This is The Block. It’s 2022. The world we know is still here. Nuclear war with North Korea never happened. China is still ascendant. The U.S. still dominant but fading. Europe is… well, Europe. Africa has come a long way, but still has a long way more to go. South America is robust, though still troubled.
And cryptocurrency has gone nowhere.
That’s not to say people don’t use it, or trade it. They do, but it’s a mere fraction of the total population. Less than 1%, in fact. No killer apps emerged to steal the stage and win the hearts of secret libertarians embedded in the deepest strata of society. No practical use for crypto ended up being found–not really. All that 2017/2018 stuff was flash and glitter, the promise of a balloon filled with air, slowly deflating over time.
What if crypto’s fate is to slowly move out of the hands of individuals and into the corporate realm?
It’s clear that blockchain technology has a purpose, and its use in corporate environments, while yet fully untapped, bears unmistakable promise. Corporate ledger keeping, shareholder transparency, cross-currency payments, account auditing on the fly…. all these possibilities and more are clearly good fits for enterprise-level applications.
It’s possible that the future of crypto is not in the hands of individuals wishing to wrest control of their financial future from the banks, but in corporations who wish to capitalize on the trustless system created by the blockchain to engineer PAAS or AAAS.
It’s also possible the future of crypto is co-opted by the government itself. One can imagine FedCoin (not that hard, it’s being imagined now
), but plenty of other government applications exist. Imagine taxation being completely automated, with blockchain and smart contracts and dApps performing flawlessly, trustlessly, in the background. Or imagine government spending oversight. Every transaction monitored and publicly available. A pipe dream, perhaps.
But in this speculative future, perhaps crypto in the hands of individuals makes as much sense as me owning a bulldozer. It may seem cool and even edgy to wonder what it’s like to decouple from society’s traditional financial engines, but what is the point if everyone else has stuck with the status quo. Why bother owning crypto if the only person using it… is me?