For those who missed it: Last week, Miami hosted the North American Bitcoin Conference, a two-day convention of Blockchain experts, Bitcoin billionaires, startups, and enthusiasts from around the world.
One might have expected this conference to be full of programmers and white-hat hackers, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, most everyone I spoke to—from the attendees waiting in line, to the Venture Capitalists and promoter girls standing behind the booths—had no coding experience whatsoever.
“I put in a thousand dollars a few months ago, and didn’t’ really know what I was doing” one man in line told me, “and now I’ve got $5k. So I’m like, well, how did that happen? And I figured I should come see for myself.”
And another: “Oh, I don’t know. My friend Jerry said I should check this stuff out. I’m just here to learn, I guess. Seems like a good way to make some extra cash, right?”
At first, I wondered if this might be cause for alarm: Are we finally reaching this “mass adoption” phase, where cryptocurrencies are bought and sold not for their utility, but simply as a commodity? Could this bubble be about to burst, after all?
However, as ICO after ICO made their announcements on stage, and as I spoke to booth, after booth, it hit me: This is what we wanted.
Cryptocurrency was never meant to be reserved for the few who could understand it. To borrow the words of one particularly eloquent developer, with one of the most brilliant ideas I’d seen at the conference:
“People don’t have to know about blockchain. People don’t care. Blockchain is a nightmare.
The point is that it works.”
It wasn’t until later that I understood how deep that statement truly was.
Blockchain doesn’t just work; it’s useful, it’s simple, and it’s safe. The cluelessness of its investors is testament to that fact, as not a single one of them had a degree in CS, but every one of them understands building solar panels in Haiti, or 100% effective fraud protection for artists, or AI camera apps for grocery shopping. Tell them that it’s all thanks to Blockchain, or aliens. It makes no difference. The market will always be the market, and to the market, It’s the finished product that counts.
For that reason, the conference in Miami was landmark: Every one of those ICOs, whether presenting or standing in a booth, showed the world that Blockchain solutions are not just cool mathematical abstractions. They’re not just toys for the developers and the sun-averse.
Now, they’re real. Now, they’re here. Now, that guy I spoke to in line can browse a selection of innovative apps and impactful tech startups that are, on one hand, light-years beyond his comprehension, and on the other, childishly simple to understand.
And that goes for him, and his friend Jerry, too.