The blockchain attention drain
If you live in any city with a big tech scene, you’ve probably noticed that you can barely move for blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused events these days. There’s a reason for that – there’s huge demand for them.
It makes sense that blockchain developers would want to get together, but there’s more to it than that – some of these events are almost religious in their fervour for a largely as-yet unproven set of technologies. And it’s not just developers; consultants, salespeople, those weird hangers-on who are at every event but no-one knows what they do… they’re all hungry for blockchain meetups.
Why are people diving in with such enthusiasm?
- There’s no other technology to get quite as excited about right now. Big leaps forward in A.I. aren’t here yet, gadgets haven’t done anything exciting in the past couple of years.
- Blockchain and crypto are just hard enough to understand that even if you only have rough understanding of it coupled with enough enthusiasm and confidence, you can pass yourself off as an expert to people who know less.
- For such a nascent set of technologies, there’s a lot of money to be made right now. Even if all of it isn’t intellectually honest or in good faith.
Paul Ford wrote a piece for Bloomberg a few days ago that predicted
today’s blockchain rush is like the time just before the dotcom bubble popped. He thinks the second wave of this technology will be the meaningful one with lasting impact. Until then, it’s mainly people rushing to make as much money from a dream.
So, don’t worry if you’re not 100% up on blockchain just yet – it’s mostly hot air. By the time it’s meaningfully important, it’ll probably be so neatly stashed behind-the scenes you won’t need to know how it works anyway.