developed and expanded to other countries in poverty. The potential is huge. However, all new technological invention has their own flavours of hiccups. The natural expectation is that fiat currency is gonna be digitized and be replaced by cryptocurrency.
But, we need to bear in mind that every new technology is only as good as its ecosystem.
When the Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1903, they flew into a wall of public skepticism. People didn’t believe them. The brothers even performed live demonstration of their invention, but the media believed it was a hoax. They refused to send any reporters down for two years. Skepticism was high, because there were many other inventors who had claimed to invent a flying machine, only to have their experiment fail in public. Some of these inventors even died in their attempt. The failures bolstered the belief of the public that humans would never be able to fly. It is the same for Sir Roger Bannister.
For the longest time ever, there was a common belief that the human body was simply not capable of completing one-mile (1.6 km) under 4 minutes. We would die. But, Sir Roger Bannister made the impossible possible.
Give the natural progression of technology, there is still a considerable amount of skepticism towards cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The skepticism is fair. Blockchain technology isn’t like some new lightbulb whereby we can plug into any existing socket and deliver on its promised performance right out of the box. Blockchain technology hinges on many other external factors where its ability to create value depends on the development and deployment of other critical parts of the ecosystem. The first barrier is trust. The value of cryptocurrency is derived from you and me believing that its inherent technological state has value.
If the society as a whole fails to agree on this sentiment, the foundation of cryptocurrency would collapse.
What is the use of an awesome social media app, if you’re the only one using it? The app may be great, but the ecosystem isn’t ready for it yet. I believe we’re all just warming up to the idea of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. In the past, before money was invented, good and services were exchanged through bartering or using commodities such as salt, cows or grains. We hardly do that anymore. Now, we use fiat currency as it is lighter, faster and safer. However, fiat currency has an issue. It is constantly depreciating in value, and continues to depreciate at a rate faster than before. What if we have something that is lighter, faster, safer and doesn’t depreciate in value due to its scarcity and its technological uses? I believe we can all comprehend this intellectually, but many of us have yet to accept this socially. It is the same for artificial bionic eyes, flying taxis and virtual reality. We will never go back to being worse off technologically, it is just a matter of time that we adapt to better technology as a society.