I know that decentralization is the ultimate and final goal. Do you feel that a radical change, a transformation to this new system can be accepted and adopted with ease?
Or do you feel that a more gradual transition is the logical road, with more honest and transparent methods and practices of centralized systems, for mainstream public adoption?
I think neither is really the correct answer. First of all, I don’t think you can have gradual transformation. History shows us that disruptive innovation never works in a gradual fashion.
With revolutionary change – if you read about the philosophy of science, if you read Knuth, if you read the history of science, what you will see is this form of punctuated equilibrium, where you have the established school and tradition, a kind of establishment plateau where ideas are relatively stale for very long periods of time, and then a little spark knocks everything out of equilibrium.
It gets very chaotic for a short period and then resettles into a new norm.
We see that again and again in science. We also see it in technology, in politics, in society. Gradual is not the way of this world.
What you have are systems that build up energy within them until they reach a tipping point. Then some event – you never know what kind of event it will be (because of that these kinds of events are called black swan events) – triggers that tipping point, and you have a sudden cascade into a new reality.
We will not see a gradual transition into a new world through these technologies. Part of the reason is, there are many places in the world where people will not wait. Where mainstream adoption is not going to be done because of a whim. It’s going to be done because of a desperate need.
Talk to a Venezuelan, an Argentinian, a Brazilian, a Kasakhian, a Ukrainian, perhaps even a Greek or Cypriot, and they will tell you that looking at these types of technologies as a safe-haven, as an exit, as a safety valve from failing monetary systems, is a very real possibility. When you have that level of desperation, there’s nothing to stop people from adopting them.
I can guarantee you that we do not need acceptance. We do not need the participation of the old system. We do not need the permission of the traditional systems in order to succeed.
People will use these things because they are useful to them. They will use them because they can choose to opt-in and choose to use them when they feel they are ready, when we give them a use case, when we give them an application that is sufficiently compelling to overcome their comfort zone.
Then they will find a way to use these technologies. But I certainly don’t expect that we will see this primarily driven by traditional institutions, gracing us with permission and acceptance so that we can “innovate from within” or “disrupt the disrupters” by creating change from within organizations.
That stuff doesn’t happen. In reality, larger organizations can’t do that. They get disrupted from the outside, most the time very painfully, and few of them survive in their original form.
Start learning the skills, polish your resume, and get ready for a rollercoaster. This is going to be fun.