You've heard all about the blockchain origin story, and how it has made its way into the public eye, from Satoshi Nakamoto's seminal white paper in 2008 to the recent announcement of Facebook's Libra currency.
But you also know that many promises in the blockchain industry were made, and few were kept. The first time many people heard of blockchain was through the famous TED talk on the topic by Don Tapscott, released in 2016, with almost 2 million views to date.
In the talk, Tapscott shared his predictions that blockchain would revolutionize finance forever, especially in areas such as money transfers, remittances, and establishing valid titles to value such as land for people in developing countries.
Blockchain has been around for over a decade, with over a $100 billion market size, and thousands of "tokens" have come and gone. But can we truly say blockchain has revolutionized finance, or even that current companies in the space are on the path to doing so?
The potential is obviously there. Even if you live in a developed country, you've probably experienced the hassles of high monetary transaction fees, low efficiency dealing with things like equity and contracts, and spending time waiting for things that should intuitively be instantaneous, like receiving a loan.
Imagine how it is for the billions of people living in developing countries, where remittance fees are exorbitant, and the difficulty of raising money as an entrepreneur can not be overstated.
Let's Look at Investments
One clear example where blockchain has huge potential is in investments. Say you lived in the US and wanted to be an impact investor, in businesses in developing countries, would you even know where to start? More importantly, would you be able to be a real investor and receive real equity without giving up huge sums to intermediaries?
There are tons of charities, but even charities often take large fees, and they of course don't target investors. There are many crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter, but these offers perks and not returns.
This is where the blockchain can come in - open up angel investments for entrepreneurs in developing countries.
How Long Will It Take?
You might be wondering, when will these kinds of investments be available to investors over the blockchain? Instead of making a prediction, that, given the mis-match of predictions with reality so far, would likely be inaccurate, I'll propose this: Learn about blockchain, and build something the world needs!