Perhaps, calling someone averse to new technology a Luddite is too harsh a term. Luddites were trying to stop the advance of technology by destroying labor-saving knitting machines in 19th century England. Today, we’ve come to use the word to mean a laggard, someone slow to adopt new technology. There are several friends I consider true Luddites. These are the folks that confess an aversion to technology, only it sounds more like a condemnation. “I can’t even set the clock on my VCR.”
These are the folks that would ask me which PC they should buy, ten years after everyone else already had a computer. Then, when Apple announced they were coming out with new models in the spring, decide to wait. When I showed off my new Kindle, these same folk would say something like “Nah, I want to feel the texture of the paper in my hands.” That meant to me electronic books hadn’t come to Main Street yet. These conversations have helped me gauge where we might be on the new technology adoption curve as I have been wondering about with Bitcoin. When Bobby says “I’m in” I know the technology has hit its cruising altitude.
So it frightens me when one of these same folk (I’m not mentioning any names) calls to find out how to buy Bitcoin. It seems that there is a new vape product he wants to buy but the dealer only accepts Bitcoin. Wow. It hasn’t been thirty days since the Thanksgiving dinner discussion when we had argued over the Bitcoin bubble. Had he purchased Bitcoin then, he’d never have to think about how much pot cost, ever again.
Now, what to think? Are we finished? Is the run over already? Has Bitcoin reached its fighting weight? Is this what the future looks like? Or, is the adoption curve of this new technology so steep that we are going to see explosive growth ahead that will make this past month’s action seem like the calm before the storm?
I’m beginning to think that that is what we are facing. Just in the last few days, I heard about Cryptokitties.io, the online kittens you buy with Ethereum, which are so popular the sales have slowed the Ethereum network to a crawl. There’s the eSports network switching to Litecoin for its sports gambling. There’s the CBOE and CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) which have been heralded for the past couple of months. Their futures markets will bring Wall Street to Bitcoin.
Each of these is guaranteed to contribute a great deal of new, increased traffic to the world of cryptocurrency. Add to those the coming Ripple ala SWIFT network where banks will sign up to use Ripple to expedite International Wire transfers, Cob coins which will introduce to us fee-free trading of cryptocurrencies, and Electroneum which will replace energy-wasteful mining with mining on smartphones. The list is seemingly endless. There are already thousands of new crypto-coins being programmed and introduced. Some won’t make it. Many will. This is going to be huge.