Everyone’s talking about blockchain.
In 2012, I watched some of my long-time friends leave very successful businesses to go all in on Bitcoin. Here were people with killer business acumen, who I had worked with for years, and they were leaving everything behind for this new technology.
For example, two of my friends created Tether—a cryptocurrency token that’s backed one-to-one by real currency. This was how I first got involved in blockchain. As soon as I realized its potential, I fell in love with the use cases distributed ledgers could solve around the world.
The technology applications have the potential to impact everything from banking and real estate to copyright and government. And more. For example: blockchain’s ability to safely store and transmit sensitive data can drastically improve voting, healthcare, and even law enforcement. In many ways, we have only just begun to explore how the blockchain will affect us in our everyday lives.
There’s just one problem: Not enough of us understand what blockchain technology is, let alone what it does.
Whether you want to use blockchain to make money, store information or connect to the global community, everyone needs to learn about it. This technology is the future, and there is more than enough data already to support that claim. It’s the next internet, and will bring with it unprecedented opportunities to people all across the globe.
Which is why everyone should be educating themselves on a few key pillars of blockchain technology, and the pain points it solves:
1. Blockchain technology is not a trend.
Talk to any average person, and 9.9 times out of 10, they’ll have no idea what blockchain is, with the exception of maybe Bitcoin. If they do know, it’s surface level details at best.
When a trend emerges, some people don’t want to wait to see how things play out—especially when there’s money to be made. Perhaps this story can be an example:
Remember the massive excitement Bitcoin last year? Speculative investment exploded. As the price soared, it gained public appeal. And legitimacy. And a lot of people made a lot of money, very fast.
Then the price dropped by 50%.
By the time Bitcoin’s value plummeted, it seemed like most people had lost faith. But that “lost faith” reaction really only happened among those who had jumped into the space at the last minute, hoping to enjoy Bitcoin’s climb. People with knowledge of blockchain and cryptocurrencies saw this coming—in some way, shape, or form. Active participants in the emerging industry were hardly surprised by the plummet in price that followed. These are “growing pains” that arise with any new technology.
Unfortunately, that patience was not widespread. Many people who jumped into the industry looking to make a quick buck ended up jumping back out at its lowest slump. They chalked their ill-timed participation as the fault of blockchain being a “trend,” opposed to looking at the long-term nature of what it means to build something globally impactful—and the rising (and falling) tides that come with such a massive undertaking.
This is why, as markets begin to recover (and they already have), and new variations of blockchain technology cement themselves into our everyday lives, everyone from general consumers to high-profile investors need to have a firm understanding of the tech.
2. Blockchain will soon be part of the fabric of our society—so it’s best to begin the learning process now.
Most people in the United States don’t understand cryptocurrencies, let alone use it (or even own it). But to look at the blockchain and crypto space purely through the lens of North America would be flawed. Because the truth is, one out of every three South Koreans own cryptocurrencies, or get paid using it already.
This statistic is what prompted me to dive head-first into the space.
Between lagging education surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and realizing parts of the world are already utilizing cryptocurrencies in their everyday lives, I saw an opportunity to build a new kind of ecosystem. Whether you’re a beginner just stepping into the space, or an expert looking to participate further in the global blockchain community, I wanted to solve these pain points in a way that catered to all audiences. This is what prompted me to launch HybridBlock.
While reading articles about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency use cases can be helpful, we wanted to make it it easier to progress from beginner to expert. The goal of our platform is to teach users everything they need to know about the space, and gamifying the education in a way that doesn’t feel cumbersome or overly complicated. For example: do you know what Bitcoin is, and how it works? How about Ethereum? What is a smart contract, and why should you care about it?
These are the questions we believe need to be answered—in the same way that everyone had to learn the basics of the Internet, and what it means to upload, download, or share a file.