As the market tumbles from its all-time high (dropping by nearly 50%), many investors are asking the question, “is cryptocurrency dead?”. Without knowing the history behind these coins, it would certainly seem that way. From the perspective of someone looking down from the top, the market has sold-off in an unprecedented move – surely hinting at a fundamental flaw in the system. Of course, scratch a little deeper and it becomes obvious that the fundamentals remain unchanged. In fact to the contrary, they are stronger than ever. In recent weeks:
- Pfizer, AMD and Ernst & Young have joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
- Samsung announced that they are manufacturing ASIC processing chips for Bitcoin (specialized mining hardware)
- Cash App enabled the buying and selling of Bitcoin
- RobinHood announced the addition of cryptocurrencies to their trading app. Over 1,000,000 people are now on the waiting list
- The Canadian government launched a trial to use Ethereum for the transparent administration of government contracts
The Ethereum economy is flourishing, rooting itself firmly into the established system and – with each day – the most pressing risk of a fierce government crackdown is weakened. Of course the price movements are not a reflection of this, and such a disappointing start to the year has been a major turn-off; the search term “Bitcoin” is a fraction of what it was in November/December 2017 and the same pattern is true across the market as a whole.
What we are seeing today is a short term dip in interest as investors come to terms with the reality that all markets – crypto or otherwise – cannot sustain daily growth indefinitely. But as the market consolidates, the technology – and not the price – once again becomes the focus. Fortunately for any anxious investors reading this, Ethereum’s technology is on the brink of revolutionizing the mechanics of the world as we know them. Its blockchain will be the driving force in fixing a vast array of political, societal and economic issues that are seen today. Whether it is wealth inequality, corruption, identity fraud, theft or confiscation, Ethereum holds the potential to improve upon the status quo by many orders of magnitude. This technology – over the long term – will not only diminish the impact of the above malfeasance, but will dramatically improve the impact of positive endeavours too.
One such project named “Ambrosus” is aiming to improve supply chain transparency through sensors, tamper-proofing, unique identities and the Ethereum blockchain; improving safety and oversight of goods (in this case, food and pharma) through Ethereum’s immutable ledger and the transparency it provides. Ambrosus is just one of many; Chronicled, VeChain, SweetBridge and others are all attempting similar feats – the benefit of this work will become apparent in the years ahead.
Another project that plans to build the basis for the future Ethereum-driven economy is “FOAM”. FOAM is developing a “Proof of Location” network that resides on the Ethereum blockchain and works independently from the existing GPS system with rules that are enforced by smart contracts. In the future, FOAM could be used as a trusted Oracle for other smart contracts – autonomously triggering computational functions as physical items moves around the world.
Fraud-proof identity platforms are also being attempted, prediction markets are soon to reach production (see Augur.net) and spare storage and computing power can be sold to others anywhere in the world through the Ethereum blockchain. Micro-loans for developing nations will also become a reality thanks to Ethereum, and consumers will soon be trading energy instantly and peer-to-peer.
These technologies are impressive and revolutionary on their own account; combine them together and the outcomes are simply unimaginable. Ethereum is building the infrastructure of the new economy – it is difficult to foresee a future in which its blockchain does not both connect and dominate the digital and physical worlds.