In my latest article “Crypto, like railways, is among the world’s best innovations of the millennium,” I compare the blockchain revolution to the railroad boom. If we continue to use this analogy, what will happen next?
Stuart Hylton in his book What the railways did for us: The Making of Modern Britain quotes this quote: “The direct effects of railway construction are, after all, significant enough in themselves not to require any exaggeration. They profoundly affected the internal traffic flows, the choices on site and the patterns of land use, the housing densities and the development prospects of the central and inner districts of the Victorian city. ”
When examining the development of blockchain technology, one can make a curious observation. First of all, no one saw it coming: People neglected Bitcoin (BTC) and related applications; blockchain protocols were judged unnecessary, while Wall Street predicted the cryptocurrency. Laugh or not, Bitcoin has “died” over 400 times. Second, the industry has captured the minds of audiences and professionals, governors and creators; in an instant, the internet took the roadmap from Web2 to Web3.
Just as railroads transformed cities in the early days, blockchain continues to shape the format of the Internet. Below I highlight some of the key ways it affects the design and architecture of virtual networks and physical infrastructure.
The first use of cryptocurrency is instant, uncensored, almost free payments. The majority of cryptocurrencies do not care about replacing the central bank currency in their country; they simply enjoy the seamless speed and fungability of new money.
These digital cash is often accepted when there is a restriction on use or a high fee imposed on a traditional currency. As a result, more sellers are considering this payment method, while crypto maintainers are also adapting.
Related: Disconnection manifesto: Mapping of the next phase of the cryptocurrency journey
Miners and cryptoport guards
Crypto-infrastructure adapted to regulations and vice versa. When China introduced a ban on initial coin supply and later limited mining in the country, the industry moved to more favorable territories. Countries with cheaper electricity such as Venezuela and Ukraine also satisfied the demand for expanding mining operations.
As several cryptocurrencies introduced proof-of-stake consensus, a number of decentralized finance projects (DeFi) emerged. So while bankers continued their plea to neglect this “fun money”, the industry strengthened its position and grew quietly to a market of over $ 2 trillion.
Now I return to the chapter on urban planning by rail: “The arrival of the railways to London, according to Simon Jenkins, had a greater impact than anything else since the great fire of 1666.” The same thing happened with crypto for investment: Suddenly, millions of people – mostly millennials – got a chance not to get super rich, so at least to make money from the launch of new tokens. This motivated blockchain entrepreneurs to build more DeFi solutions, from decentralized exchanges to aquaculture and various liquidity pools.
Related: Building blocks: Gen Y can use tokens to get up the property ladder
NFTs and organization of the chaotic network of information
If search engines like Google allowed us to systematize information on the Internet, Web3 would make it more efficient. For example, a certain file – let’s say an image – can be reused as an original source instead of copying it. This seems to contradict what we are observing now, but the introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFT), their sales frenzy and the experiments in virtual reality suggest what a “semantic web” might look like.
Hylton mentions that railways pushed the slums out of British and American cities and brought order to the streets along these tracks. “By the middle of the twentieth century, trains had made one last addition to the British landscape: a state network of sometimes abandoned and impassable canals, many of which have since been rebuilt. In the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, they served as the nation’s arteries. The Duke of Bridgewater, who created the canal bearing his name, was one of the first to see the threat that railways represented to his creation. an elderly man (he died in 1803). “
Related: Web3 is dependent on participatory finances, and that is what is missing – Participation
Where does that lead us?
So the railways replaced the canals. Web3 will inevitably transform Web2, but we can not be sure that the process is fair. (Like railways that transform the terrain into cities and move poor populations elsewhere, blockchain protocols force digitization without giving a real choice.) As active observers, it is our duty and our responsibility to constantly remind ourselves of the limitations and risks of new technologies to ensure a fair transition for all.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. All investment and trading movements involve risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Katia Shabanova is the founder of Forward PR Studio, and brings over 20 years of experience in implementing programs for IT companies ranging from Fortune 1000 companies and venture funds to startups before the first public offerings. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Philology and German Studies from Santa Clara University in California and took a Master’s degree in Philology from the University of Göttingen in Germany.