…The marvels of the internet multiplied, magic that by now seems unremarkable: a map of the world, street by street, in your pocket; instant translations from almost any language; a look-up service for every branch of knowledge; global, near-instantaneous news. Today’s internet is deeply woven into the world’s economies, media, politics, industry and social life, in good ways and bad.
A similar evolution is in the works for crypto. Blockchain, the technology that makes cryptocurrency possible, has the potential to be just as transformative as the internet innovations on which we depend every day, and industries like supply chain management, finance and pharma have already begun to find uses for it.
It’s possible to imagine a future where you might look up the fate of every tax dollar you’ve paid, and government corruption becomes all but impossible; where beautiful and important stories and music, games and art would never disappear from the internet; where, instead of being forced to rely on a big power company, you might buy and sell surplus solar energy from or to your own neighbors, and never face another blackout. Wherever tamper-proof, independent record-keeping is needed, blockchain could keep all the receipts, available and safe, for anyone to see.
Jaspreet Bindra: “While the arc lights focus on Bitcoin and crypto, Blockchain has been at work to solve problems in the less glamorous world of supply chains, financial services, large enterprises and energy. It is being harnessed to untangle complex supply chains by shippers and retailers. Blockchain-based solutions can make remittances less painful and expensive for itinerant workers who must send money home. Blockchain experiments to authenticate educational and other qualifications, making them less cumbersome to store and share, can make education loans more affordable. Blockchain-based energy grids are trying to take cheap energy to underserved areas. Governments are testing the technology for secure identity systems. Tamper and fraud proof transaction records may be enabled. The decentralized nature of blockchains is being harnessed for distributed business models like Helium, ‘a people’s Wi-Fi’ that’s not owned by any telecom firm but collectively shared. Blockchains are striving to reward online art and creativity with NFTs, while powering parallel (if unproven) worlds like the metaverse and laying the base for a ‘creator economy’.”
Marc Andreessen: “I think this is a foundational technology change, a new architecture for building an entirely new generation of computing systems. We have become convinced that Web3/blockchain/crypto is foundational. It’s a big hill. It’s as foundational an architecture shift as the ones from mainframes to PCs, from PCs to web, from web to mobile, or from traditional software to AI. It’s a fundamental shift and building this out is a 25- to 30-year process.”
So, to summarise my key points: By coming down hard on everything crypto, India is making a wrong turn. India needs to let its entrepreneurs free to create tomorrow’s world. Yes, there will be some negatives as they are there with many new innovations. But the good will be far greater. India needs to leapfrog with new technologies to remove friction in people’s lives and create prosperity. Web3 is one of those paths. I hope (but I am not optimistic) that we can learn from our past mistakes and create a policy environment which allows Web3 entrepreneurs to flourish – in India. Because flourish they will.