What I Learned from 30 Blockchain CEOs

When I reached out to over 30 CEOs running blockchain startups across the world, I wasn’t expecting anyone to respond.

I wanted to ask them a few simple questions: What excites them about the industry right now? What advice do they have for a twenty something like me who’s just starting out? I’m fascinated by blockchain and eager to earn more.

To my surprise, nearly everybody got back to me. These blockchain pioneers were—perhaps not surprisingly—open-minded and willing to share their experiences and ideas. Their responses were refreshingly clear, inspiring, and thoughtful, and their insights cut through some of the opium-like exuberance the industry saw earlier this year.

For those following the industry, it’s valuable industry insight — and perhaps a glimpse of what’s to come.

We’re Living Through a Turning Point for Blockchain

Most of the blockchain leaders who responded were realistic and candid about blockchain’s past but remain cautiously optimistic about its present and future. Most of them believe we’re living through a pivotal turning point for the industry. We’re on the cusp of some really great progress that will redefine how currencies and financial institutions work on a global scale.

“The epic 2017 bull runaway and 2018 crash have gone (we hope!), trust is coming back, and serious blockchain projects are moving forward. We are moving to a new phase of adoption while worldwide experimentation and local regulations are accelerating. Main finance and banking players are entering the market, as well as prestigious institutions (Yale, MIT), and VC funds like Silicon Valley leader Andreessen Horowitz. … We are no longer in the excitement phase but … [we’re] getting out of the peak of inflated expectations and entering the disillusionment phase.” — Pierre-Alexandre Picard, co-founder at Predicoin

“Blockchain is in the ‘1,000 flowers blooming phase’ of its development. Like the adoption of cloud computing or the early move to the internet, the initial tectonic shifts in the market—and in attitudes—are met with a lot of resistance and some really loud naysayers. The economist Nouriel Roubini recently devoted 37 pages to a rant decrying cryptocurrencies and blockchain as overhyped and criminal. The fact that establishment thinkers are so moved means the cultural shift for a high-trust, low-friction age is coming about.” — Dante Disparte, founder of Risk Cooperative

“Blockchain is in the ‘1,000 flowers blooming phase’ of its development.”

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