While blockchain has been an intriguing topic for some time now, interest has skyrocketed in recent months.
Facebook said late last year that it believes so much in the "metaverse" that it was changing its name to Meta. Microsoft followed quickly with its own vision of how technology could enable a whole new sort of world, where our selves are disembodied and our interactions occur via virtual reality. Venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz are all over the investment opportunities in the metaverse, sometimes referred to as Web 3.0. And pundits are making bold proclamations about how life as we know it is about to change forever.
At the center of all this fuss? Blockchain, plus cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Blockchain is expected to serve as the record-keeping technology, providing access to a centralized, trusted, public data base, while cryptocurrencies are to be the basis of the financial system.
Now, I'm on record as saying the metaverse is a bunch of hooey. But, in terms of the impetus the hype provides for blockchain, it doesn't matter whether the proponents are right or whether I am. (I'm right. But you knew that. 🙂 )
What matters is that all sorts of investment will flow into blockchain because of the hype, speeding blockchain's progress. Look at Tesla. It has such fans that it has an $850 billion market value, 12 times that of General Motors, even though Tesla has only about 1% of the global car market. Tesla may or may not grow into that market cap with an extended stretch of extraordinary growth, but, whatever happens to Tesla, the market for electric vehicles is going to get a massive boost because so many Tesla wannabes are flooding the market with EVs and because the excitement has helped convince the federal government to invest billions of dollars in charging stations.
In insurance, blockchain has been making steady progress, as you'll see from this month's interview and from the articles I've selected. I hope you'll spend some time with them. And then get ready to see those efforts get turbocharged as the metaverse/Web 3.0 enthusiasm reinforces what our industry has been doing.