In certain circles, blockchain is touted as important an innovation as the creation of the internet. That kind of headline certainly attracts attention—and investors—but what is to be gleaned from that kind of statement?
The internet had existed in academic and military domains for a number of years before it caught on in the late 1980s with early adopters. Through the 1990s we saw the worldwide web emerge that later became the dominant way in which people interacted over the internet—at least until the rise of the mobile and app economy that continues to dominate the internet today.
Much of the parallel with blockchain and the internet is based on how the internet started off. It was a complex and arcane place populated with highly technical early adopters, a place that over time evolved to become much more inclusive and to become embedded in daily life. It is now difficult to imagine a world without it.
Many of the early adopters working with blockchain can envision a future much the same: where the world and how we see it becomes fundamentally altered by an almost invisible technology that underpins almost everyone’s daily life.