I have seen that optimists live better lives yet die the same way as pessimists. I first saw the remark from late Israeli president Shimon Peres in Tom Perkins' biography Valley Boy, where he used it as a mantra.
Read Write Own, the new crypto book by Chris Dixon, reminded me of Perkins, who built one of Silicon Valley's most famous VC companies and was a yacht racer. Dixon's book argues that Big Tech monopolists have damaged the internet, but that blockchain technology can fix it. You can read my complete review here. Whether true or not, this is an optimistic outlook.
Journalism involves dealing with liars and deluded individuals, which promotes mistrust, therefore journalists are not naturally optimistic. I attempted to ignore it and accept that Dixon may be correct and that blockchain may allow us rewire the internet to take it from corporate tyrants. Dixon's book gives forth several reasons why it's not insane.
Some innovative inventions take decades to become popular. Since the 1940s, AI has been present in various forms, but it emerged last year. Same with electric automobiles, which seemed years distant until they were ubiquitous on our roadways.
Blockchain may be a late bloomer, but Dixon notes that developers have improved the system in recent years by pushing the clunkier elements outside easy-to-use interfaces. Blockchain might have a ChatGPT-like breakthrough in the next decade.
Some blockchain initiatives have expanded rapidly due to network effects, indicating organic popularity. Since 2015, Ethereum has grown to hundreds of millions of wallet addresses and a market valuation of over $270 billion. These statistics are comparable to Uber or TikTok and arrived without a marketing push. Remember that crypto users are mostly young and that a generation of high school and college students knows about blockchain from their friends.
Even if Dogecoin and other frivolous tokens have no logical purpose to exist, blockchain communities are incredibly passionate and persistent. Common fondness is a more lasting motivator than groups of critics (hello, no-coiners!) who fade quickly since disliking something isn't pleasant.
Dixon's blockchain-based internet may come sooner than we realize. Enjoy the unfiltered positivity till this newsletter returns to its Eeyore perspectives.