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August 20, 2018 @ 12:12 +03:00
“Crypto in crisis.” Mainstream press outlets covering battered crypto markets have frequently invoked that phrase in recent weeks. For those of us who’ve followed the cryptocurrency scene for five years or more, the natural retort is: “When hasn’t it been in crisis?”
History is not prologue. The fact that bitcoin eventually recovered from the low of $210 it hit one year after its late-2013 peak of $1,150 is no guarantee that it will rebound from its current price near $6,500 and revisit its late-2017 peak of $19,783. And, yes, it could definitely go lower.
Fewer Lambos, more education
Rather, what I’d like to talk about is how the crypto community should use this moment to forget about price fluctuations and instead engage the world in a proper discussion about blockchain technology’s potential. Let’s have less “to the moon” and “Lambo” talk and more discussions about the promise of peer-to-peer exchange, smart contracts and decentralized applications.
Learning from private blockchains
In just two recent examples, the World Bank teamed up with Microsoft and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to issue its first blockchain-based bond and Maersk and IBM announced that 94 firms have signed up for TradeLens, their supply chain, shipping and logistics platform.
Finding common ground
This cross-community learning is precisely why the “who are we?” question matters. Believe it or not, across a diverse and even divisive community – public versus private blockchains, BTC versus BCH, maximalists versus everyone else – a common vision does exist. We just need to define that shared identity more constructively than the one that many outside of the community assign to it: that of a nerdy, fanatic cult.
I see potential to do even more at this time, as securities regulators grapple with how to define and manage token markets and as wide-membership industry initiatives such as the Token Alliance come with up useful frameworks for self regulation. A time like now, with the bubble burst and the market mania subsiding, is the ideal one in which to undertake this kind of multi-stakeholder engagement.