While Blockchain is set to be disruptive, the technology itself has already been disrupted by the people who praise it most. The crypto-craze brought with it a wave of individuals keen on using Blockchain as an end instead of a means to an end.
Following the Buddha’s life journeys, he devised a philosophy for life that has reverberated throughout our society until today. After going from extreme comfort and ostentation to sickening poverty, he realized the truth of it all laid in the middle path between these two diametrically opposed ways of life. Hence, arose the theory that everything should be conducted in moderation. Moderation entails acknowledging but not adopting extremes; in turn, a careful compromise is created.
This is no new theory. Abuse the use of something too much, it loses its value; use something too little, it becomes meaningless. And so in 2018, we find ourselves in such a situation. With so many great technologies capable of transforming every aspect of public life, we often get too consumed by the possibility of innovation. When excitement and emotion triumph, reason diminishes and many times our failed innovations become consequences of our loose rationale. The bandwagon abuse of fundamentally good technologies ultimately demoralizes and delegitimizes the technology, not only diminishing the success of its previous users but also oversaturating the technology for its future users.
SIDDHARTHA IN THEORY, SATOSHI IN PRACTICE
Our love story with Blockchain is no different. In 2008, following the ingenuity of Satoshi Nakamoto, we were introduced to a technology capable of revolutionizing how we manage, store, and send information. Offering an immutable, transparent, and decentralized alternative to previous technology, counter-culture crypto geeks and investment bankers – to a much lesser degree – were amazed at the applicabilities of the Bitcoin technology. Following the 2008 housing crisis, other prominent start-ups arose, each using Blockchain as a solution to the corrupt, centralized, and inefficient governmental and financial systems we had in place. And like this, our relationship with the technology began: it was controlled and healthy.
The mid-2010’s saw a growing enthusiasm for the technology. As the crypto space started to grow and eyebrows began to rise on Wall Street, Blockchain was thrust into public conversations and became a growing phenomenon. Its concise and efficient solutions to everyday problems became commonly accepted. National acceptance fertilized international attention. As our relationship with Blockchain started to popularize, the technology was put into the hands of capable people. Grandfathers and teenagers alike were enthused. Finally a fix to our financial systems? An efficient way of remittances and payments? We want in.
A SNAPSHOT OF TODAY
And so now we are in April of 2018; our relationship has become commonplace and abusive. While Blockchain’s first adopters utilized the technology to foster real-world solutions to aching problems, its most modern adopters use the technology to join the bandwagon of modern inventors. What we are left with is a basket of pseudo-entrepreneurs, all claiming that they can diagnose a pressing market failure by adopting the divine technology. Instead of asking if Blockchain can act as an absolute solution to a problem, pseudo-creators start with the premise of Blockchain and attempt to find a problem. Not only is this counter-intuitive, but it has historically proven to be a failure. Those that start with a solution and then transcribe it to a problem risk misunderstanding it, ultimately leaving the space with yet another useless invention.
Nowadays, there is a blockchain solution for everything. Have acne? Blockchain. Need to get a ride to the airport? Blockchain. Can’t stand your parents? Blockchain. By arbitrarily creating problems and diagnosing them with blockchain, the technology has become oversaturated, and its value has become diluted. The technology – which has the capability of transforming our financial and governmental systems – has now been taken over by illegitimate con-men.
If we are to retain the value of this technology and let it reach its potential, we must get rid of the pathogens that have started to infiltrate its divine body. As enthusiasts of the crypto space, we must call out these absurdist creations and praise those which are legitimate. If not, the abuse of the system is bound to become its Achilles Heel: anything divine in its original premise can become corrupted by the tyranny of the majority.
Please, take the Buddha’s words to heart: Use carefully and in moderation.
What are your thoughts on the recent usage of Blockchain? Do you think mass usage is devaluing the technology, or is it just a necessary step to success? Let us know in the comments below.
Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay, and Pxhere.
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