Patience Over Hype
The latest iteration of monetary exchange utilizes a new technology called “Blockchain” to provide a new digital asset called “Cryptocurrencies”. It’s not important to understand what these actually mean for the sake of this article, but suffice it to say that over the past year, this new form of money experienced a wave of overwhelming attention — fuelled in no small part by stories of overnight millionaires. People entering the space, however, have quickly realized that the technology as it stands now is not ready to support the means of payment we typically use today.
Hoping to get on the train, numerous startups have popped up in this space, all promising a new age powered by Blockchain. Unfortunately, biased by short term thinking, they are usually afflicted by at least one of these two problems:
- Focusing on implementation over people — The conversation is dominated by engineering and the general hype around Blockchain, but many start-ups fail to identify an actual use case.
- It needs to be invisible — For Blockchain to be a major success, it needs to be completely seamless in the end user experience. Just like you had to understand the underlying protocols to send out emails in the early days of the internet, the implementation of Blockchain is often still awkwardly evident in today’s applications.
Compare this to the experience of sending a beautiful newsletter to thousands of subscribers today.
While this has undermined public opinion about the potential of Cryptocurrencies, this is by no means a fatal wound. In fact, it is the other way around. The last round of public attention is dying down, paving the way for a new wave of institutional investors who have sensed the potential in this rapidly emerging market.
This influx of capital represents an opportunity for startups to innovate around Money, which can have far-reaching effects. In order for us to fulfill this potential we don’t need to restore mass public attention and media coverage, we need the patience to lay down the foundations.