Malcolm Gladwell defined the ‘tipping point’ in his book by the same name as, “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”. Crypto is well on its way to its tipping point, and we can look to the journey of personal computers going mainstream to help us foresee what take it there.
By Michael M. Williams: A Futurist and Technologist, Consultant at Accenture, and Hobbyist Developer of Ethereum Dapps
In the early 2000s, personal computers developed by Apple and Microsoft were released to the world much to the awe of those who paid attention. But according to those who were around when PCs were released it was just that — awe at a new gismo — and nothing more. It was a digital typewriter that could do some other neat things but was relegated to the category of interesting nerd-tech in most people’s eyes. However, Apple and Microsoft kept working on improving the technology with it interest was mounting. After not being taken seriously for years, the industry approached the tipping point beyond which it would explode onto the global scene and become one of the most ubiquitous products ever created, and that tipping point would be marked by one of the largest incumbent business electronics producers making the public decision to compete.
The name of that company was IBM. It was only after IBM entered the computer hardware game that the space became legitimized, and the winners of that competition went on to lay the foundation for the next two decades of economic activity.
I believe Facebook could be to crypto-assets what IBM was to personal computing: the spark that led the revolution to catch flame. The parallels are everywhere; public blockchains were similarly relegated to anarchist computer geeks for its early years, faced similar skepticism by the masses, and has been steadily improving outside of the public eye with respect to its usability for years (this is in reference to the new blockchain launches and major upgrades planned to take place over the next 18 months).
The most important parallel, though, may be that they will now share a public endorsement from one of the biggest names in technology of their times, respectively. The legitimization Facebook’s blockchain project will bring to crypto could mark the graduation of crypto into the mainstream, as literally billions of people will for the first time have access to the crypto world. So not only will people see Facebook taking to crypto and potentially reconsider their first estimation of Bitcoin and other crypto-assets, they will be directly exposed to crypto on a platform they log in to at least once a month. Facebook’s leap into crypto will thus benefit crypto twofold.
I believe that once people become comfortable with crypto it will go mainstream just like PCs did, and the world will similarly enter a decade in which blockchain based innovations, products, and services will dominate the global economy in tandem with artificial intelligence and AR/VR. These are exciting times!
Thanks for reading! Please clap, comment, and subscribe if you enjoyed the piece.