Last week, on October 31, people around the world, especially the devoted blockchain enthusiasts, celebrated the 10th anniversary since Satoshi Nakamato has released the famous whitepaper. In case you need a refresher, or need a night read, you can access a full version of the document here: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. The backdrop of the paper release was the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. The paper outlined a new method of peer-to-peer transactions and introduced bitcoins. The revolution was not simply digital, the revolution has shattered the foundations of traditional financial institutions.
All tech and finance companies who have so successfully claimed monopoly on the market, began to fear the wind of change. Now, the guys in the basement, who Facebook is fearful of, are armed with the efficiency and huge potential of Blockchain and crypto. Small companies, startups are more likely to oppose monopolies now more than ever. Startups are more efficient, because of the size and potential, people can deliver a good product, with a substantial vision and active team backing it up. But then many people still prefer to work for big companies, like Google, Apple, and Facebook. Some choose Nasdaq over emerging crypto exchanges. One of the reasons is the long game that both small and big companies are playing. For small companies, money is either an important objective or the only objective, while monopolies feel more comfortable creating their own market thus having no need to compete with others that much. Big companies also offer their employees more benefits and can afford to care about employees as much as they care about profit-making.
However, with the rise of fintech in the last decade more and more people are hopeful about Blockchain and crypto startups, for the tools they use constitute a real danger to the established monopolies.
What will happen if any person in any part of the world can instantaneously transfer money without a middle man? Where would VISA go? What would happen if social networks are operational on trust-based rules and cannot be hacked, or if they can be, then the data will not go to the hands of a big tech giant who profits from it? What would happen to Google, Facebook, and Twitter?
Alex Tapscott, a co-founder of Blockchain Institute argues, “If I’m in the CEO seat in 1994, I might think the Internet is just a medium for publishing information; that mentality led many business leaders to fatally ignore the potential for the technology.”
Granted, big tech companies are more developed than the current state of Blockchain advancement. Blockchain cannot replace a new iPhone, or help us, at least currently, with the Google search. But it has been ten years, and we can already buy pizza, coffee and company shares with digital money; money, whose value depends on people, money that has been unheard of twenty years ago. We have a long way to go, but we are on the right track. Big companies are starting to show their fear: VISA works on a new digital payment system, Apple now safeguards its MacBook from a third-party repair by installing a software that makes the laptop “unusable” unless it is being serviced and fixed by an official Apple provider.
Ten years ago, a revolution has begun, and I am glad to see that it is still roaring. New players and new ideas keep spreading and are turning into reality. Technology did change our culture, but the technology itself was also a product of the time.
Originally published on Medium.