There are valid arguments for and against the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It is entirely possible that any one cryptocurrency could succeed or fail. It’s also entirely possible that any specific blockchain projects might not work out as planned.
But there is a reason that blockchain technology will survive regardless of the success or failure of specific projects. The reason is quite simply that developers like it.
Over the last few decades the technology industry has been dominated by Venture Capitalists. And these VCs have held the balance of power. VCs and founders have made a lot of money, and while developers have earned good salaries, in most cases they haven’t captured the value appreciation. Sure, some companies like Facebook and Google have made their early recruits very wealthy. But in most cases developers make little more than a salary.
But, in most cases where developers have exchanged a high salary for equity, that equity has never amounted to much. If a start-up gets acquired or pivots in a new direction, developers with small equity stakes have little control. When a start-up is acquired by another company, the developers lose their ownership of the IP (Intellectual Property). That IP may go on to become valuable later, but by then the developer’s equity will be heavily diluted.
Blockchain projects, in particular those funded through a token sale, move the balance of power to the developers. There is no venture capitalist, shareholder agreement or cap table between the developer and the IP they build. That means these projects will attract the best and most ambitious developers.
The companies that dominate in the future will be those that build the best software. If they want to attract the top developers in the industry, these companies will have to give developers a direct stake in the IP they are developing. And that will force future start-ups down the blockchain path.