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My general thoughts on the state of crypto

Where are we as an ecosystem and how can we improve?

Where are we?

The world of crypto today is in an exciting state. While there are plenty of use cases that are possible that aren't through traditional means, there haven't been many that have been executed to the fullest extent yet. For example, while subscriptions are available through protocols like Superfluid, there hasn't been a standard way to make them recurring yet (apparently coming soon here on Paragraph)!

The main problems with crypto today

Gas fees

Imagine this scenario:

You are buying clothes and see a really good sweatshirt for $30, upon going to the register you find out that the price is actually $70 due to fees + taxes. I'm personally not going to end up buying it. That's what it was like this spring trying to buy any cheap NFT, which led to the shift to L2s we are seeing currently. Does this fix the issue though?

The concept of L2's, specifically super chains is great. Being able to do any kind of transaction for maybe a little more expensive than a credit card transaction is amazing. The issue though is that as more super chains are created, it will be harder and harder to justify as a user getting funds for that chain. There are solutions to this, like Decent's the box, layerzero, or straight up using a super chains depositTransaction function to do an L2 transaction using L1 funds, but it will take a bit of time for these changes to occur. Vitalik goes over this pretty well, alongside some other points I agree with here. To save time though, let's go into my next point.

Decentralization shouldn't be everything

The reality is, a lot of people do not care about what the underlying technology is, as long as it does what they want. You can make a webpage using very outdated tech but as long as it scales well and the user experience is good then it doesn't matter. It seems like today there is a large subset of people that seem to think a project is doomed to fail from the start if it isn't 100% decentralized - this isn't realistic. There is however more infrastructure being made to help rely on centralized servers less and less (like thegraph).

Now let's talk about the positives of crypto

It's very easy to assemble money (and make money!)

Even in today's market, Azuki made $38 million from their latest mint, which came from holders of their previous collections.

Another example of this is Sound xyz, which has generated over $5.4 million for the music artists on its platform at the time of this writing.

Building your core audience is a lot easier

This may be a hot take, but since the space is so new, it is easier to attract people to what you are working on. It's also a lot easier to reward earlier supporters since you can directly see who they are. Some rewards that are commonly done now for supporters include airdropping (sending) them NFTs or letting them mint future NFTs for cheaper. I don't know if these things are enough to convince people to get excited, but it's a start.

We are still early

Ethereum was made in 2013. For reference, Alan Turing wrote Can Machines Think? in 1950. Since then, AI has gone through multiple cycles before Chat GPT came out. Prior to that, the uses for AI were limited due to the infrastructure not being there yet. Today it's there. For example, I can go into a self-driving car and have it drive me home.

While I think the technology for crypto is great, there have to be ways that people can use it easily. While we already have wide-stream use of crypto in Coinbase and OpenSea, there has yet to be a clear reason for people to enter into this space outside of investing. I believe this will change, and am excited to see how the problems of today will be solved by those in the space.

Looking forward

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of cryptocurrency, it's crucial to remember that challenges are mere opportunities in disguise. The future holds immense potential for crypto, particularly as solutions to barriers like high gas fees, interoperability issues, and centralization concerns become more refined. We stand at the precipice of an era where blockchain technology can revolutionize every facet of our lives – from finance to governance, supply chain to social interactions. Therefore, while we grapple with the hurdles, let's also appreciate the unique privilege of being part of an industry that promises to redefine the world as we know it.

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