For those readers old enough to remember in the mid-1980s, there were certain things that simply were just part of life. It was a time when change was starting to happen, yet few were able to notice. Most televisions were either attached to a roof top antenna or rabbit ears were used.
Mobile phones were starting to appear on the scene but they were not taken very seriously. Few were able to afford them and, for those that could, the service was terrible. Such is the way with newer technologies. When they come onto the scene, they are expensive and clunky. It takes a while for advancement to make the service appealing to most.
Of course, it is easy to miss the boat when a new technology crops up. Here is an example:
"In 1980, McKinsey & Company was commissioned by AT&T (whose Bell Labs had invented cellular telephony) to forecast cell phone penetration in the U.S. by 2000. The consultant’s prediction, 900,000 subscribers, was less than 1% of the actual figure, 109 Million. Based on this legendary mistake, AT&T decided there was not much future to these toys. A decade later, to rejoin the cellular market, AT&T had to acquire McCaw Cellular for $12.6 Billion. By 2011, the number of subscribers worldwide had surpassed 5 Billion and cellular communication had become an unprecedented technological revolution."
Keep in mind, McKinsey is a well respect research lab, consulting some of the largest corporations in the world. Their estimate of 900K users by 2000 was a bit off. The total crossed 100 million.
Of course, back in that era, we got our information from the nightly news and/or newspapers. A subscription to the local paper was as common as the radio. Most teenage boys had a paper route at one time or another, getting up at the crack of dawn to deliver before school. Who could have foresaw that a decade later, the demise of the newspaper industry would be in full swing?
Notice the steep decline over a 20 year period. What is interesting is that demographics play a large role in this. Many still get the newspaper delivered to their homes. However, on average, they are older people who are still tied to the old way of doing things. A young married couple has no need for the news delivered on paper.
Thus, we can expect the decline to keep going as the older generation passes on.
Such is the story with technology. It is always the same. While many fail, those that do succeed evolve over time. Many like to point to the instant success stories such as Instagram, which went from nothing to $1B in less than a year and a half. However, that is not the norm.
Technology takes time to develop and, even more importantly, time for people to adjust to it. Adoption is not usually instantaneous. Implementation rates grow over the course of years, not weeks or months.
As we sit here in 2020, is it possible to see the onset of the demise of many industries that will be the "newspapers of the 2030s"? Just like it was easy to overlook the mobile phone, cable television, and the Internet, we are sitting upon some powerful technologies that will have the same impact.
Cryptocurrency is now receiving a great deal of attention. There are still many naysayers who want to proclaim it nothing but a ruse. Peter Schiff is probably the poster child for this. He makes fun of those who believe in Bitcoin truly showing how he is no Craig McCaw.
Many did not take him seriously either in the early 1980s. He was one of the pioneers in the cellular industry. There was a time when his growth rate was lapping that of the Bell Companies, the standard for communication networks in those days.
By the early 1990s, he was selling his company to AT&T for over $12 billion.
Not taking new technology seriously is something that is a recurring theme throughout history. Are we seeing the same thing taking place in the world today?
Cryptocurrency is gaining some momentum, with banks finally waking up. Reports are that the big banks are now starting to, quietly, acquire Bitcoin. This comes after years of attacking it.
Of course, the financial arena waking up is one thing. Bitcoin is an asset based cryptocurrency. What about the technology based cryptocurrencies? They are still being ignored. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are paying little attention to what is happening with decentralized platforms. Even Brave is not taken too seriously when you look at the advertising dollars. Why should Facebook and Google worry about that?
The truth is that even the most advanced technological companies can get arrogant and feel like they are indestructible. It is natural when surrounded by people who are constantly proclaiming how great the company is. This is compounded when one is the darling of Wall Street and the money is rolling in each quarter.
Unfortunately, for that mindset, exponential growth is a bitch. It is something that starts very quietly, flying under the radar. Yet, one day, everyone wakes up to realize what took place. Suddenly, it appears as if everyone is using that technology.
The best example of this is the smart phone. In 2008, most were still using basic mobile phone technology. Nokia was still the world leader. The IPhone was just starting to sell, something few took seriously. By 2014, the smart phone penetration rate in the U.S. topped 70%.
What industries are asleep at the wheel right now?
The push towards decentralization is gaining steam, in spite of what the media might be proclaiming. We see the existing power structure making desperate moves in an effort to hold on. Regulators are going bananas trying to shut down all that threatens the power structure. What is ironic is they are still trying to apply 20th century laws to 21st century technology.
By the time the establishment, political and regulatory, catches up, it will be far too late. In fact, I make the case that when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency, the United States already lost the battle. That ship has sailed.
The impact of cryptocurrency is presently being underestimated by the mainstream. This is not something that I believe will go away. Progress is being made on many different levels, to the point that it cannot be stopped. Bitcoin is just one example. There are thousands of different projects that are making radical gains, most of which the masses are unaware of.
Why should anyone take a game with a few thousand users seriously? What is the threat in that? Who cares about a blockchain that has a couple thousand people utilizing it? What threat does a value transfer mechanism have that can only do 8-10 T/s?
All of these are questions that are churned out on a regular basis. However, the mistake that is being made is looking beyond the headlines and the obvious. What is taking place beyond Bitcoin and some of the other widely discusses projects? That is where the threat lies.
It is a mistake to believe that all there is to cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. While the masses focus upon that, the really interesting development is taking place elsewhere. Here is where we see the evolutionary change coming from. Bitcoin might end up being a $10 trillion market, yet it will not be the thing that everyone is using in 2030.
When we look at decentralizing AI, quantum computing, gaming, virtual worlds, and social media, that is all taking place outside the world of Bitcoin.
So while the masses, and establishment, focus upon that, the rest of the world will be awakened to new innovations that pop up seemingly overnight.
If the last 40 years are any indication, this is simply par for the course.
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Posted Using LeoFinance