Technology Update - 2019

January 2019

Timothy Lewis

Chief Innovation Officer

We can do all the stuff we dreamed about when we built the internet. We can build all the things we dream about for the Byzantine fault tolerant networks.

The good, the bad, and the speculators

2018 was ugly. It's still so early... But haven't we heard that excuse enough yet? 

It is early. but in reality, not much is built and virtually nothing is useable. This last year saw the demise of the only wide use of the new technology thus far, the ICO. Tokenization of assets and value, smart contracts, and decentralized ledgers are the inevitable future, but when? Apparently there are regulations that people have to consider when issuing securities, hindsight is 20/20. I am all for utility tokens, and hope we live in a world with many of them. However, it would be hard to say that any network actually has any utility value to date. And miss me with your dApps, they are Token Applications (tApps) at best, it would be difficult to name any that are decentralized in any way. No one is using them anyway. 

The protocol wars have really just begun. So far we've had many wars of the currency protocols, we are really just getting started in the utility protocols. In my current view, there may only be two true currencies that will emerge... Bitcoin and one of the privacy coins. Bitcoin continues to prove it's worth... The Lightning network is thriving and getting stronger, it continues to spread globally overtaking fiat in areas where fiat fails (Venezuela, Argentina.) It's likely that If you are reading this, you won't recognize the value of bitcoin for quite some time. If you do, it's likely that your neighbors won't, your local stores won't, and you likely won't use bitcoin in the way it was intended. As central banks fail, bitcoin wins. It will happen over and over in smaller countries before you may start to recognize it's value as sound money. Hopefully the network will survive the attacks on it's way to being a global decentralized currency. As for the privacy wars, I would expect that the privacy coins come under legal scrutiny in more countries within the next year or two. I'm absolutely a privacy advocate and will expect one to really break out. 

The utility wars are going to be extremely interesting. Ethereum has been king of this throne for quite some time now, but with no real usage, and it's top use (ICO launching) under a lot of legal scrutiny, other networks will emerge quickly. EOS launched this year to extremely mixed reactions. In the six months since launch, it has extremely impressive user statistics and the founding company, Block.One has an extremely healthy bank account to fund further development. Assuming that it is able to steer clear of US regulator issues, this network could be one of the first to actually be used beyond the early adopter phase. My view on utility networks is that it's not a winner take all battle, the different networks are suit for different purposes and have different strengths and weaknesses. EOS is great for gaming and gambling, but I'd never assume that the network will be used for large financial instruments. The Hashgraph network will be public sometime in late Q1 early Q2, there is a lot to be excited about this DAG network and the speed and assurance it promises. We have been building on the network as developers and things look promising. As always adoption will be key, but there is a lot to look forward to by means of speed.

This year will lead to a break out use, likely in gaming. If we don't see the shadows of an application with greater than 100 thousand users daily by July, expect 6 more months of this crypto winter. Hopefully this year we will see utility networks break over 1 million users daily... When that day comes, if the networks don't shutter under the weight, the next steps in the revolution will be clear. 



Timothy Lewis

Chief Innovation Officer