Transparency is the Cure to Blockchain’s Shady Reputation
Top examples of fair and open business in the blockchain space
Over the last decade we’ve seen no shortage of Blockchain and crypto projects promising the world only to come up short in reaching their ultimate vision.
And as someone who has been actively involved in the space for the last few years, I’ve seen first hand the large disconnect between hype and reality.
Some projects were too ambitious. Others failed to create a product that the marketplace felt had value. More troubling, during the 2017 bull run a study concluded that nearly 80% of ICO’s were flat out scams.
Beyond the hype and ambitious promises, the industry continues to struggle to repair the damage done by the years of lack of transparency and bad actors embedded in Blockchain and crypto.
As a designer and brand consultant working with emerging tech companies, one of the most common themes I hear from entrepreneurs and investors alike is the lack of transparency in the industry today. Blockchain has gone from being the golden ticket to a red flag in many investors conversations.
Of course, even the greatest ideas in any industry aren’t guaranteed to succeed, but the lack of openness from some of the most innovative projects is still concerning.
While several well known cryptocurrencies such as ETH and Cardano have made efforts to build their vision in a transparent and forward thinking way, there’s a long way to go before the industry’s reputation can fully recover.
Leading The Way In Transparency and Vision
For the “future of tech” to be relevant, more and more projects must commit to building for the future and being transparent along the way.
Which is why over the last few months I’ve kept a close eye on Blockchain project Algorand, who is attempting not only to build tech that scales but also be as open to the community as possible.
Founded by MIT computer scientist Silvio Micali and led by CEO Steve Kokinos, Algorand is hoping to be one of the first crypto projects to truly solve the infamous Blockchain Scalability Trilemma.
In an age where hype is common, it’s refreshing to see that Algorand’s tech has so far passed with flying colors. Currently Algorand can handle over 1000 transactions per second, and at the time of this writing has not experienced any stalls or outages on the network.
While their tech is thus far impressive, Algorand is making strides in building trust with the community through the Algorand Foundation with frequent updates and commentary on their vision.
For example, Massimo Morini of the Economic Advisory Committee recently shared his thoughts on the vision for economic equilibrium within the Algorand ecosystem and how Algorand intends to adjust based on market needs.
Given that Algorand has recently seen some selling pressure, “The Foundation is considering incentives to increase the number of Algos held for long-term staking by introducing higher rewards for participants willing to lock tokens for various lengths of time”
The Foundation’s commitment to listening to the community and making adjustments as necessary shows that the project is invested in the long term success of their vision and tech.
Additionally, the core function of Algorand is to make it easier for anyone to tokenize an asset with both transparency and scale, “Those who tokenize assets using the Alogrand blockchain will be assured of having a truly decentralized blockchain, which no one can censor.”
Of course, while that’s certainly a bold claim, it appears so far that the team behind Algorand is well equipped to be leading the charge of innovation.
It’s been refreshing to see since Algorand’s 1st Dutch Auction in June in which the price closed at $2.40 per Algo, they have published the public keys and statement of use of the 2B tokens they currently hold.
Even the 500M tokens managed by the Algorand Foundation can be found and followed on their foundation website.
While it remains to be seen how successful Algorand will be long term, it’s clear Algorand has taken steps to be as open and transparent as possible.
Whether or not they are ultimately successful doesn’t take away from the fact we need more projects committed to winning back the trust of the community and those who remain sitting on the sidelines.
Tech + Transparency
Despite the promise of Blockchain and crypto, it’s important to stay grounded in reality. There are a handful of projects I’m currently excited about not only for the innovation they hope to bring, but their desire to build an inclusive and open community that cares about the future and not just short term results.
For the space to mature and evolve, it must begin to adopt a new identity. We must demand the leaders of innovation of Blockchain tech hold themselves to a higher standard of trust and transparency.
It’s clear to me, that Blockchain and crypto have a branding problem.
A branding problem that can only be solved by companies committing to putting in the work and being open and transparent throughout the process.
While Algorand and other leading Blockchain projects will have their ups and downs, those who are building for the future are our only hope at repairing our currently damaged reputation.
I’m incredibly excited to see more and more projects commit to building a better future through their actions and not just their words.