The famous internet boom of late 1990s and early 2000s arguably changed the direction of human life. Back then, the internet as a technology was leveraged by numerous industries. eBay revolutionized the commerce industry by bringing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer markets over the internet. Amazon put the bookstore, and later on much more, over the internet and disrupted many industries.
But, is it time now for blockchain to cause the same kind of disruption? Jack Lu, founder of Wanchain, certainly thinks so. He also believes this will happen a lot faster than the last time. Talking to BlockPublisher he said;
“We are at a similar stage as the internet boom back in the early 2000s. Right now the whole industry is trying to build real world applications with increased funding. I think a life changing disruption would be a lot faster than it was back in the internet world. The reason is blockchain deals with two type of things: data and assets, which is also a form of data. Since these things are already digitized or about to be digitized, blockchain will gain traction a lot faster.”
The reason why technology adoption this time around will be a lot quicker than the dot-com boom is because this time one technology (blockchain) is leveraging the other technology (internet). Since both technologies deals with data, the technology adoption this time around will be much faster.
Addressing the issue of blockchain adoption, he said:
“Majority of financial assets are already digitized as they are in some form of data, like in banks. Putting them on blockchain and building applications such as smart contracts and decentralized applications will be a lot faster this time around than the old days of internet that revolutionized pretty much every industry.”
Since stocks have already been digitized, it’s just a matter of time to put them over blockchain. Blockchain’s decentralized nature makes the case for its adoption as it ensures seamless and error-free peer-to-peer transfer of funds. The technology’s trustless and transparent nature takes out the need for a centralized controlling body, like banks and asset management corporations.
While talking to BlockPublisher, Maxine Ryan, co-founder of world’s first cash-in, cash-out blockchain remittance platform Bitspark, pinpointed how the data storing capability of blockchain technology can be utilized. She said:
“I think that there is definitely space for blockchain to be adopted in areas where the technology itself can be treated essentially like a database, and in every single infrastructure built in many different verticals, a database is needed.”
Maxine also pointed how blockchain technology deals with data and can be used for its data storing capabilities. There has been friction between financial institutions and cryptocurrency. They termed cryptocurrency ‘scam‘ due to some of ICO scams and crypto exchange hacks that took billions of investors money.
One ICO scam that stands out from the rest is that by Modern Tech, a company operating out of Vietnam. The company scammed $660 million from 32,000 people after conducting two ICOs of Pincoin and iFan. There have been several crypto exchange hacks as well, including the famous Mt. Gox hack, where 850,000 bitcoins went missing from the exchange.
Maxine highlighted this concern:
“I think it’s unfortunate that when the market is hyped, it attracts bad actors. At such a time, the market can make irrational decisions. I believe that investors should have sufficient knowledge of the field and understand how to do due diligence before they invest.”
Even though the dot-com boom of the late ’90s proved to be revolutionary for the industry, it also put a shadow over it because of scammers who took it as an opportunity and raised a ton of money. Jack Lu related the current blockchain revolution to the internet revolution. He added:
“I always take internet as a history book. Initially, people termed internet a scam back when it came out. In the second stage, some use cases were proven that revolutionized everything and in the third stage, the internet was everywhere. Same will happen with blockchain technology. It will be incorporated in pretty much every computer, mobile phone and pretty much into everything that has digital data. People wouldn’t even think that there is blockchain technology working inside every device, just like people don’t think about the technology behind internet.”
Initially, blockchain technology was seen by many as a threat to the financial institutions but the technology is now being adopted by the same institutions who opposed it. United States bank J.P. Morgan’s chief Jamie Dimon initially criticized bitcoin in 2017, labeling it as “fraud” and “stupid”. But recently, the bank announced their own blockchain-based coin that goes by the name of JPM Coin, a surprise for many in the industry.
Blockchain technology itself has been endorsed and accepted by many countries because of added benefits of privacy and security that comes with it. Since the technology has very strong financial capabilities and they might impact the existing financial systems, the governments are figuring out how to regulate it. Though a challenge for the regulatory bodies, blockchain technology is poised for a faster adoption this time around as compared to the internet revolution.