Blockchain and cryptocurrency, although long posing a promising digital solution to many of the issues associated with archaic monetary and digital systems, may soon be growing out of its “Lambo” and “Crypto Bro Club” phase as the technologies see greater mainstream adoption rates.
The recent blockchain week in San Francisco points to the fact that the long-held stereotype of so-called “Bitcoiners” being a group of geeky hackers and ostentatious playboys is long gone, with the new crowd consisting of suit-cladded bankers and investors, who are quickly realizing just how impactful DLT technologies can be on modern systems.
Notably, Ripple’s recent Swell event points to this fact, with former U.S. President Bill Clinton highlighting the event as the key-note speaker, discussing how DLT technology could impact the world.
He importantly discussed the importance of regulators walking a fine line between protecting investors and reducing fraud, while still promoting growth of the technology.
“…you can’t apply an old regulatory regime to a new technology…You end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg,” Clinton said.
While speaking to The Street about the new type of cryptocurrency investors and advocates, Michael Didiuk, a partner at Perkins Cole and a former member of the SEC’s blockchain division, notes that regulators and bankers now understand “that this technology is real and is going to be transformative.”
As Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Find More Use-Cases, Industry Further Matures
Despite the current cryptocurrency bear market, the industry has never seen as much widespread adoption as it has seen in the past several months.
The release of Ripple’s xRapid cross-border settlement system is one such example of cryptocurrencies finding real world use cases that enhance the current monetary systems.
During Ripple’s Swell event earlier this week, Brad Garlinghouse, the company’s CEO, announced that several companies, including Mercury FX, Cuallix, and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, would be using XRP and xRapid to facilitate cross-border transactions.
Despite no banks using xRapid, Ripple has previously explained that banks would first use their xCurrent settlement system, which uses blockchain rather than cryptocurrency, and then progress to xRapid after seeing the benefits of xCurrent.
Christian Laang, CEO of supply chain management platform Tradeshift, spoke about the maturity and adoption of blockchain, saying:
“Blockchain is an extremely powerful idea, but it’s very far from being a mature technology. If people are becoming millionaires from ICO, they’re disincentivized to create the next generation of technology. There’s a little bit of a bubble with all the short term-ism.”
The idea that the lure of easy wealth inhibits growth expressed by Laang does appear to be true, as many of cryptocurrency and blockchain’s biggest signs of mainstream adoption have occurred over the past few months in the midst of a persisting bear market.