Thursday, May 31, 2018 

TokenReporter: Installation vs. deployment

Hello From Iceland!

I’m at Startup Iceland where I got the unique opportunity to see William Mougayar talk about the future of blockchain. He’s a great thinker and I wanted to concentrate on one of his important points.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of token funding. Is it really the future of seed/angel VC? Is it a viable option for companies on a global scale? Will it ever escape the miasma of multi-level marketing and scams?

I’m leaning more and more towards “Yes.”

The reasoning is simple and Mougayar said it quite succinctly today. Most technologies pass through multiple stages in their lifecycle. The first two, inception and early adoption, have passed for blockchain. The means that there are a number of stages left including where we are now: deployment.

Deploying a technology is not the same as installing in. Mobile phone technology existed for decades before it was completely “installed” in the culture. The Internet was around since the 1960s - slowly growing in deployments until installation happened when Microsoft and Apple made it easy to get online. Deployment is crucial but expensive and boring. Installation is the moment it all comes together.

Therefore if we’re stuck wondering where we’re all headed, remember that we’re in a weird, stagnant time. We’re far beyond the honeymoon and every startup I’ve talked to is regularly deploying. Pricing be damned, the blockchain is here to stay.

“We need more standards, because standards increase adoption, and we need more integrated tools and development frameworks, because they spur activity in applications development,” wrote Mougayar this year. These standards pop up during deployment stages as the various players in an ecosystem hash out their wants and needs. You’ll remember that Internet standards came before the popular Internet and telecom standards came before general mobile availability. Therefore blockchain standards are the next step.

Another interesting point: Mougayar doesn’t believe in the crash. At this point this optimism is wildly important. “Finally, a word about ‘the crash.’ A real crash could only happen when investors suffer real losses and incur pains that cause them to massively exit the playground. Currently, there is sufficient built-in performance gains that have accrued to early investors such that prospective losses are only time-relative, but not absolute,” he wrote.

He’s right.