Recently, I have been experimenting with the newly released Oculus Quest. I am now more convinced than ever that VR will play an important role in our day-to-day life in the future and that it will fundamentally affect the way we spend our leisure and social time. Additionally, I strongly believe that blockchain technology will further legitimize the virtual world, and give it more and more value and power over the real world.

I believe that VR is going to disrupt a multi-trillion-dollar economy — the economy of “getting outside your mind”. I first heard about this concept from the Book “Stealing Fire”, in which the author argues that every year, people spend trillions of dollars on activities to “refresh” their minds so that they can go back on being creative and productive. The range of activities is very broad, including watching movies, going to Disneyland, bowling with friends, creating art, traveling, consuming alcohol & drugs, and hundreds of other forms of entertainment. I believe that VR will affect and disrupt many industries linked to this type of economy because the immersive experience from the virtual world gives you a similar feeling of “taking a break” from your day-to-day reality, but gives you a lot more choices and at a much cheaper price than real-world activities. …


This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.

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Internet vs Blockchain Revolution: the evolution of the market, infrastructures, and companies

Are we in 1994?

Interestingly, when Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, found himself in Silicon Valley in early 1994, he thought that he was too late and missed the whole thing as the short recession of 1990–1991 hit the technology industry hard. The current stage of blockchain and cryptocurrency development is most analogous to the Internet Revolution in 1994, in which we have invented TCP/IP, HTML, and FTP, and out of these will lead to the development of Netscape (1994) and much later Facebook (2004), and Airbnb (2008). In blockchain, we are still inventing the building blocks and tools that allow us to distribute compute, preserve privacy, manage identity, and allow scalability, etc. …


This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.

Emergent technologies enable new concepts and business models that were not possible or practical before. These new concepts and business models often take time to be validated and require new methods of valuation. As the Internet Revolution has shown us, timing is very important for these new concepts and models to succeed in emerging markets.

The Emergence of New Concepts:

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New concepts that appeared with the development of the Internet and Blockchain

New technologies have the potential to create new concepts and business models, allowing for new markets to emerge. For example, the Internet allowed for the emergence of new concepts such as “unlimited selection” (ex: a book store that sells all the books from around the world — Amazon), or the concept of “instant gratification” (ex: a movie rental store selling all the movies from around the world — Netflix). The internet made these new models possible, and the companies such as Amazon or Netflix understood that consumers’ expectations were changing and focused on shifting their model to satisfy these new demands. Some other concepts include “search engine”, “real-time information”, “instant messaging”, “social media”, “digital advertising” and “streaming”. Although we take many of them for granted nowadays, a lot of these concepts started as an idea and needed time to be tested and proven over time. For example, during the early Internet, Jeff Bezos had the idea of the “everything store” from the beginning but thought it was too grandiose at first and chose to focus on selling books as a proof of concept to validate the business model of “e-commerce”. Books were chosen because they are most similar to a commodity, in which the buyers knew what they would be receiving, and had a relatively high margin. Once Jeff Bezos had proven himself that “e-commerce” could be a viable business model with books, Amazon quickly expanded into other verticals. …


This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.

In the early stage of emergent technologies, there are often challenges around scalability, cost, and education, limiting the development of breakthrough applications and mass adoption. However, these challenges are generally solved over time as we have witnessed with the evolution of the Internet and we should expect a similar technological progression in Blockchain.

Scalability and Cost:

Despite today’s fast Internet connection, the early days of the Internet faced challenges in terms of scalability and cost. On August 7, 1996, AOL’s Internet service failed from supporting a high volume of Internet users and went down for nineteen hours. At that point, Americans were increasingly living their online lives every day, and AOL was the country’s largest internet service provider, among other competitors such as Prodigy, CompuServe and MSN. The Internet itself hasn’t crashed but the ability to access it temporarily stopped, and it was a big deal for many who started to get used to surfing the web in their daily life. This is similar to what happened in the blockchain world in December 2017, in which the of CryptoKitties spiked the on-chain transaction volume on ethereum and clogged the network. Most users couldn’t get their transactions through on the blockchain unless they were willing to bid a high amount of gas fees, which caused a lot of confusion and distress in the community. While the ethereum network jam made many of us realize the current lack of scalability of blockchain technology in servicing more complex use cases, both of these failures in scalability during the early days of Internet and Blockchain showed a validation of how important these technologies had become in a few years for the early adopters and the need for better scalability solutions to support the growing user base and demand. …


This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.

Looking back at the Internet revolution, the founders of a lot of disruptive companies didn’t necessarily had business in mind first but came from various backgrounds, such as hobbyists, researchers from universities, hacker channels, and ex-employees of successful companies. This list is not exhaustive, but we will go through some examples.

Hobbyist

The origin of Yahoo began as a hobby, in which Jerry Yang and David Filo, Ph.D. students at Stanford at the time (1994), were collecting and trading new website links during the early time of the web. After discovering Mosaic, the first web browser, the two became obsessed with the World Wide Web. At the time, it was still possible to visit every single website in existence within a couple of hours, and a few websites appeared every day. Jerry and David’s goal was to find the best websites, sort them according to category and compile them into a list. From word-to-mouth, their public website directory quickly became popular among the first users surfing the web. In a way, the first version of Yahoo was more of a “glorified list” rather than a technological company but provided tremendous value by aggregating otherwise scattered websites on the web, making them a first mover advantage in the space. …


This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.

The early successful products during the Internet and Blockchain Revolution were the ones that abstracted the technicalities of the technology and provided convenience to the early adopters. This article will go over the origin of the Internet and discuss some of the products that quickly became popular during the early technological cycle.

Interestingly in the early days of the Internet, the large firms, including Microsoft and Comcast, had a wrong focus and believed that the future was on TV and the Information SuperHighway, the idea of an interactive Smart TV, in which you could purchase things from home, interact with each other through video chats, rent movies, etc… all the things that we can do today on our computer instead. This misdirection happened because, at the time, computers had a very small adoption rate compared to TVs, which existed for more than 60 years and was present in everyone’s home. Additionally, the first version of the web wasn’t meant to be used by the general population but required an understanding of Unix systems and command lines, in which AOL thought that building websites and hoping people will find them was a “leap of faith”. Indeed, the Internet was introduced in the military during the Cold War-era as a communication system that can withstand nuclear attacks (ARPANET), and later, introduced by DARPA, served as a research discussion and peer reviews platform in academic research centers. What people generally didn’t realize, is that the Information Superhighway was already there, but it was going to happen on the computer instead and the first successful products were the ones that provided an easy and convenient way for the general population to access the new technology. …


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Internet vs Blockchain Revolution

Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. At 8 Decimal Capital, we are attempting to find similarities between the Internet and Blockchain revolutions, to help the community better understand technological life cycles and the future of the Blockchain industry. The Internet Revolution facts are based on the book “How the Internet Happened”, written by Brian McCullough. We will be releasing a series of articles over the next couple of weeks. …


I had the pleasure of presenting on the topic of “Investing in the Security Token Ecosystem” in January 2019 at the Security Token Realized conference in London. Below is a summary of some key ideas from the presentation. If you are interested in learning more about our insights and perspectives on investing in the space, check out the full video presentation here.

I) Key Benefits of Security Tokens:

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Transparency & Programmability: Establishing trust between different parties is of vital importance locally, nationally, and globally. Blockchain is the ultimate cap table of “who owns what” and a record of all the previous transactions. Additionally with smart contracts, we can program compliance so that trades can automatically go through if the investors are compliant, else there would be an error blocking the transactions. …


OVERVIEW:

  • A tokenized version of assets should be able to demonstrate three key properties on the blockchain: the underlying asset: the virtual representation of the asset; the ownership of the asset: the identity of the asset owners; and the compliance rules of the asset: the set of regulatory and compliance rules governing the ownership and transaction of the asset.
  • Currently, privacy and compliance seem to be the major challenges in launching STOs. Depending on the jurisdiction, investors have to go through strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes to be compliant and eligible to invest and trade securities. …


  • By 2030, blockchain will have a value-add of over $3 trillion worldwide from cost reductions and revenue gains according to Gartner.
  • The winning use cases will not only solve issues in the current system but also justify the benefits, costs, and risks associated with implementing the technology.
  • As enterprise solutions develop the capabilities to scale and integrate both private and public blockchains, it is essential for investors to pay close attention to the technological development of enterprise solution and evaluate which solutions can satisfy the needs and requirements for enterprise adoption.
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Public vs Private vs Consortium Decentralization

By 2030, blockchain will have a value-add of over $3 trillion worldwide from cost reductions and revenue gains according to Gartner. Contrary to popular belief, public blockchains won’t replace central authorities. The internet, the first de facto pseudoanarchic trustless system ever created, brought the illusion of disintermediation. The internet allows for the transfer of text, images, programs, and videos. On the other hand, blockchain allows for the transfer of money, contracts, patents, and assets. Services are delivered by central powerhouses like Google (Google Developers), Facebook (Facebook Research), Amazon (Amazon App Developer) and e-business platforms in general. However, central authorities are susceptible to abusing their power. In this case, while a public blockchain could be an interim solution, eventually humans will create a central authority with people who are accountable for safety and security in fulfilling their lowest-level basic needs. …

About

Remi Gai

VC Associate 8 Decimal Capital | 8dcapital.com | Blockchain & Crypto | remigai.com

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