In April 2020, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Silicon Valley mogul Marc Andreessen called on innovators and dreamers around the world to take action. “It’s time to get down to development,” he said.
message still valid
After decades of political stagnation and wasted investment, Andreessen said, America was in dire straits. What about flying cars? What about robot assistants? What about the magnificent public infrastructure? Where are the things we promised?
Andreessen, who revolutionized the venture capital industry by co-creating the first web browser, Mosaic, was also criticized for his encouragement. But even those skeptical of Andreessen’s tech optimism seem to agree that little development is happening in America.
For example, journalist Ezra Klein said, “America’s inability to act is killing people,” pointing to what political scientist Francis Fukuyama called “bitocracy.” .
The world has changed a lot since Andreessen’s original call, but no one can argue that the message is still valid.
Hope for Web3
It is clear that there is room for innovation in the face of challenges such as health care shortages, global supply chain disruptions, and rising prices during the pandemic that affect everyone, but perhaps inequally.
But old political conflicts seem to still exist, with President Biden, who made ‘Build Back Better’ at the center of his campaign, stuck in a deadlock since taking office. be.
This is one of the reasons why the cryptocurrency industry remains important and should be held in higher esteem in the public debate.
Cryptocurrency protocols are open source systems that are available to everyone, if they can hit their stride. It may sound like a generalization, but the core idea of developing technology that is “trusted to be neutral” and “versatile” applies everywhere.
Web3 has the hope of reinventing everything from money to social media to the internet.
Lessons learned for 2022
It’s a tough time to write a column like this. Last year, the world witnessed the worst of “crypto”, with the collapse of systemically important stablecoins, the collapse of several companies, and the collapse of one of the most famous crypto exchanges, FTX. .
After the FTX bankruptcy and unprecedented scale of fraud, the industry must rebuild and regain public trust. I’m optimistic that it can be done and probably will. As many have already pointed out, the many failures of centralized companies have demonstrated the potential and need for truly decentralized alternatives.
Crypto assets have taken a hit, but as my friend and former colleague put it, “DeFi has already won.” Designed to work in times of crisis, middleman-free cryptocurrency protocols have not only worked as intended, with exceptions, but continue to thrive.
That’s probably why the venture capitalists CoinDesk interviewed are learning their lessons the hard way about the dangers of centralized finance and investing in crypto “infrastructure.”
The original appearance of crypto-assets
But that optimism also faces tough times. While the industry will likely be able to weather the market downturn, the real threat to cryptocurrency growth is likely to come from the political realm.
Ironically, two disparate branches of the U.S. legislative and executive branches are finally working together on cryptocurrency regulation. Some industry insiders say the crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry is similar to the Obama administration’s policy of directing banks to snub legitimate but undesirable industries.
Rebuilding crypto assets will undoubtedly involve industry players and politicians working together to put laws in place to protect consumers from unscrupulous companies and exploiters.
It is hoped that politicians will firmly recognize the true nature of crypto assets that use code to benefit everyone.
Now is the time to start developing.
｜Translation and editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda
｜Image: Marc Andreessen (JD Lasica, Flickr)
｜Original: It’s Time to BUIDL Week
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