Imagine you are in a food court in a mall. In this food court, every option is a sandwich shop. One sandwich shop makes sandwiches faster while another makes sandwiches with better ingredients. Each shop has a different benefit, making it slightly different from the two next to it. Now imagine there are 30 sandwich shops here and a person asking you to pick one to five shops in which to invest money. No thanks, would you?
This is the market in cryptocurrency now. Bitcoin may have solved a problem with the dissent for the banking system years ago, but how many fin-tech startups are needed? How many can possibly share the space, and which will succeed? The investment mentality of ICO’s today expects each fin-tech blockchain startup to “go to the moon” so everyone can drive Lambos to the stores of the future that accept payment in 60 different types of cryptocurrency. Reality has lost all footing in the land of cryptocurrencies.
With each market slide, a single sequence holds true: when Bitcoin slides take the whole market with it, like a clumsy overweight mountain climber tethered to his friends. 50% of cryptocurrencies function identical to Bitcoin in their purpose. They may have minor differences in speeds, fees, user friendliness, or partnerships, yet are still all just sandwich shops in a food court. There will eventually be a leading financial blockchain but there will not be thirty or a hundred. Fin-tech is simply oversaturated, and to be frank, blockchain can do so much more.
Historical integrity databases, such as financial ledgers, title registrations, ownership tracking, cross organizations industrial maintenance records for safety, medicine, insurance, controlled materials tracking, and so on. Blockchain produces an unalterable record for such applications. Yet a well-known use of it is to produce virtual kittens as trading assets.
The big corporations will step into this industry and they will not release tokens. Banks don’t need funding to build their technology. Arms suppliers have government contracts to build their blockchains to track each bullet. While members of our community invest their time in turning mining into a video game, or create more exchanges to trade uselessness, the corporate world files for patents and hires engineers.
It’s time for the startups in this industry to attack real problems that can be fixed or alleviated through decentralization. Everyone forgets the core thesis behind Bitcoin success and what it stood for. Bitcoin was an attack against the institution. It was the uprising that let the banks know we were tired of their archaic ledger technology and the abusive power that came with their monopoly.
Blockchain creates a true free market. It can take down any institutional power that stands too high as a despot in an industry. Decentralization is proven even outside of blockchain. Amazon, for example, allows buyers and sellers to connect directly, eliminating the costs tied to brick and mortar powerhouses such as Walmart, Target, or department stores. Suddenly, people can simply order their goods, at a lower cost online, without being dragged through a store that places what they need at the very back.
Utility tokens, not security tokens or sandwich shop fin-tech, are the future of blockchain, but not solutions that apply to no-one and nothing. Blockchain tokens that trade luxury cars are simply of no benefit to the average person. If a solution applies to 1% of the general public, then it may need a blockchain for industry improvement, but does not need a token to be traded amongst the public. If a token is useable, it should be useable for most people.
The 4th generation tokens will be the generation of Power Displacers. The tokens that let the everyman join new networks that tear the power away from the decadent incumbents. The true dark horses of the industry are projects like Datawallet or Deedcoin. These solutions empower most people to take back control of common transactions.
Datawallet allows users to monetize the data they leave behind on the internet. Large organizations take information with every mouse click and sell it with permission hidden in 18-page terms and conditions documents that no-one could be expected to read. Datawallet allows people to have a say and a share of the profits of their own data. As the Datawallet network expands, user information ownership is redistributed back to the people that create the data.
Deedcoin enables the public to stop paying 6% to real estate agents. A family with a $300,000 home for sale, can continue their lives while they get a full service local agent and a tech-based platform for 1/6th the regular cost. This family can pay a fair price of $3,000 to sell their home instead of losing $18,000 of the most valuable thing they own with a traditional agent. By creating a network for connecting agents and homeowners directly, Deedcoin displaces all the cost raising middlemen that prey on the average family in a $700B dollar industry.
These solutions are reasonable and should exist already. However, due to the power and presences of central control organizations, these problems have no solution without blockchain. It’s time to close most of these sandwich shops and replace them with pizza, Chinese, and gyros before the institutions do. Blockchain will go mainstream and the people will adopt these solutions. The only question is, will the developers of today be the CEOs of the future? If we, as the people, miss this chance, blockchain will simply be another tool seized by corporations to continue their abuses in a more efficient method. We are still the early few in this technology. We, as ethical creators, purchasers, and enthusiasts must stop trading useless sandwiches and start solving problems before these opportunities are stripped away.