Blockchain as the new internet planner

In my latest article “Crypto, like railways, is among the world’s top innovations of the millennium,” I compare the blockchain revolution to the railway boom. If we apply this analogy further, what’s going to happen next?

Stuart Hylton in his book What the Railways Did for Us: The Making of Modern Britain cites this quote: “The direct effects of railway building are, after all, considerable enough in themselves to require no exaggeration. They profoundly influenced the internal flows of traffic, the choices of the site and the patterns of land use, the residential densities and development prospects of the central and inner districts of the Victorian city.”

When one examines the development of blockchain technology, one can make a curious observation. First of all, nobody saw it coming: People neglected Bitcoin (BTC) and related applications; blockchain protocols were doomed as unnecessary, while Wall Street predicted the fall of crypto. Laugh or not, Bitcoin has “died” over 400 times. Secondly, the industry has captivated the minds of the public and professionals, governors and creators; in a blink of an eye, the internet adopted the roadmap from Web2 to Web3.

Just like railways transformed towns in the early days, blockchain continues to shape the format of the internet. Below I highlight some of the key ways it influences the design and architecture of virtual networks and physical infrastructure.

Quasi cash

The first use case of cryptocurrency is instant, uncensored, nearly free payments. The majority of crypto users don’t care about replacing the central bank currency in their countries; they simply enjoy the seamless speed and fungibility of new money.

Often, this digital cash is accepted when there is a limitation on the usage or a high fee imposed on a traditional currency. As a result, more merchants consider this payment method, while maintainers of crypto also adapt.

Where does it lead us?

So, the railroads replaced the canals. Web3 will inevitably transform Web2, but we cannot be certain about the fairness of the process. (Similar to railroad transforming the terrain of cities and moving poor populations to other places, blockchain protocols are forcing digitalization without giving a real choice.) As active observers, it is our duty and responsibility to constantly remind ourselves about the limitations and risks of new technologies to ensure a just transition for all.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Katia Shabanova is the founder of Forward PR Studio, bringing over 20 years of experience in implementing programs for IT companies ranging from Fortune 1000 corporations and venture funds to pre-initial public offering startups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Philology and German Studies from Santa Clara University in California and earned a Master in Philology from the University of Göttingen in Germany.