Why cryptocurrency is so much more than the internet in its early days

February 04, 2019
Darya Karatkevich

The internet has revolutionized the world. It provided a platform that would change the way we communicate, shop, bank, and interact with everything around us. It fueled economic growth with companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many more. The internet has developed so quickly and become such a huge part of our lives, that it is hysterical to look back at its origins when a talk show host didn’t even know what the symbol “@” stood for.

Cryptocurrencies seem to mimic the same path the internet took around 25 years ago. The purchase of two pizzas with 10,000 bitcoins made headlines across the globe as the first purchase conducted with the “internet currency bitcoin.” The similarities between the two led to the comparison of cryptocurrency market crash with that of the Dot-Com bubble in the early 2000s.

Yet, what many fail to understand is that although these two technologies have brought about significant changes, comparing the two would be the same as comparing an apple to an orange.

Centralized technology vs decentralized technology

The development of the internet is attributed to scientists funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Meaning, it was understood and could be controlled by a centralized force. Cryptocurrency was created to shake up the centralized system entirely. Upon its introduction in 2008, the world governments didn’t know how to interact with cryptocurrencies. Only within the past few years, the first regulations have been put in place.

Something that can exist without a centralized authority by definition wouldn’t be too quickly accepted by those governments that embrace a lot of centralized power. Take China, for instance, which is trying to ban cryptocurrency trade altogether. While the internet changed society, cryptocurrencies are meant to enhance it. It is a whole new category of technology, and comparing cryptocurrency to the internet actually undersells the technology’s eventual impact.

An equal technology

The internet has been mostly monetized by global corporations, which provided a centralized platform for corporations to increase revenue. Its functions were recognized almost immediately, leading to creation of the powerful multi-billion companies we see today.

Now, let’s compare it with the impact of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Blockchain is predicted to change business entirely by revolutionizing supply chain management, banking, and trading, with a multitude of real-life cases already in use today. The internet did the same, but blockchain and cryptocurrencies have the ability to go beyond what the internet did by providing an equal playing field for everyone through decentralization.

Distributed innovation

When you think of internet advancement, or technological advancement in general, one place comes to mind — Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is the place to be when it comes to technology. All growth seems to stem from a single spot in the San Francisco Bay area. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, on the other hand, are scattered all across the globe. Advancement comes in the form of tax incentives, innovative regulations, and exchange freedoms.

ICOs are founded throughout the world, each one bringing something new to the table. The bad ones have been weeded out through the market’s plunge as did the bad business ideas funded by the potential uses of the internet. Just like Google, which survived the early tech crash in the 2000s, so will the ICOs which have signified an important use. And just like Google, these companies, whether they be a bitcoin business or otherwise, will go on to change cryptocurrencies so dramatically that they might go beyond what Google has become.

distributed cryptocurrency

The long haul

Cryptocurrency markets are volatile, no one is denying that, but consider how far they have come. Bitcoin rose to extreme heights in 2017 and 2018, only to come crashing down. Consider those who bought bitcoin when its value was below a dollar, who held onto the digital asset during its rise and sequential fall. As bitcoin is hovering around the $3,600 mark, these people still have made a significant amount of profit, and yet many of them still refuse to sell it, why?

These are the people who don’t compare the internet and cryptocurrency, who understand the potential of the technology once completely adopted on the mainstream level. Cryptocurrency wasn’t developed with profit in mind, it was developed for financial freedom. This is yet another reason why the comparison of cryptocurrencies to the internet is no longer valid. They are two completely different technologies operating with substantially different rules.

Where do we go from here?

As cryptocurrency use spreads and blockchain continues to be adopted, there is no telling where the technology will lead us as a society. The internet’s uses could be predicted at a fairly young age, yet cryptocurrencies are still being researched by governments throughout the globe.

It is still too early to predict where cryptocurrencies will take us, but it is bound to be an interesting ride, even more so than it already has been. Hang on to your wallet, keep your coins safe, and have faith in the markets. The internet revolutionized the world. When adopted by mainstream, cryptocurrencies will do so much more.

Post written by Darya Karatkevich
Darya is a blockchain market observer with 5+ years of experience as an author and editor for major tech blogging platforms. Her fortes are blockchain technologies and solutions, cryptocurrencies and crypto-related regulations.

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