Blame it on the Internet!

By | December 29, 2017

Bitcoin Hype BubbleLook at how well the price of Bitcoin correlates with its search trend. As Bitcoin raced to a record high nearing $20,000 earlier this month, so were the number of searches. We can see the same thing happening in 2013-2014 when a mini hype bubble developed focusing on narrow segments of people. Today’s hype bubble is more wide-spread and affects a much wider segment of people.

Bitcoin hype bubble

Bitcoin hype bubble

Bitcoin is one of the top stories in 2017. So are ICOs which raised over $2 Billion in funding, much of which in the second half of 2017, overtaking traditional equity investments in blockchain startups. If we plot ICO funding and its corresponding search term, we’ll have a similar graph. They too are in a hype bubble.

Too much information, too much noise

One can only admire the power of the Internet in driving these ‘bubbles’. With so much information available so quickly, everybody can become an instant expert [or so they think!]. Easy dissemination of information pulled in much content. The problem is that much of the content is misleading and even wrong. Few would take the time or have the expertise and background to know right from wrong. Sometimes, it could be challenging even for the experts to make that distinction. The vast amount of information and different types of media that’s available changed how people absorb information. Many simply scan articles picking what they want and ignoring the rest. There’s little time for thinking. One needs to go over a lot of material to develop a sense of truth, but even that is challenging when people copy from one another. This is evident in the dissemination of news where a few organizations are primary sources.

Careful who you trust

This summer when I had to change my garage door opener, I got on the web and searched for information. So much was there. I picked up a few points that I thought were important. Chatting with the repairman, he debunked much of this information: “the information on the web is wrong” said the pro!

We are so inundated with noise that seeking and finding relevant and good information is becoming ever more difficult. Trust is a major issue: do you trust your news source? If you do, see this video (then, why should you trust this video?):

Take it from the experts!

This brings me to a short overview for our upcoming workshops on AI and blockchains – two areas that our Xona Partners team has been active in and has amassed significant treasure chest of knowledge. Since I expanded on AI in other posts (see here), I expand here on blockchains. Specifically, we are interested in the intersection of blockchains with the Internet and telecom sectors. Having worked during the Internet and telecom waves of the 1990’s and 2000’s on designing and building infrastructure solutions, we see many similarities with today’s blockchain.

Consider the Internet space for instance: it is dominated by huge centralized data monopolies that know and hold a lot of information about us. Decentralized through blockchains could bring about significant market transformation. However, this is not a straight forward issue. Despite weaknesses in existing Internet systems and protocols, they do function reasonably well and have stood the test of time. So, when and where decentralization makes sense? How would a blockchains change things around?  What would be the context for that change and how could it happen? And very importantly, who stands to win or lose from that change?

These are the type of issues we have been thinking about and which we address in our executive workshops. The next AI and blockchain workshops will be held in Singapore on January 31st. They are also available with customization to corporations looking into AI and blockchains.

For more information, see this link: http://www.tmtfinance.com/asia/workshop/programme

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