Despite Crypto Volatility, Blockchain Projects Accelerate Development
Get in the know about what’s actually happening in the world of decentralization
Bitcoin rockets up. XRP shoots down. ETH does both within an hour. And then it all flips around and starts again the next day. Repeat this process at pace ad nauseum for a few years, and you’ll have the first inklings of what the cryptocurrency markets have proven to be like in this nascent era of the decentralized age. The volatility is enough to make even the most hardened techno-libertarian economist’s head spin.
But digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are only the top layer of what blockchain technology is capable. Decentralized computer networks and the transactional trust platforms made possible by the public, immutable ledgers intrinsic to blockchain remove the need for gatekeeper institutions like banks or data-hoarding centralized social media apps or even record labels and online casinos.
Mainstream news sources seem often only to understand speculation on the prices of digital assets. Their understanding and reporting on blockchain and crypto is modeled after their understanding of financial markets. However, that leaves a major part of the equation in the dark. There’s a whole world of fast-paced development going on behind the scenes that is working towards delivering on the promise of blockchain and Ethereum by shifting the global coverage focus of the movement from discussion of price to a discussion of tech application via dApps.
In fact, a look around the milieu of decentralized applications already available shows a wealth of projects that range from essentials like Metamask, the Brave web browser, and mobile app Status, platforms and markets like VR world Decentraland, SingularDTV’s artist tokenization platform Tokit, prediction market Augur, and collectivized computer power portal Golem. Even how we find and do work is changing thanks to apps like Bounties.Network and Gitcoin, while social media apps like Peep.Eth and Minds are bringing people together without intermediaries.
“While price fluctuations somehow continue to make headlines, a number of statistics go severely underreported,” says SingularDTV’s Director of Business Development G. Thomas Esmay. “For example, thousands of developers are working in the blockchain space, and this number is only growing. The rising number of developers — not too mention the countless entrepreneurs — moving to the blockchain space reveals that substantial innovation is already underway.”
“I look forward to 2019 as a year to roll out many more dapps, both from SingularDTV and the wider blockchain community,” Esmay continues. “And it’s dapps that will provide the user interface that will make blockchain more tangible and interactive for a wider audience of users.The next couple of years of growth in blockchain are going to be exciting.”
Another sign of how the focus in the blockchain industry has been changing is the trend shift in ICO’s — Initial Coin Offerings. In 2017, there were over 1000 coins created and $6 billion dollars raised. While 2018 has already outpaced the prior year in terms of total raised — now nearing $7 billion — a month-to-month analysis shows a drastic drop off in line with the overall crypto market’s decline from highs in January.
What this all suggests is that we’re now moving beyond a hyper-focus on money raised, soaring values, and that the teams all over the world, those with the tech, skill, business plan and luck required to succeed, are using those funds to bring blockchain projects to life. A mere glance at the project listed above is a testament to that. Leaders in the blockchain space like Ethereum Co-Founder Joe Lubin and SingularDTV CEO Zach LeBeau have long been extolling a big-picture, long-term view on blockchain and decentralization, and it’s clear we’re moving into the ‘show me’ phase of the technology’s development.
“Digital currencies are just one, thin, tiny layer scratching at the surface of what blockchain technology and decentralization is all about,” LeBeau said almost one year ago to the day. “The time for legitimacy, the time for real applications on the blockchain is coming. It’s going to change the way we fundamentally think about value and how we all can benefit from it.”
The blockchain industry is rife with signs that the time is now. Whereas the token phrase of the movement was once ‘HODL,’ technologists and developers have another inside joke: BUIDL. Developers are focused on building the platforms far more than the state of cryptocurrency markets.
Meanwhile. even though a downturn in the digital currency markets has lessened the glare of media attention, legacy institutions that blockchain startups hope to replace wholesale are scrambling to find a way to build their own platforms and get involved. There are a hundred of metaphors to explain what this means: The horse has left the barn, the genie is out of the bottle, the cat’s out of the bag. Blockchain is here to stay, and will provide the backbone for new models of business in every industry imaginable. Although prices have proven to be volatile, the focus has shifted to something a little deeper.