I love how Matt Birchler compares crypto to BitTorrent in his latest blog post, “Maybe It’s Just a Product Nobody Wants”:
I don’t think crypto is going to disappear, by the way. I think it will always have a place in the world, but much like bittorrent before it, it was new & exciting, people tried to use it for basically everything, and then it settled into being used for, well, nothing for most people. Blockchains likely have a more prominent future, but there’s a lot of spaghetti being thrown at walls right now, and I think very little of it will stick because it’s not actually making better products.
I’m a crypto skeptic who thinks a lot about blockchain for work-related reasons. I dislike blockchain technologies because I think that, in the real world, they would fail to eliminate trusted intermediaries in financial transactions. Establishing trust without intermediaries is the whole point of blockchain.
I believe people and businesses are too risk-averse to do away with intermediaries like governments (who offer useful things like a legal system and deposit insurance) and the technology providers, agents, and brokers who make business work today. If crypto really takes off, and the old intermediaries are pushed out, I think that new intermediaries will pop up to fill in the gaps left behind. That future—blockchain with trusted intermediaries—is no better than what we have now, and is in many ways worse.