Ethereum’s Killer App

Seeing that this is my first ever Medium post, a brief introduction is most likely required. My Name is Matthew Tan and I work (and live) at Etherscan. As an individual, I am generally very low profile and given the opportunity I would rather focus on coding but just last week i did my first ever Blockchain public speaking arrangement at Bloktex.com (Malaysia’s very first Inaugural Blockchain conference) on the topic of ICOs, AppTokens and Best Practices. An area which I have always been personally excited about.

As with with any conference, shortly thereafter i received a lot of questions and had many interesting short discussions relating to the topic of ICOs. There was a healthy amount of genuine interests and a tad bit of skepticism at the same time. The skepticism mainly revolved around the idea that crowdfunding could potentially be so simple and easy as deploying a Smart Contract on the Ethereum Blockchain. Now, this does not take into account the legal aspects surrounding ICOs or other logistical issues like product positioning, marketing, whitepapers, team, etc but merely the fact that crowdfunding on the Blockchain is possible. And we have already seen many companies and projects successfully raise funding on the Ethereum blockchain via the Token model (https://etherscan.io/tokens).

And at the same time during the conference, there were many other participants working on different projects using different Blockchain platforms. Many different camps as I would like to put it ;-). And one of the questions that was raised was what are some of the use cases for Ethereum, more specifically “What was Ethereum’s killer app ?”. In the past my answer would have been along the lines that eventually one of these crowdfunded projects on the Ethereum blockchain would deliver the next killer app. But taking a step back and looking at it from a higher level the killer app was already here! Ethereum’s killers app are ICOs. The ability to crowdfund, to raise money from anywhere in the world and not limited by boundaries but only your imagination.

Most importantly ICO crowdfunding on the Ethereum blockchain creates a massive network effect that is not available on any other blockchain platforms to date. Not only because your participants are now your product champions, but because the Ethereum ecosystem is “App Token Rich”. It is host to different App Tokens with different use cases, each potentially interacting with the other in a synergistic way that we can only imagine. And I expect more and more developers to continue onboarding and choosing Ethereum as the blockchain of choice for developing their dApps , thus further compounding the network effect. And what is even more interesting is that developers are doing this on their own accord and not because of special incentives or marketing from the foundation but because they want to. Simply put it has the pull effect.

Further down the road, Ethereum ICOs will create new use cases and dapps. And in a self perpetuating way this in return will spawn the next generation of Killer apps for Ethereum.

PS: Special thanks to my other team mates WeeChuan and Jan Yik for providing feedback for my presentation material and for sitting through my 30 minute practice sessions :-)