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The sharp decline in the price of cryptocoins has spurred an outpouring of commentary from columnists and academics who - suspicious of the asset class all along - now feel vindicated. But their focus on falling prices this year is just as foolhardy as the evangelists focus on gains last year, and somewhat misses the point. The biggest blockchain headline of 2018 isn’t that prices have crashed, but that adoption has accelerated throughout the decline.
Among the entrepreneurs and developers building out the technology, there is a growing sense of satisfaction that an industry primarily known for its hypothetical promise is finally starting to deliver. If you can manage to look past sensational stories of “who lost how much in Bitcoin,” what you’ll find are far more interesting stories on adoption and implementation. Whereas 2017 was the year of whether, 2018 is going out as the year of when and how.
Shift - Challenges - Blockchain - Technology - Adoption
This is an important shift, despite ongoing challenges. Blockchain is a foundational technology, so adoption isn’t just about new systems, but a re-architecting of how business is done. That’s no small task, as we were reminded recently when the parent of the New York Stock Exchange announced a delay in the launch of its physical-backed Bitcoin futures. Tempting as it might be to interpret that news as yet another setback in the midst of a bear market, it’s a startling reminder of how far things have come. Not that long ago, the idea of one of the worlds biggest financial companies adopting Bitcoin felt like a pipe dream. Today, we lament a short delay.
Once rolled out, those futures will be an important bridge between legacy financial markets and natively digital ones. This sort of infrastructure is vital to making good on the industry’s loftier promises, and encouragingly, where progress seems to...
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