There is much hype, promise and excitement around the whole cryptocurrency space. Blockchain technology is disrupting traditional ecosystems, cryptocurrencies are evolving the money market – but there is yet to be a pioneering native app.
Investors and crypto believers are starting to ask where this paradigm-changing idea based solely on the power of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain will come from. Who will create what Instagram is for mobile photo sharing, or what Amazon is for native web apps for e-commerce?
Programmability of money
Recently, venture capital investor Chris Dixon and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam discussed this missing piece of the puzzle on Andreessen Horowitz’s tech podcast “Why Crypto Tokens Matter.”
Dixon and Ehrsam describe the significance of cryptocurrency and its rise through the analogy of how the Web changed information.
The Web allowed for the programmability of information for the first time, cryptocurrencies and tokens allow for the programmability of money or value for the first time.
Thus, through the Internet, new businesses were opened up to the entire globe as information and data was transferred instantly. They feel сryptocurrencies can do the same for money.
Burning the boats
With this new technology now available, the world is yet to see a company that goes all in on it in order to catch the top of the wave of potentially huge success.
There are companies, like Amazon and Instagram, that ‘burnt their boats’ with the traditional ways of doing things and thus profiting hugely from the new technology.
Companies which have the greatest chance to capture the most value with every big wave of technology – such as Web, mobile, and now crypto – are the ones who go all-in on being the first native app for the new wave.
Amazon is where it is today because when it started out there was no thought of keeping one foot in the traditional bookstore market – a brick-and-mortar store. Amazon created their native Web app for e-commerce and unlike Barnes & Noble, did not try and keep a stake in actual stores.
Mobile only photos
Similarly, Instagram rode the wave of mobile-only apps, a tech that only arrived 10 years ago. There were mobile apps prior to that, that were modeled on websites, and Flickr was the dominant photo site in the beginning. They created a mobile app for themselves but still was geared to you going to your computer and uploading photos.
Instagram changed the paradigm however and created a mobile-only photo app that did not even have a webpage – something unheard of at the time.
The native Blockchain business?
It is hard to even say what the defining Blockchain business that sparks a revolution will look like. There are more and more ICOs and companies trying to be the genre-defining one, especially with the use of Ethereum and smart contracts, but up until now, nothing is gaining big enough traction to be noticeable.
That is not to say that the Blockchain-only native business has not yet been created; time may be the factors keeping it back.