In this post, I want to dive into Naval's observation that blockchains “lack killer apps” and understand just how far away we are to real applications (not tokens, not store of value, etc.) being built on top of blockchains.
While half of the ambitious $1.2 billion the messaging giant hoped to raise was supposed to come from an ICO open to public investors, recent SEC filings confirm Telegram has already raised $1.7 billion from two private sales. Now, sources with knowledge of the deal believe the company is likely to scrap its public sale altogether.
The reason? Raising money from the public could be way more trouble than it's worth.
The fact that Bitcoin has succeeded is beyond dispute. Bitcoin has lasted 9 years. Bitcoin has a $100B+ market cap. Bitcoin has had better uptime than almost anything else and has spawned a pretty large ecosystem of businesses, open source projects and investors. Perhaps most tellingly, Bitcoin has also spawned a large number of imitators that compete against it.
What’s not obvious is why Bitcoin works or has value in the first place. We know that Bitcoin has value, but what gives Bitcoin value? We know that Bitcoin acts like money but why does it act like money? We know the mechanics of how Bitcoin works, but why does Bitcoin work?
Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency ever created. It was released in 2009 as the culmination of nearly two decades of discourse on the key concepts within the cypherpunk community. It was cited by the anonymous founder(s) Satoshi Nakamoto to be inspired by Bitgold by Nick Szabo and B-Money by Wei Dai, two earlier attempts by well-known members at creating functional electronic currency.
Most individuals within the Bitcoin community envision an endgame where an implementation of Bitcoin will be a massively adopted cryptocurrency that is both a store of value and a medium of exchange. They see bitcoin eventually being the predominant global currency. However, the ideology then diverges sharply on on how this can be accomplished, and which priorities should take precedence along the way.