The other day I reread a great piece by Benedict Evan of A16Z titled, ’The Best Is The Last’
. If you haven’t read it you should.
For those who haven’t, the gist of it is that:
“…[technology] often produces its best results just when it’s ready to be replaced - it’s the best it’s ever been, but it’s also the best it could ever be. There’s no room for more optimisation - the technology has run its course and it’s time for something new, and any further attempts at optimisation produce something that doesn’t make much sense.”
In many ways, this reminds me of what’s happening with banking. Iterating on a bank app, offering a chatbot or changing the soft furnishings in a branch are incremental changes - meaning the overall outcome is almost unnoticeable. Don’t get me wrong, these can be great for the individual consumers of that bank. Hell, the bank might even improve their NPS score. Yet, the net impact on the sector is small and the impact on the economy is minuscule.
In many ways, this is why I’m still excited by digital currencies and blockchain tech. Acknowledging, the current limitation of the tech, I’m still bullish on its potential to move us to the next step shift in delivering value to customers. To use Evan’s analogy, the current banking system is the piston engine plane to digital currency’s jet engine.
So next time someone asks you ’why digital currency?’ - feel free to tell them banking has reached the ‘best it’ll ever be’. That is, until the underlying piping changes…
— Alan Tsen, @alantsen 👊💯
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