While blockchain starts to pepper mainstream media with pervasive force, cryptocurrency pricing seems yet to shake its status as the mouthpiece of progress for the entire industry. CNBC, for one, recently queried Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin on whether digital currencies were on their last legs.
Clearing the air with a wry chuckle, Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin assured CNBC that, no, not only were digital currencies “not on the edge of a collapse”, they were, in fact, packing more punch than ever in their brief history.
The Canadian entrepreneur then seemed to nod to the old adage—“that which does not kill us makes us stronger”—stating that while the blockchain ecosystem had undoubtedly seen its fair share of “booms and busts” over the last near-decade, it was currently at its most heightened state of development.
In the face of a sub-$250 billion crypto market capitalization—last seen in November 2017, he added:
“I measure that in terms of the number of projects, the number of people who’ve been drawn into the space—entrepreneurs, developers—it’s orders of magnitude bigger than it was, and the foundational infrastructure is getting built out.:
All About the Benjamins?
For all the raw simplicity of Lubin’s explanations, however, CNBC viewers may have done well to focus on the fundamentals and leave crypto prices to simmer on the backburner.
The Ethereum co-founder was promptly cordoned off into a side-panel, sharing the stage with a collection of seemingly spurious price charts and banners reading “volatility in the cryptocurrency market”, and later “global money-laundering watchdog to set first crypto rules by June”.
Whether satisfied or unconcerned with said comments on industry growth, the CNBC host seemed to pull the reins back to more capitalistic concerns, asking Lubin if digital currencies could “by their very essence ever be regulated”, and seemingly steering the conversation toward the hegemony’s apparent age-old concern of cryptocurrency as, simply, an asset.
Crypto—the Egg to the Chicken of Blockchain
Lubin, who also runs a blockchain production studio aiming “to power the emerging economic, social, and political operating systems of the planet”, didn’t appear to see things in the same light, however.
While he did admit to the “uncertainty” of regulators around “the movement of value”, Lubin once again attempted to enlighten viewers uninitiated to the big wide world beyond cryptocurrency—a world he claimed to inhabit as the co-founder of Ether—not a cryptocurrency per se, but a “crypto-fuel” or “crypto-commodity” pertaining to the Ethereum DApp platform. He stated:
“The blockchain space is about is building decentralized infrastructure for different kinds of applications; it’s about building infrastructure for naming systems and trade finance systems; custody—tokenized custody systems; it’s about building infrastructure for crypto-assets like equities and securities.”
And while Lubin would admit the industry had made “tremendous headway” in erasing many of the regulatory question marks over token classification—security versus utility—he took the opportunity to throw in a final eye-opener:
“One doesn’t regulate technology, one regulates the use of the technology.”
Cover Photo by Chen Hu on Unsplash