Since the dawn of time human society has been through several stages of development and evolution.
The earliest stage was the stone age. In this age we had very basic tools and implements that relied on our ability to use stones to shape other stones. What we didn’t realise while we were using these basic implements was that there was something more useful and powerful locked inside the stone…. metal.
In time we entered the Bronze Age where we then reduced stone to rubble and extracted the basic elements of copper and tin from within it. These blended together made bronze which was more malleable and workable than stone. This allowed society to develop new agricultural processes. These changes, along with the invention of the wheel during the same period, radically changed the world.
The Iron Age overtook the Bronze Age when the stronger, more useful, metal was discovered. In a world with a lot of war and fighting the additional strength of iron weapons gave those who controlled the new metal the ability to redefine society.
In a real sense, the Industrial Age was the culmination of this process of discovering and unlocking the benefits and value of the flecks of metal inside stone. In the industrial age society developed to a point where it wasn’t the basic metal that changed our society but the way in which we were able to couple it with the benefits of steam power (and later electricity) to remodel society – much like the Bronze age partnership with the invention of the wheel had done.
In 1989, with the creation of the World Wide Web, we entered the early stages of post-industrial society (which was all we had known for centuries). What the Web gave us was a new type of ore, or stone…. one formulated from digital information.
For most of the past 20 years we have been using the Internet with much of the finesse and insight with which our ancient forefathers used rocks. What Satoshi Nakamoto and the other cryptocurrency pioneers have done is discover that there is value, and commodity, within data. Just like the first smelters of tin and copper, these digital miners have unlocked a new “thing” that has the power to move us from the digital stone age to the digital bronze age.
The bronze age as an era had bronze AND the wheel at its core and it was the two together that changed the world as it was known. Cryptocurrencies in partnership with Distributed Ledgers (or Blockchains) are the innovation partnership moving us forward.
So, what about the crash at the end of 2017?
Innovation theory would indicate that the crash was perfectly timed to contribute to the development and maturing of the concept. After the hype and energy generated by early adopters most innovation models have a trough of disillusionment, innovators chasm, or similar crumbling of initial enthusiasm. Following this there is a consolidation and redefinition of the initial discovery…. much like the original discoverers of tin and copper must’ve gone through when they realised that the combining of their separate metals created a more useful alloy, in bronze than either metal in its raw form.
The invention of the internet gave us the digital stone age…. cryptocurrency and the blockchain are moving us into the digital bronze age….
Free Webinar – Cutting Through the CryptoConfusion
Join us for a free webinar where the author of this article, Ray de Villers, Future of Money expert and Bitcoin-investor, will be having a conversation with Graeme Codrington, futurist with a focus on the workplace, and Bitcoin-investment skeptic. See details below and register at http://bit.ly/cryptoconfusionwebinar
The last few months have been a rollercoaster of joys and riches for some, and loss and frustration for others, as Bitcoin led the way in making and losing fortunes.
- What is the future for these cryptocurrencies?
- Should you invest in them, or is too late?
- What will all of this look like in a year or two’s time, and what do you need to know now so you don’t miss out?
The Future of Work Academy hosts a webinar conversation between Graeme Codrington (futurist with a focus on the workplace, and Bitcoin-investment skeptic) and Ray de Villiers (futurist with a focus on the future of money, and Bitcoin-investor).
In this webinar, Graeme and Ray will:
- debate the merits of crypto’s and explain how digital currencies are supposed to work
- cut through the nonsense and hype and predict what will happen next in the future of money
- explain everything you need to know about this space, from blockchains to DAOs, and
- help you make sense of how all of this fits into the bigger picture of the digitalisation of our lives and businesses.
You’ll have your chance to put your questions to them too, so block off 90 minutes in your diary to spend time with two experts who will transport you into the future and make sense of it for today.
Date: 17 May
Time: 3pm Cape Town/Paris, 2pm London, 9am New York, 9pm Singapore
Hosted by: Graeme Codrington and Ray de Villiers