There are very few people in the world who can accurately predict the future and also will it into existence - especially when it comes to technology. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford - these are all familiar names that we associate with pioneers and innovators - people who saw a future that no one else could really even fathom. In the crypto ecosystem, we have plenty of forward-looking innovators going back decades.
Looking at my tweet above, think about how crazy it is that Vitalik was talking about “money legos” in 2014 - Ethereum hadn’t even launched onto mainnet yet! He was envisioning a modular financial system before developers could even deploy smart contracts - even more amazing is that we didn’t even get most of what Vitalik was talking about until late 2018/early 2019. I think this just goes to show how much foresight people like Vitalik tend to have - they don’t concern themselves with the day to day happenings; they work to build the future that they know is still years away.
Of course, Vitalik isn’t the only person in the Ethereum ecosystem who has had incredible foresight over the years. I’d say that the founders of the original DeFi projects were just as forward-looking and just as innovative. Think about it - Aave and Compound created permissionless & global money markets, Maker created a global synthetic dollar, Uniswap made it possible for anyone to be a passive market maker and for everyone to trade whatever asset they wanted and, of course, Yearn Finance reimagined the way we thought about token launches and yield farming.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how many of the innovative things that we enjoy today (tokens, smart contracts, Proof of Stake, layer 2 and more) came from the BitcoinTalk forums and other people/areas. Tokens were originally known as “colored coins”, ‘smart contract’ is a term coined by Nick Szabo in 1996(!) , Proof of Stake was first proposed in 2011(!) and layer 2 scaling has been a topic of discussion since the very early days of Bitcoin. Suffice to say, all of the people we consider pioneers in the Ethereum ecosystem are standing on the shoulders of the many giants that came before them - even Bitcoin is the culmination of decades of research and experimentation.
The crypto ecosystem is still so young and so early that there are plenty of opportunities for pioneers and innovators to come into this space and make their mark. Whether they decide to build a new DeFi primitive, create a whacky new NFT project, attempt to solve human coordination issues via DAOs or even create new developer tools - there’s always a home for them in Ethereum.
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.