Back in late 2013/early 2014 Vitalik first released the Ethereum whitepaper and was explaining how the network would work to everyone that would listen. Of course, he was ridiculed by many, called crazy by most and derided as a scammer by some. But fast forward just 7-8 years and now lots of people believe that Ethereum will be the backbone of a new global financial system. Wild how that works, right?
Ethereans are known for being dreamers and we come up with all sorts of things that people call us crazy for. I remember that during 2019 when DeFi was starting to show signs of life many people outside of the Ethereum community would ridicule DeFi calling it a toy, a scam and saying that it’d never work. Of course, these people were completely wrong and are now eating their words, but I believe that for things as crazy as DeFi to actually flourish and succeed it requires a special kind of person - someone who is able to dream bigger dreams.
Even though we’ve come so far lately, DeFi itself is still a crazy dream - think about it, a group of global builders (some anonymous, some pseudonymous and some known) are vying to replace the entire existing financial system with a decentralized and neutral one. Successfully doing this will forever change the lives of billions of people and it’ll permanently alter the world for good. I truly believe that it will usher in a new age of prosperity that allows anyone in the world to do whatever they want financially without discrimination, without any bias and without having to worry about their funds getting seized by nation states or governments. Talk about dreaming big!
In saying that, I don’t actually think the Ethereum community is dreaming big enough just yet and I believe that is because many of us get bottle-necked into the day to day happenings of Ethereum. I don’t think this is necessarily our fault as this ecosystem is insanely hard to keep up with and it feels like you age a year every week, but sometimes sitting down and just calmly taking it all in can help to ground oneself. From here, it becomes much easier to start collecting your thoughts and begin thinking deeply about what crazy ideas the Ethereum ecosystem is missing. Are we doing enough to decentralize the whole network stack? Are we thinking radically enough about new human coordination mechanisms? What other industries can we disrupt besides DeFi? Should we be using more of our energy to build web3 apps instead of focusing so much on DeFi or NFTs?
I think over time we’ll need to come up with definitive answers to these questions but for now I think it’s fine to leave it up to the “battleground of ideas” that is the Ethereum ecosystem. Though what I think the community can do is actually show more interest in these sorts of things (that is, things outside of DeFi and NFTs) and work to fund/push them along as much as possible. There really is so much more design space that is still left to be explored and we’ve really only scratched the surface in a lot of these areas (granted, the current technical limitations of Ethereum do limit non-DeFi products in some way but this is temporary).
Anyway, I hope to see more and more people in the Ethereum ecosystem keep chasing their crazy ideas and building innovative products that blow people away. After all, Ethereum’s near-monopoly on innovation and brainpower is what makes it so special so we should be harnessing all of that as much as possible.
And we should keep dreaming bigger dreams!
Have a great day everyone,
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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.