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Everything Changes and Nothing Does… – hackernoon.com


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@ani-alexander

Blockchain Marketer I International Speaker, Startup Mentor, Bestselling Fiction Author, Podcaster

In the past few months, I have met and spoken to many people from the blockchain space. Enthusiasts, professionals, enthusiasts who pretended to be experts, people who were predicting the future of the decentralization and those who were super excited to hear about it for the first time… Moon and Lambo guys, crypto traders, blockchain startup founders…. people from the traditional finance who were telling me to run away before it’s too late because all this is just a bubble…

Meetups and events, different faces, keynotes, and panels…

Everyone wants to learn more — especially now when Bitcoin is regaining its attractiveness among the newbies.

All the above made me recall back the 2016 and the days when I discovered the cryptocurrencies for the first time. What led me to that and how did I end up to still stay in this space through good and bad and ugly is another questions…

What I recall well though was what attracted me at first place. I don’t think my reasons were original. Just like many others, I joined the tribe of those who loved the whole idea of decentralization because it was so much in line with their utopian desire for independence and freedom.

Yes, I know there is no such thing as ultimate freedom… yes, there are always dependencies whether you want that or not… but nevertheless, with this new technology emerging there was a hope that maybe this would be the solution… or at least we wanted to believe so.

It felt so romantically appealing… tapping into many people’s desire of bringing back the control to their own hands (or their private keys in this case).

All of us were decentralized and scattered all over the blockchain, but yet felt connected in a movement. The rebels and the libertarians, those who believed in fairness and those who truly wanted to change the world (…plus those who wanted to get rich and drive Lambos). We were all connected. No surprise the crypto communities are so emotional, engaged and strong…

And then the ICOs came. I was fascinated. As a bestselling fiction author who absolutely loved and always promoted the idea of self publishing, I could see the parallels in logic.

ICOs were giving a chance to those who had amazing ideas and wanted to initiate something awesome but would not be able to do it otherwise. Just like the writers, who no longer needed to chase agents and prove that they were good enough, here too the entrepreneurs no longer had to beg the investors to hear their pitch. In both cases, they no longer had to prove those who would not be reading their books and using their apps anything. They did not have to depend on those anymore.

The democratization of fundraising … getting rid of the middlemen and having the chance of finding the people who would believe in your idea and support you directly, could things sound better?

Everyone from anywhere in the world gets the chance.

Now the writer can go out there and talk directly to the readers and the reader will decide whether the story is good enough or not. During the ICO era, the entrepreneur could go directly to the end users and they would decide whether they needed what he was planning to build or not… and if yes, they would pre-pay for him to do so.

And then…

Well, we all know what happened after.

ICOs had a good chance but partly the projects themselves are to blame that things changed. And I know many think that the reason for that change was the long crypto winter… but I don’t think it was the only reason.

Another, not less important reason was how did those entrepreneurs behave and the ICOs perform.

So many projects took advantage of the system and the generous chance that they’ve been given, that it led to the whole ICO space gain a bad name. Journalists started avoiding covering the topic, the regulators got an excuse to want to interfere and protect the “investor” and the token buyers and genuine supporters got burnt a few times and decided to leave.

As a result, the good potential projects suffered…

As a result, the whole space transformed…

Now we’ve got the ICO version 2.0 in the form of Initial Exchange Offerings and a completely regulated model of the STOs… And that may be good because it shows that the market matures, that the projects need to be better prepared now and that the token buyers are partly being taken care of…

BUT

Remember where we started? Remember the decentralization and democratization? Remember what you just read about why things were so cool back then?

Don’t you think we have done 360 degrees and now have ended up at where and why it all started?

Now again IEOs are centralized and we will be dependent on the exchange. Here again, we have the gatekeeper deciding if you are good enough to get in…

Here again, IEOs and STOs are expensive to conduct so just a few friends with a dream and nice idea would never get a chance…

Or maybe it’s just me having a middle age crisis and thinking that everything changes and nothing does… who knows?

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