“Any trend of significance can be massively transformative and stunningly fraudulent at the same time!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Let’s talk about crypto and blockchain!
Actually, let’s talk about what happens with every trend of significance – underneath the trend lies the potential for a massive transformation of industries and organizations; above the surface lies the insanity of constant fraud, manipulation, scams, utopian dreams and get-rich-quick schemes.
Crypto? One day we might see the world transition away from money issued by central banks to funds based on blockchain technology. In the meantime? As the crypto market implodes, investors are losing money – huge sums of money. By and large, I have little sympathy for them, because I’ve been skeptical for a long period of time. When everyone is jumping in because it’s easy to get rich, run away quickly. The fun thing is when I write stuff like this, it offends the sensibilities of those who are most heavily invested in the scam, and the attacks can be pretty ridiculous.
But don’t take my word for it – just follow the shenanigans at https://web3isgoinggreat.com, a site that exposes the many facets of the con day by day. The Washington Post just featured a wonderful profile of Molly White, the individual who keeps VERY busy these days documenting the ongoing collapse, fraudulent schemes, and general lack of diligence by the crypto crowd:
You need to read this article.
Does that mean we can ignore what is happening? Not at all – beneath every fraudulent scam lies a trend that bears significance, in this case, blockchain. What is it? At it’s heart, this:
“An encrypted, distributed computer filing system designed to allow the creation of tamper-proof, real-time records that will provide for a verifiable, secure and permanent method of recording data processed by “smart” machines.”
As I described on stage at an event for the World Bank, blockchain will prove to transform industries in many different ways – in this case, opportunities for parts integrity within a manufacturing supply chain.
Or consider, for example, the automotive leasing industry. As I explained to the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association a few years ago, it’s when you combine the Internet of Things and blockchain that what you lease and how you lease it will undergo a dramatic shift. This is the disruptive impact of blockchain. It’s a real transformative trend – and yet, will take quite some time to mature as organizations work to invest in it and use it for the transformative purpose.
I’ve spent time on dozens of stages for my global clients putting into perspective the reality of the strategic opportunity behind blockchain, while equally dismissive the utopian scam-world that is currently crypto. Behind these talks is a simple reality: as we build our complex, interconnected world of today, we need better methodologies to manage system integrity – and yet most systems involve a central database. We need to trust the maintainer in terms of transaction integrity, security backup, operations (“things break down”) – one point of failure! But distributing and securing the data through blockchain makes all of these risks go away (“we all carry the same chunks of information, and have to agree on any changes”)
And so the way I describe the blockchain opporutnity on stage:
We’re building a massively complex machine, and people are realizing we need a sophisticated methodology to manage it, control it, secure it, and make sure we achieve required efficiencies and gains!
And unlike crypto, blockchain technologies can provide some real, strategic purpose – not just the utopian nirvana libertarian dreams of the crypto class. As son on stage when I talk about Bitcoin and crypto? For now, it’s just LOL as scams rule the agenda:
There’s been a lot of scamming going on for years – some estimates suggest that we’ve seen the value of various crypto-based investments collapse from $3 trillion to $1.2 trillion!
And as the saying goes, I’m old enough to remember other massive investment value implosions. From 1999-to 2001, I took a huge amount of abuse from people as I was busy throughout national and international media calling out the dot.com scams which were underway. Except, the noise quieted down once the stock market value and financing behind many of the scams imploded. Eventually, online shoppig and the underlying criticality of Internet infrastructure transformed our world – but a lot of folks fell for the ureality of the stock market runup in the late 90’s. History repeats itself.
The same holds true of many other important trends throughout time – at first, the excessive hype leads to unreal expectations, which scammers and fraud artists take advantage of. An implosion ensues, eventually followed by real strategic opportunities.
Remember that lesson!