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Former Coinbase CTO: “I don’t think any crypto can compete with Bitcoin”

Former Coinbase CTO:  “I don’t think any crypto can compete with Bitcoin”

Balaji Srinivasan, the former CTO of Coinbase and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, believes that the “blockchainification” of every major web app is the obvious investment strategy for the next 10 years. Srinivasan shared his thoughts on the future of blockchain in a lengthy Twitter thread, revealing that the decentralization of everything is “inevitable.”

The disruptive power of decentralization

Srinivasan pointed out that “newer” technologies such as email, GPS, online maps, smartphones, and video streaming are no longer new and have become a new normal for everyone. As a serial investor, he often thinks about ways in which a tech product can be disrupted, and decentralization almost always seems to be the answer.

He pointed out that in a young industry, a centralized actor can radically disrupt the UX and business model of a company. However, if the feature set of an industry has already been established, decentralization becomes its biggest threat. Srinivasan used the switch from the commercial Unix operating system to Linux, its free and open-source alternative, as a prime example.

The former general partner at Andreessen Horowitz called this the “second phase” of progress. The “first phase,” as Srinivasan put it, represents centralized companies slowly creating a monopoly over a service or a product.

Blockchain will disrupt everything

Srinivasan said that crypto today is what Linux and IBM clones were to computer programming 25 years ago. People have a tendency to gravitate towards free and decentralized software, but the fact has become increasingly obvious with the arrival of cryptocurrencies.

He added that, in order to succeed in the industry, one must base the service it offers on the UX of a successful, but ultimately monopolistic product. After that, companies should “blockchainify” the backend to add incentives for early adopters and improve censorship resistance.

And while the process of putting more services on a blockchain is pretty straightforward, Srinivasan pointed out that finding the first technically feasible candidate to do that is a huge problem the industry is dealing with.

It will, however, be the best and most obvious investment strategy in the next decade, he explained.

Srinivasan also believes that text-based apps will be the first to decentralize. It’s easier to build “blockchain-based versions of Twitter or Craigslist in the next few years than something high bandwidth like YouTube or Snapchat,” he noted.

Srinivasan’s thoughts received a lot of support from the crypto community, with many praising his realistic views of the industry’s future. When Brad Mills, the host of the ‘Magic Internet Money’ podcast, asked him what would ultimately disrupt centralization, Srinivasan gave a pretty surprising answer.

Mills wanted to know whether Srinivasan thought Facebook’s GlobalCoin or another cryptocurrency competing with Bitcoin fits into this narrative, Srinivasan said that he believes no crypto can compete with Bitcoin.

However, he added that he thinks that public blockchains have what it takes to break the power of internet monopolies that have been strengthened by regulations such as the GDPR.

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Priyeshu Garg

Priyeshu Garg

Crypto Analyst @ CryptoSlate

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in computer science engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving transportation problems at his company (Ola), he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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