By: Steve Smith
With the price of Bitcoin crossing the $15,000, oh wait now it’s $16,000– it seems to go up by a $1,000 by the hour– the obvious question is how high it can go and how soon can it get there?
The short-term answer is, “who knows.”
Maybe the better question is where and what Bitcoin and blockchain technology will be doing in 20 years.
Daniel Jefferies peered into the future with What Will Bitcoin Look Like in 20 Years and comes up some thought provoking predictions.
This is the type of article that will look either unbelievably foolish or incredibly brilliant when I’m old and gray.
I don’t care. I’m going for it anyway.
I’m also going to go much, much deeper than “Bitcoin will go to zero” or “Bitcoin will become the reserve currency and be worth $1,000,000”. That’s not really saying all that much and anyone can do it.
Instead we’ll look at how the technology will adjust, and how society will change with it.
I’ve got a decent track record of successfully predicting future trends and technology, but nobody gets it 100% right. Arthur C. Clarke, one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time, saw the coming of satellites and GPS, as well as the cloud, the Internet and telecommuting, but by his own admission he overestimated the importance of rockets and failed to see the importance of a prototype laptop a company gifted to him to write his next novel.
Chaos theory tells us it’s impossible to predict the future.
But that’s not entirely true.
We can never see black swan events or completely unexpected technology, (try explaining a computer and the Internet to an 18th century farmer) but we can do a kind of Monte Carlo analysis of tomorrow and see the major pathways spinning out into infinity.
Few people can do it well.
In fact, most people get the future laughably wrong, so before we leap into our predictions, we need to understand why this happens. That way, we can try to avoid the same mistakes.
This Internet Thing will Never Work Out
The first reason people get the future so wrong is because they dedicate about five minutes to looking at something before they form an opinion on it.
That isn’t thinking.
That’s the primordial lizard brain running a mental heuristic that’s absolutely incapable of understanding anything new and novel. It’s only good at attack, defense, finding food and shelter and avoiding boredom. It’s a survival machine.
Unfortunately, many people live almost their entire lives at this level and their opinions are worth zero when it comes to seeing new trends and developments.
The second major reason people get the future so wrong is it goes against everything they understand about the world. Think about a company like Kodak who simply refused to see the power of digital film because they’d built up a business over a hundred years on the back of chemical film. They had every advantage and they blew it. They mistook the past for the future and they paid a heavy price by going bankrupt as the market roared past them. To see the future, you have to be able to step outside of yourself, forget your past successes and see beyond your current understanding.
A third major reason people fail to see the future is because it challenges their position of power. That’s why oligarch banker Jamie Dimon, along with a prince from a country that just allowed women to drive last month, all see Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a “fraud” or a “scam”.
They can’t see clearly because they’re the main beneficiaries of the current system. They don’t want to see. So they engage in a kind of information warfare, even if it’s unconscious. It’s nothing but a mental defense mechanism. The rise of new ways of running the world means their position is under fire and they’re terrified.
Asking these people about Bitcoin is like asking a taxi driver what he thinks about Uber, or a horse and buggy manufacturer what he thinks about cars. Their opinions are worth less than nothing.
The fourth major reason people screw up predictions is because they mistake their opinion for reality. There’s what you think about the world and there’s actual reality and they’re often not the same thing. One is the map and one is the territory. Don’t mistake the map for the territory.
The Rise of Bitcoin, Crypto and Decentralization
We’ll start with a few easy predictions and move on to some more complex and far reaching ones, as well as some seriously controversial ones.
I’ll also include a confidence meter to let you know how strongly I feel about the scenario playing out.
1) The Bubble Bursts
People in and out of crypto see them as bubble that will pop, causing prices to crash badly.
But so what?
That’s not the end of the story. It’s just the beginning.
Right now we’re in the grips of tremendous euphoria. There’s so much potential. We can practically taste the decentralized future. It’s just around the corner! Any day now.
Of course, that’s almost certainly not how it will work out. The bubble will pop. Vitalik is right. 90% of tokens will fail.
But after the pop will come the real working ideas.
Continue Reading the article here.