The blockchain industry has achieved the “understanding scape velocity”

Space X launch picture

If you take a close look at what’s happening in the crypto space you can’t feel anything else than excitement. But it’s funny, I also find that most thoughtful opinions criticizing the space are somehow right. I think there are four reasons for this.

First, most articles are laser-focused on some important aspects but they miss, or remove for their convenience, the whole picture. Even the longest texts are a narrowish take on what the industry is building as a whole.

This makes their take more or less acceptable but it can leave you with a bitter after taste. There’s a zooming, maybe framing, problem with takes on the topic that’s frequently avoid.

Second, the morphology of the space is more complex than most of what we’ve seen before. There are hundreds of mission-driven teams working on every infraestructure piece you can imagine.

Working hard to make everything connect with everything. Layer after layer of functions of code and narrative. For purposes that might be aligned or not but coordinating like swarms full of independence. The number and diversity of initiatives are hard to describe.

Third, the whole space moves so fast that it’s nearly impossible to track. The current landscape is: global distributed teams working 24h a day, with frequent releases and constant forks of new competitors applying evolutionary improvements in a never ending race.

Plus tons of new breeds that are copy-cats of what gets popular. For financial opportunism or for fun. Don’t forget this is full of young people and internet is meme-land.

Any effort to understand what’s happening is an excruciating exercise. Even if we just look at projects with significant traction on one vertical. The blockchain industry, because of its size and speed, has already achieved “understanding scape velocity”.

Fourth, the promises made are very deep concepts. They dance using terms like identity, ownership, governance, decentralization, zero-knowledge and so on. Experts in digital identity, IT security or citizen participation have a truly deep understanding on their matter.

But as anybody else they don’t know what they don’t know. The combination of expertise and deep concepts makes any dissertation interesting but frequently incomplete. I find this happening all the time. I feed myself with opinions from different domains.

Linked to these ideas there are many battles for power as in everything humans do. It might look to you that you are reading a tough article of technology or Defi, etc, but there’s always politics behind the curtains.

The confrontation is real at different fronts and the polarization is growing. You are seeing it now with the branding term “Web 3”. Me against you, now against yesterday, this against that.

Power battles.

Chased by brands

You’ve surely noticed that when browsing the web some ads are closely related to your previous visits to certain pages. Even if that happened days ago. Online behavior tracking have been there for some time, and boost sales enormously for an online retail business -just to mention one-.

How do you feel about that?. It’s obvious that it have some minority report alike effect, orwellian if you prefer. Does it discomfort you?. Recently I realized that it works for me as a reminder. As a pending to-do alert I have to fulfill. Weird. But in some way it push me away from completing my purchase through clicking the banner. It’s just like when you have too much attention on you from the staff in a brick and mortar store.

I would consider seriously  the negative outcomes of feeling chased and the impact on brands over the sales.