The Bigger Problem with CryptoKitties

What a weird weird phenomena CryptoKitties are, I never see these things coming and I don’t understand the fascination with them, which is probably why I’ve never been involved with fad projects. It probably runs in the family, my dad invented lots of ground breaking things and holds many patents, but when Bill Bowerman approached him in the 60’s about getting involved in a shoe company, he didn’t see the point. That shoe company is Nike.

So, I don’t really care about the CryptoKitties as something to do, but what it did illustrate is something myself and others have been saying for a while, Ethereum is not going to be able to handle the things that people want to do on it. Something that Ethereum does very well is allow you to create your own token, which has led to lots of ICO’s, thousands of them, I even have one of my own called SAAVcoin, but we are only using Ethereum for the token, we didn’t put anything else on there. Here is the problem, a single application with a relatively low number of people using it in the scheme of things, basically brought the Ethereum network to its knees.

So what happens with all these thousands of companies that want to put everything on the Ethereum network, including your personal information to “speed” car rentals, or storing your critical files, or all these social systems or supply chain systems? What is going to happen? There was an exchange between Steemit inventor and (now) EOS developer Daniel Larimer and Vitalik Buterin in 2013 or 2014 where Daniel confronts him about a number of these problems he perceived developing, and they are now supposed to be solving with EOS, but we won’t know if they got it right until it releases in mid 2018.

What are people going to do? You can’t really explicitly add capacity to the network, it’s like trying to add seeders to a bittorrent file. What has become more clear than ever between this and the explosion of value in various cryptocurrencies in recent days, is that pretty much nothing in this space can scale very well and a lot of people are making plans around deploying on these networks and they have no real way to test scalability, that’s an enormous problem.

Some tech I have my eye on in particular is Dragonchain, which will give me much more granular control over what I’m doing and how it is deployed. There is the aforementioned EOS that will be interesting to see what is delivered, then there is also Nem, Hashgraph and Hyperledger based technology, I’ve not used any of those other than Dragonchain, but the technology base needs a solution for app deployment that can scale in size and performance. For monetary transactions, I’m most excited about Chia from Bram Cohen, inventor of Bittorrent.

Lots of interest and excitement about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies right now, but pretty much no one has any idea what they are talking about when they try to predict this market. This market has never existed before and trying to apply the template of the current trading markets has so far proven to be severely flawed. You can always regret not having bought or sold at a certain price, but that is only a manifestation of the underlying technology. The real apps are on their way, the question is, will they be usable once they get here.