I’d like to take a moment before the rumored bull-run of August hits and address the current wave of toxicity that the industry is currently dealing with.
“Blockchain is just a slow database” — Bitcoin Maximalists
Yes, the ICO wave of 2017/18 has been largely disappointing. Roughly $6.8b was raised with little to show for it. In many people’s eyes, blockchain technology has been a major let down with many projects simply not working out.
Does this mean they are right? Does this mean this tech is not applicable to much of anything? I don’t think so.
Folks, may I remind you that new tech is always slow as heck because it’s brand new. Today, blockchain is mostly good for applications that can’t do without decentralization — cryptocurrencies being a primary example. These are the early adopters of the tech. But this won’t be the situation forever.
Blockchain is consumer tech. It’s not just for enterprises. It’s not just for cryptocurrencies. It’s for EVERYONE.
Despite what people are saying, there are advantages to building decentralized apps of any kind.
Look at the ultimate decentralized app today: Bitcoin itself. It’s essentially a money app — a single use-case app on a single huge blockchain. The advantages of this form of software are apparent when you look at Bitcoin, but it’s these same advantages that dApps can also enjoy once the ecosystem is mature enough:
Ownership over data: In traditional systems, user data is stored and owned by the service. For example, Facebook, Google, Apple. Blockchains are changing this. While the data is stored on the decentralized cloud and as such is accessible from anywhere, the exclusive owner of the data is whoever holds the private key to it — this flips the equation towards self-custody and self-ownership, which is great for the consumer because no one can manipulate or sell their data without their permission. This opens up an opportunity for people to self-manage and monetize their own data and unlocks the democratized data economies of the future
Security: Blockchains are secure by nature because once data has been written, it cannot be changed. There is no way to trick the protocol or hack the system. If you own 10 Bitcoin, unless your private key is stolen, no one can hack the blockchain and change that number.
Redundancy: Blockchain networks are spread worldwide and are online 24/7, by design. They have to be, otherwise, they won’t work and would incur billions of losses. Any application that you’ll run on decentralized clouds will be as robust and won’t be subject to power outages in localized data centers.
Censorship Resistant: Decentralized networks are user-agnostic. A company or government can’t decide who can or can’t be using these networks. If you deploy an app on a decentralized network, it can’t be shut-down by big players.
Once it becomes cheap (and possibly even cheaper than traditional cloud), we’ll see a lot of developers opting to leverage these strengths.
Mark my words, we will be running massive apps on blockchains and other DLTs sooner or later.