The first thing I noticed about the meeting room was the bookshelves…
At a time when most of us are online, the library on the fourth floor of the Yale Club – in Midtown Manhattan – still houses an incredible collection of printed books.
And in the Clarence Day room, classics of American literature greeted us from floor to ceiling.
The facilities are for Yale alumni and their guests. As a Yale alumnus and member of the club, I was able to book the meeting room just off the library.
Around the table sat several of my colleagues from Brownstone Research. To my left was the man we were there to meet – an influential and knowledgeable executive with extensive experience in blockchain technology.
For confidentiality reasons, I won’t reveal his name or which company he represents. But he’s a person I hold in high regard, a heavy hitter in the world of digital assets, or what most people know simply as “cryptos.”
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of blockchain technology… and the potential returns for investors.
Taking Blockchain “Out of the Box”
Many of us tend to think “inside the box” about blockchain technology and the projects that make use of it. Many even refer to “the blockchain” as if there is just one.
It’s also common for people to refer to “the blockchain industry” as if it were distinct from other sectors or businesses.
As technology investors, for example, we might say that we’re interested in the social media industry, the video conferencing industry, and the blockchain industry as if each were self-contained.
But this is not an accurate way to imagine this technology. Blockchain and digital assets are more than just another industry.
It’s a technology that represents a new way of doing things that will touch virtually every aspect of our lives. It is not just a technology that enabled the next generation of services, but it also contains an entirely new model of economic incentives that facilitate new ways of working.
A perfect parallel is the rise of the internet in the 1990s. Many of us can remember what our life was like before the internet became ubiquitous.
We shopped at brick-and-mortar retail stores. We communicated over landline telephones. And the only file storage we understood involved manilla envelopes and file cabinets.
Internet technology changed all of that. Today, many of us prefer to shop online with companies like Amazon. We communicate via Zoom meetings and connect with our friends over social media. And storing and accessing our files now involves cloud-based software like Dropbox or Google Docs.
Let’s take a moment to really think about this. What areas of our lives have not been changed by internet technology? If we were to make a list, it would probably be a small one.
It will be the exact same phenomenon with blockchain technology. The difference is that the effects will be even more profound.
This is what I mean when I say we shouldn’t put blockchain technology in a box. Saying we’re investing in the “blockchain industry” would be like saying we’re investing in the “internet industry.”
The technology is simply too far-reaching to think of it in such narrow terms.
Here’s a better way to imagine blockchain technology. We can think of it as “Web 3.0.”
Web 1.0 was born when innovators like Tim Berners-Lee proposed what became the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee outlined a protocol called hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).
HTTP displayed on a computer screen with references to other text using hyperlinks. This protocol – among others – became a fundamental building block of today’s internet.
Web 2.0 is what we have today. In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, companies built on the foundational protocols to offer products and services that had never been seen before.
Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Facebook are some of the most well-known Web 2.0 companies. They disrupted legacy industries and offered new and efficient ways to shop, entertain, search, and connect.
Now we are in the early stages of Web 3.0, the next generation of the internet powered by blockchain technology. This is more than just a new technological architecture. Embedded in Web 3.0 is a new philosophy.
While Web 2.0 is centralized, controlled, and increasingly prone to censorship, Web 3.0 will be open and decentralized, allowing the free exchange of ideas.
We can have a look below and see for ourselves. Virtually every area of our modern lives can be supported via a Web 3.0 application.
Internet browsers – Chrome → Brave
File storage – Google, Dropbox, Box → Filecoin, Storj, SiaCoin, IPFS
Electronic voting systems – Dominion → Voatz
Domain Name Systems – DNS → Handshake
Identity – Okta, OneLogin → Civic, uPort
Social Media – Facebook, Snap → Steemit, Akasha
Video/audio chat – Skype, Zoom → Experty, Status
Network computation – AWS, Google → Dfinity, Sonim, Golem
I could go on and on. Nearly every single aspect of the second generation of the internet is being completely disrupted. And every blockchain-enabled, third-generation technology can perform the same tasks better, faster, and cheaper.
Now Is the Time
This is what we discussed in that small meeting room on the fourth floor of the Yale Club in Midtown Manhattan. It was not a discussion about a single digital asset. In fact, bitcoin rarely came up during the entire three hours.
Instead, the conversation was about a fundamentally different technological architecture – a “brand-new arena,” as the blockchain executive put it.
And for us as investors, now is finally the time to gain exposure to this new technology and invest in the companies and projects ushering in Web 3.0.
This has been a long time coming. I have been heavily involved in this space as an analyst and private investor for nearly a decade. And I have mostly held off making cryptocurrency recommendations in all that time.
But on August 25, at 8 p.m. ET, that all changes. And now I’m inviting you to join me on that evening for my Click for Crypto event. Simply go right here to register to attend for free.
There, I’ll share my full vision for Web 3.0… and how we’ll begin our journey as active investors in the blockchain and digital assets space.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge