Growing up in the 21st century, you may have been warned that you could lose your job as a result of rapid technological change. As an English editor, I've been suggested to plan a career change before Machine translation leaves me jobless in three or five years. It is scary to see technological progress eliminating the need for many types of jobs. Therefore, people sometimes choose not to believe as it does in the case of bitcoin and the blockchain technology.
I try to talk people around me into learning something about bitcoin and the blockchain technology, but they would simply cover their ears and go“la la la”. I understand it's hard to believe something invisible to them could change the world and reshape many sectors. And they are reasonable to say some companies and projects are scams. But they clearly don't understand what is happening by saying bitcoin and blockchain tech are Ponzi's schemes.
The Blockchain Technology
I am obsessed with the blockchain technology and try to really understand it by talking to cryptocurrency developers and investors. I lock myself at room and read books about bitcoin and blockchain. My parents say I am brainwashed by those technical guys and should stop listening to them. But the way I look at it is blockchain technology is the Internet of Value that can change the world on an unprecedented scale.
The Internet today is a cost effective mechanism for worldwide information dissemination. But at the same time, it is subject to problems like privacy and security. We enjoy the convenience of the Internet at the price of divulging personal data. Nick Szabo says that doing business on the Internet requires a leap of faith because a third party is always involved. The Blockchain network, however, serves as a trustworthy global platform where transactions can be directly made between you and me without going through a third party. For the first time ever, money and everything of value can be exchanged and confirmed by mass collaboration on the Internet in a truly trusted way.
Luo Zhenyu, a Chinese talk-show host notes that:
“ Modern humans are pathetic. They think like a gorilla of a primitive society, they have organizations and national framework of the Middle Ages but enjoy advanced technology of the modern world. The modern civilization is highly inconsistent.”
He believes that Blockchains are able to kill those medieval organizations.
“A middleman is always wanted to help the parties communicate and resolve disputes when mass collaboration is required. With blockchain technology, trust can be built across borders and boundaries and a middleman is no longer needed. I can't imagine how much it will change the world when the technology gets mature and more applications are unleashed.”
It may take years or even decades for the blockchain technology to become mature, but you don't have to wait for that long to see that the technology has already evolved the way companies fundraise.
ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, is a new form of fundraising that enables Blockchain startups to raise capital quickly by selling digital tokens. It is somewhat like the company has been listed and shares are held by investors. Compared with IPOs, ICOs save troubles for startups to battle the burden of red tape. It lowers the threshold for entrepreneurs to start their own business. According to Tokendata.io data , 34 ICO projects in July raised $665 million in total. However, the current ICO craze will lead to disastrous consequences. Obviously, the first group of companies seeking for ICOs are largely not big companies with wonderful projects. If the project is promising, why not seek support in traditional ways instead of starting an ICO that is unregulated? Is the boss a geek or a simple conman? How can you tell?
As the number of bad ICO projects grows, it will not take long before the ICO market collapses. Should we invest before the bubble pops?
“Similar to the Dotcom crash in 2000, when the current craze comes to an end, there will be more resources available in the market, employees with blockchain expertise and sound infrastructure. I believe real promising ICO projects will occur in the next wave.”
Luo adds that some opportunities seem to be “it's now or never”, but according to the rules of social evolution, we should wait till this craze is over.