For the past few years or so, the technology sector saw many startups and companies getting funded for huge amounts of money, so much so that US$1 billion is no longer considered a sizable investment. Indeed, easy money had flowed from Wall Street institutions directly to the Silicon Valleys of the world creating hundreds (if not thousands) of billion-dollar “valuation” companies.
However, one does not have to be an expert to be able to say that there’s not much “technological” advancement introduced by the hottest ride-haling or ecommerce companies who currently sit on a pile of cash. Infact, don’t even count on them to send rockets to the moon, let alone making a profit!
Profit is huge when there’s hardly any competition
Enter blockchain and bitcoin – circa 2008/2009. At first, it was not only considered too infantile to be a threat, but many tech pundits called it a SCAM. Today, this dismissive attitude is fast disappearing. Infact, tell anyone you’re an expert in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, you’d probably be greeted with much enthusiasm. BUT – the conversation might only go as far as, “which coin should I be buying?”.
Truth remains, that no one understands what blockchain companies actually do, and how it makes money. Also, no one has ever considered the fact that blockchain will soon upend many industries; the current tech and startup companies included.
After infrastructure comes user experience
In the past decade or so, Bitcoin have undergone many upgrades – so did the entire crypto industry. Token issuance, which was reserved only for the crypto geniuses (think of Litecoin’s Charlie Lee), now became an industry of its own. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) became a common method for startups in the space to raise money. Today, setting up the infrastructure, which covers activities such as fundraising, as well as the tokenization process is all becoming relatively simpler as the days go by.
Yes, the industry may still be facing some infrastructure problems such as the lack of transaction speed, but these will be solved in due time. When this happens, what will happen to these blockchain startups? They will naturally go after the market share of major players in the market (think Uber, Facebook etc). Think about it; if today’s online services were not only faster, cheaper and more secure, wouldn’t you want to use it? It is only a matter of time before these blockchain-based apps become so good that you don’t even know it’s built on the blockchain.
Just as ride-hailing companies made the traditional cab industry redundant, and cars made horse carriages redundant – we must be prepared for the day blockchain makes today’s “traditional” tech industries redundant. Blockchain will not only reduce drastically the operational and administrative costs, it will also usher in a new way of doing business – transparently and openly. The profits that will be generated will the “mind-boggling”. Just look at the biggest players to date: Bitmain, Coinbase, Binance and the billions of dollars in profits that they generate.
Yes, it’s REAL profits, not just “valuation”. More importantly, this dream has led to the development of more advanced computing systems, algorithms as well as electronics – which can one day power the world’s economy, finances, and hopefully, help humanity settle in Mars.
Cover phpto by: Tony Doan/clearsystems
Rocket Internet by training, he has worked as a professional marketer for Lazada/Alibaba & Bamilo (Ecommerce) and Easy (Transportation). Later, he honed his skills in operations, logistics, and management by launching and growing the Thai business (worth tens of millions) of a popular cross-border ecommerce platform (in Southeast Asia). Headhunted to join a public-listed tech company in Singapore, he led its Thai business until early 2018. Regarded as a trusted advisor by venture builders, Chong spends his time advising and investing into tech and crypto projects.