Saturday, January 8, 2022

I Am Not Your Guy (yet)

I am not your guy when it comes to cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFTs, and quantum computing. At least not yet. 

I understand how these different technologies work, but I don’t yet see a very practical, revolutionary business use other than picks-and-shovels and SPACs. People seem to be confusing my knowledge of these technologies for a deep, optimistic passion to work with them on a daily basis.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, aren’t yet currencies that we use on a daily basis. I've shared my thoughts in 2017 and 2018. While traders and speculators are making money investing in cryptocurrencies, it’s a closed system in that it’s all technical trading with little insight into the fundamentals that move its price. This is especially true when compared to other commodities and futures. And, a big issue with cryptocurrencies is it’s a bit too much like cash. You still need a place to store cryptocurrencies other than your hard drive (i.e. this is why we don’t store cash under our bed mattress). So, you need a “bank,” known as a wallet, to store your cryptocurrency on someone else’s computer/server. 

Blockchain

Blockchain is a computer science data structure and protocol, similar to other data structures and protocols like stacks, queues, linked lists, binary trees, hash tables, etc. However, blockchain is different in that it’s become an overhyped fad. Outside of software engineering, people don’t run around touting hash tables vs binary trees. Why is blockchain so hyped up? Because it goes hand in hand with cryptocurrencies. And while it has technical utility, both proven and projected, it’s not a business benefit, rather it’s a feature.

NFTs

Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are something that I’m not yet a big fan of, as I mentioned last month. As more assets move into the digital realm of cyberspace, NFTs could become the deed of authenticity and ownership.

Quantum Computers

Quantum Computing, as I've written about, is still in its infancy without a practical use that touches consumers. Currently, quantum computers are used to design quantum logic circuits, similar to analog and digital computers of the 1940s and 1950s (and, nand, or, xor, etc). The next step in quantum computing’s future will be programs followed by applications in order for it to touch our lives on a daily basis.

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