These are strange times for the Blockchain world. Strange at least for that world, to everyone else it just looks normal. We were reminded of this today, when in the space of two hours we met with two very knowledgable people, whose opinions we regard highly, and they had diametrically opposite views of all things Blockchain.
First, we met with a seasoned, long-time Venture investor. He has been in the industry for a long time. Long enough to remember the 1990’s .com Bubble. He had no interest in Blockchain. He lumped all the cryptocoins into one group clearly labeled ‘scam’. For him, the Blockchain has only a very narrow set of applications. He felt that many of the Blockchain projects out there were ideas that are better served with existing technologies. No need to re-invent the wheel. So we moved the conversation to other topics.
Our second meeting was with a seasoned, long-time Hedge Fund manager who had a side project investing in a few Blockchain projects. One idea in particular was consuming a lot of his time. For him, the Blockchain is something that is going to be around for a long time. His held that the recent downturn in cryptocoin prices was good news, with the potential to clear a lot of the worst junk out of the system. He had very bullish projections for Bitcoin and Ethereum, and had some very interesting mining ideas. Our conversation went over schedule diving deep on all of these topics.
The funny thing is that they are both probably right.
The Cyrptocoin markets clearly got very frothy last year. We have no idea what Bitcoin is ‘worth’, but it has been clear for some time that the cryptocoin landscape has attracted a large number of highly questionable projects and outright scams. That being said, we maintain that the Blockchain is an important foundational technology, with many important potential applications. This sort of dichotomy is true of all major technology innovations, the only unusual thing here is how quickly the Bubble inflated.