Blockchain and cryptocurrency demolish our oldest beliefs about the economy and challenge our most fundamental preconceptions about value, commerce, and society.
In 2015, when Wachsman set up shop, the technology’s significance was less apparent to the average person than it is today. Over the past few years, we’ve seen our clients bring blockchain to unprecedented levels of sophistication, and in the process, we’ve witnessed bear markets, bull markets, and countless opinions from pundits the world over.
This week, Facebook quieted many of the technology’s critics by announcing that it will be the primary developer and initial backer of Libra, a new world currency designed to revolutionize commerce across borders. Facebook has revolutionized our digital life once before; it evidently believes that blockchain is the best way to revolutionize it again.
From Wachsman’s earliest days, we’ve operated on the belief that the world’s biggest companies would come around. Slowly but surely, they’ve embraced blockchain, but this week’s announcement is the most important yet for enterprise deployment. Facebook, a $530 billion company with over two billion monthly active users, has entered the arena with vigor. Its Libra project makes a persuasive case for cryptocurrency, with support from other blue-chip companies like Visa, MasterCard, eBay, Uber, Lyft, PayPal, Stripe, and Spotify. Each endorsement represents vindication for an entire industry, one we are honored to serve.
A readthrough of the Libra whitepaper shows that Facebook’s team has kept tabs on trends and developments. While the overview version of the whitepaper concisely explains Libra for an audience unfamiliar with distributed ledger technology, the technical version proves that Libra’s developers have been paying close attention to the ecosystem, taking advantage of innovations that originated in academic research and in other blockchain projects, including a number of Wachsman clients.
Facebook may be one of the first Fortune 500 companies to bring blockchain to the masses, but it will not be the last. Dozens of the world’s largest companies have publicly disclosed that they are exploring blockchain, and it is inevitable that many will greenlight proofs of concept into production. Mass adoption will not look the way the initial readers of the Bitcoin whitepaper would have expected, but it’s clear that cryptocurrency has re-entered the mainstream consciousness. This time around, we have reason to expect it to stay there.