By Pat Larsen
How long will it take large corporations and institutional money to jump into blockchain and cryptocurrency?
I like to think of the timeline and evolution of technology this way:
- In 1995, it was clear the Internet would be a big and a necessary thing for society.
- In 1995, a Fortune 500 CEO was a 60 year old born in 1935. That CEO had no experience with computer connectivity and no one to ask about technology.
- If you were running a lumber or steel mill or retail company, you scaled the ranks by being an expert in that business and industry. It took a long time for companies to adopt IT.
- Many did not adapt and they failed or lost billions. Microsoft, for example, missed the Internet and rivals like Google and Apple came up to move past them in personal computing, mobile phones, and many forms of Internet software.
- The Internet had few champions in the Fortune 500 or in world governments.
Now let’s fast forward to consider the adoption of Cloud computing and infrastructure. In 2010, it was clear that Cloud computing, software, and technical infrastructure as a service (SaaS) would be a big thing and a necessary thing. The “sale” of the Cloud was much easier to the C-Suite in 2010 than the “sale” of Internet in 1995:
- A Fortune 500 CEO then was likely a 50 yr old born in 1960. This CEO had grown up with the Microsoft office suite. IBM had sold them the virtues of data analytics and computing, as had Oracle, Cisco, and SAP.
- Each company had a CTO, a CIO, and a CMO that leveraging data analytics. It didn’t take more than a few years for every Fortune 500 company to adopt Cloud computing.
- No matter the business whether timber, oil, cars, agriculture, the company and industry is really a technology company. Every company has servers, mainframes, websites, data analytics, mailing lists, and online payment systems.
Now it’s 2018 and the blockchain has arrived:
- Now, regardless of the age of the CEO, there is a CTO, CIO, or SVP that has been interested in bitcoin and crypto and blockchain since college.
- They were the early adopters and now they have titles, authority, and budget. They are mining at home and jumping onto Reddit and chatting about the flippening, shilling, altcoins, hot wallets, private keys, 2FA, pumping, dumping, FUD, mooning, hodl, Bitmain, hashrate, and lambos. They have very strong feelings about Bitcoin Cash.
- They believe in Unicorns, Unikorns, and Vitalik.
- They know who Satoshi really is. They are beyond talking about whether this technology will succeed and are too busy talking about when.
Asof January 2018, the global market cap of cryptocurrencies is dancing around $600 billion. This rapid advance has caught the attention of the CME, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Bridgewater, SAC Capital, Softbank, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple. Every hedge fund trader will also trade cryptocurrencies in their own book. Every corporate executive will invest in cryptocurrency and become an angel investor in ICOs. They will all demand budget to hire blockchain developers in their own established companies. This will create a huge amount of innovation and capital flowing into cryptocurrencies and blockchain protocols.
Due to this perfect recipe, the blockchain will reach mass adoption faster than the Internet, mobile phones, or the Cloud. Blockchain may not shake governments to their knees, but it will further connect the world and create more accountability, transparency, and community as yet another layer to the Internet. Digital natives will feel no friction as they swim in the crypto seas. It may be that we are living in a brief period of large nations with a global monopoly on information, economy, and violence. Perhaps each cryptocurrency and blockchain protocol is a nation state unto itself. Perhaps value will flow away from real estate and pieces of paper and into the blockchain. Those of the younger generation find themselves disillusioned with their government, burdened with debt, and locked out of any way to accumulate capital except through cryptocurrency investment and they will move their money, their time, their energy, their creativity, and their future to the blockchain.
So, here we are. We are together surfing towards the future and a new wave is building. It has just started to rise above the ocean. It has not crested. We know not how long it will roll. We have too much to gain if we try. Here we are, together, moving fast and not knowing what the next moment holds in store.
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