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2024 — A Day Five Years from Now in the Crypto World

This is an imagined day of an imagined blockchain insider five years from now.

Five years from now, in 2024, I will wake up in my house near Golden Gate Bridge. Since I have opted out of a smart home package I will wake to the California sun streaming through my window. Most people, though, will be jolted out of bed by automatic lighting — connected to their phone alarm.

My morning routine begins with scanning the news. Thanks to algorithms I have chosen I will receive diversified topics periodically, in addition to news according to my interests. This change in how we receive news — obvious in retrospect — is due to a few drastic social-media events that are driven by what now we call a shell-world view, in which news feeds and advertisements are more and more narrow sighted. We wind up becoming self-bubblefied. The algorithm that was once a killer application for the advertisement industry caused revulsion that in order to avoid being stereotyped people had to click different or random objects to diversify their algorithms. A movement was eventually triggered and pushed by a few blockchain based data management companies, and more and more users opted out. Eventually, Silicon Valley had to reinvent their algorithms due to regulations so that people have net neutral access to news, advertisement, and information.

In 2024 nobody uses emails that are hosted on public servers. Instead, you can choose email services with varying degrees of encryption levels that are hosted on different decentralized networks.

There’s still good coffee and breakfast. Breakfast is still the same. Oatmeal and sunny side up eggs. But by now, my food can be delivered by drones and I scan the labels to see where exactly everything I order has from farm to table. And I know all the information is true.

After that, I sit down in my study and put on my headset to start working. Colleagues from different cities in different countries greet me as I enter my virtual reality workplace. Going to actual brick and mortar offices is still mainstream. But as of 2024 only privileged teams are trying the virtual, decentralized office. A headset costs pretty much the same for half a year’s office cost for one employee so for teams that do not require employees to operate on certain equipment or have comparatively low data security requirement they sometimes offer the employee the option of virtual officing at recruitment. You’d think five years is so far away and so many things could change. But in the end, you will be surprised by how so many things have stayed the same.

More and more companies are using data-driven performance monitoring. So it’s harder than before to just loaf around your cubicle. But more and more people are semi self-employed. For example, I work part-time for a company’s marketing and am a full-time blogger. My value is very much viewer based. The blockchain based browser and the reward system makes it easier for me to monetize my skills and talents.

This is good news for anybody who resents the modern-economic system of wages and bubbles and business cycles. Day job, mortgage, debt. A life of precarity. I am glad to be able to choose another kind of lifestyle. A lot of my peers are choosing the same. By 2024 many of them will have quit their corporate jobs to live A sustainable lifestyle.

Lunch is simple.

I take the afternoon off. I always go out for a walk or run errands. Nobody uses cash. That said, not every store is like Amazon Go. Like the two sides of the coin, for every advocate of facial recognition, there’s somebody pushing back, arguing for privacy and the right to opt out. As for me, I prefer no face recognition tech stores because I just prefer it that way.

Payroll is strictly only electronic USD available. Most fiat currencies have turned electronic. For us, everyday people, nothing much changed except now there’s no need to carry cash. For big enterprises, on the other hand, especially those which do cross border business such as a global supply chain, they are better off than before. There was a time when different stable coins competed as a settlement, but eventually, a dozen of coins won: electronic USD, electronic RMB, a gas backed stable coin for Europe, and another stable coin backed by the bank conglomerate, and a few other regional stablecoins.

As for thousands of crypto tokens that emerged in the mid-2010s? Most of them died out in the crypto winter of 2018. Less than 10% survived a bit longer than that since they had a comparatively full war chest. But the turning point was when social media giants launched their own tokens, with billions of real users for real use cases. Most legacy platforms were rendered irrelevant. Some were acquired, like some identity-based project; some became asset classes, which was great; but most just gradually died out at least product-wise.

Bitcoin is still around. Barely. Because more blockchain analytics poured into this space in 2019 and 2020, where they mapped out the addresses and associated it with trading data from financial providers, so the privacy feature of crypto was lost. It’s easily trackable and more law enforcement and mainstream financial institutions have their in-house data analysis teams. So fewer and fewer people use crypto for what they used to do, which was lots of cross border payment. Bitcoin, the digital gold becomes another asset class in the hands of Wall Street. Some unspeakable tokens moved underground, for some unspeakable businesses.

Like a movement, eventually, the technology is tamed or chained by regulations. The good thing is, people are more aware of their data security and luckily they have options that are somewhat safer. When I am typing down this blog on my website, the experience is not much different than it was five years ago, but I know that my ID is a hashed blockchain address and none of my other personal information is associated. What’s more, I am also aware that the data of this webpage is not hosted on a server vulnerable to cyber attacks. Instead, it’s stored in pieces among thousands of different computers all over the world.

In the evening, I might go to a smart bar. The bar door scanned my ID app and reads that my age is over eighteen, and lets me in. It’s not a government-issued ID, but an app developed on blockchain and only shows information that’s relevant. Government adoption is always slower. There, I meet some of my friends face to face and have a few drinks. Perhaps we’ll talk about what’s in store for 2029. And after that, we walk out. We pay our bill merely by walking out. The same door that let me handles the transaction in a split second. If you want to take the bill for your friends you will have to talk to the cashier to do it manually.

That’s a typical day for me in 2024. The years before are such a blur that I will probably not be able to remember how it was any different.




I write articles not for my fellow blockchain insiders but for developers, entrepreneurs, VCs, institutions, and everyday people interested in knowing the blockchain trend. It’s time to jump out of the echo chamber and share blockchain development with the world. #blockchain4all

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Natalie researches blockchain VC investment trends. Her current focus is web3 building blocks like scalability & privacy, cross-chain, and NFT infra.

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