In case it isn’t apparent enough, the market has vibrantly illustrated its nascent and dynamic character over the last twelve months. The promise of blockchain technology hasn’t gone away, but the delivery of that promise is still years away. To be frank, blockchain use cases still exist on the fringe of businesses operational activities; although, we have seen refreshing examples of the technology in use in recent times.
HSBC settled $250 billion worth of FX deals via its DLT platform, company adoption of blockchain technology grew from 9% to 19% in the IoT sector in a recent sample, heck, blockchain transactions are even taking place in space.
Nonetheless, when glazing over these noteworthy headlines, you’ll notice somewhat buried beneath the excitement that a lot of these projects are still in the pilot or experimental phase.
Peter Van Valkenburgh’s “You have no idea how relieved I am” comment when demonstrating bitcoin’s lightning network highlights how far off we are from its widespread realization. We still have lots of educating to do, and lots of work before we can put our trust entirely into the system.
If you’ve been in the space for more than a few years, you’ll know how much effort has been put into this layer-two system, lightning. The paper proposing The Bitcoin Lightning Network came out almost three years ago, but to introduce it more efficiently it needed Segwit to address transaction malleability.
In 2017, the Great Segwit2x Compromise was proposed by our industry’s greatest so that we could lay the technological primitives into Bitcoin Core for lightning networks and other yet to come features. The 2x part, as we even hypothesized back then, didn’t materialize, and now we have two, three, maybe more(?) chain splits stemming directly from this debate.
Even if you’ve only been studying crypto for a few months, you can see the juvenility of the industry, with forks forking up. After a dismal effort to coordinate miners on ethereum’s ropsten test network and several bugs that were found in the Constantinople code in October, ethereum witnessed a similar setback this past week. About 15% of nodes upgraded to the necessary software only to find out in the last minute that there was a reentrancy attack vector in the code.
“I keep getting the feeling that we’re trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens,” said Afri Schoeden, release manager for the ethereum client Parity, back in October.
Afri is undoubtedly correct.
Some of us started running so fast, and they forget to tie their shoes.
To get to where we need to go, great deals will need to be made, money spent, and time allocated. But right now, everyone who believes here is working hard strengthening the foundation, spreading the gospel, and making sure that when that time comes, we will all be ready.
Decentralization, tokenization, and the monetization of this transformative technology will play out like the fabled story of the tortoise and the hare. So take your time to ponder upon your principles, ideas, and code because this a long game of chess and go.