Fools’ Gold Rushes (Op-Ed)

The Bitcoin market is entering a phase of faux innovation that seems to be driven by either frustration over having entered the field late in the game, or by outright fraud; sometimes, it is a bit of both.
Instead of starting firms that use Bitcoin or helping the core developers with incremental improvements to the system, pretenders hawk Cryptocurrency 2.0 Bitcoin-killer vaporware, complete with slick logos and promotional videos promising a new life and the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.
They would have us believe that inventing The Next Big Thing is easier than starting a business or programming; otherwise, they would devote their efforts to those more immediately rewarding endeavors, rather than undertake the arduous task of starting an entire industry from scratch.
This is not to say that no new post-Bitcoin industries will be created. Of course they will! This is to say, however, that it is too early to know what Bitcoin’s commercial shortcomings are, aside from crossing the chasm from early adopters to the early mainstream. What passes for Cryptocurrency 2.0 – Moneypunk 3.0, for those of us who have been involved in this field for the better part of two decades – is the modern equivalent of someone promoting Automobile 2.0 shortly after the release of the Ford Model T. Yes, Bitcoin is clunky, as was the Model T, but incremental improvements in automobile design over the past century have made more fortunes than have radical redesigns of personal transportation, such as jetpacks, hovercraft, and subterranean maglev trains.

This post was published at Coin Telegraph on 2015-01-13.

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