Since many of you are starting to ask for a sneak peek into Blockchain Mavericks, I’ll let you know a little more about why we’re putting this book together. The below also contains some extracts from our interviews.
“The mainstream is coming” I thought in January 2013 after reading that punchy Bloomberg piece “and the dynamics of bitcoin will start changing”. It was the first non-tech blog article about bitcoin that I had ever come across, so it seemed like a big deal. A few months back, I had spent a sleepless night reading about BTC in my Oxford dorm room. It was my first encounter with it and by the early morning hours, I was sold.
Fast-forward to 2019. I’m answering the most typical blockchain-related questions on a panel at the World Economic Forum. Suddenly, I “zoom out” of my seat and observe the kind of questions being asked as a third person. No, I wasn’t under the influence. I simply realized that crypto is still nowhere close to being truly understood — or for that matter, to having acceptable UX and truly exciting use cases.
Just like in 2013, but a cool 6 years later, I’ve got to be even more careful in making assumptions. Is the mainstream actually coming?
Making crypto cool
The cool thing about crypto is that it’s actually a lifestyle. A mindset. A set of values. Ultimately, open blockchains are a way of organizing society that reflects a core set of beliefs.
It gets us closer than ever to living life by our own rules, under our own sovereignty. Some people call it freedom, others might find that scary.
There’s also a fundamental difference from previous paradigm shifts. What’s happening here goes beyond enabling companies to innovate. It’s also got important consequences for governance and politics.
Just like the internet created an innovation ground for online business models, protocols have created an innovation ground for governance models.
Yet, none of this is straightforward to grasp. It also doesn’t help that the sector is full of jargon and acronyms.
The result seems to be that today, 7 years after first trying to explain BTC to my perplexed classmates, I still get the same kind of questions!
Right — what if we put together the leading minds of our space and got them talking about why they care?
No jargon, no acronyms, simply what’s exciting about it all. What this brave decentralized future could look like and why you should care about it, too.
Blockchain Mavericks is about bringing to light the genuine reasons that make us all care.
And I have to tell you something — these book conversations are reigniting my very own excitement too. Each interviewee carries a unique, invaluable perspective.
During one of our book interviews the other week, Peter Smith from Blockchain mentioned how he started monitoring bitcoin in 2010 out of his interest in digital currency systems. Many came before bitcoin. They all failed. In a world increasingly more about bits than atoms, a native digital currency equivalent to our physical ones just seems inevitable.
In parallel, Ryan Shea from Blockstack brought up the inevitable tradeoff to be considered between a system that can be easily manipulated by others vs something that is fundamentally resistant to manipulation — which is what bitcoin is.
“Once a blockchain is truly invulnerable to intervention, something incredible happens. It becomes something that is not anyone’s specific property or something that can be paused by a government. It’s like air, water, gold or religion.”
And as Ryan continues, bitcoin is the only blockchain to achieve that today. Isn’t that exciting and very tip-of-the-iceberg territory? We’re just scratching the surface.
What else can change in our society through more systems that are truly self-organizing, immutable and incorruptible?
How can you understand and visualize this future world?
The above, along with other “long-term” questions, is what we’re looking to answer through Blockchain Mavericks. We’d like to share our excitement about what’s coming.
You can find out what I’m up to here. For all requests, please email email@example.com.