The story of Consensus 2019 is one of ownership and institutions – with a reminder from Ken Liu about the unpredictability of life.
“Life is one damn thing after another.”
The buzz at Consensus 2019 revolved around institutions: big companies entering the space, creating products and having a hand in the future direction of blockchains. Products and dApps revolved around themes of ownership. Exchanges, real estate, custodianship of assets, and interest-bearing accounts were some of the most prominent iterations on that.
The pall of crypto-winter lessen its grip as the rain poured down in Manhattan. On a gloomy Tuesday afternoon, Ken Liu shared with us the bright futurism of generations past. He showed what we think is an unavoidable future state is very rarely so. He pointedly reminded us that stories are often written after the trajectory of an arc is finished, and it is all too easy to see things as fixed and inevitable.
But like evolution, life and technology do not have a plot line or an unchangeable end. Stories are wild, untamed and unpredictable – when the car was first invented, electricity was the obvious, inevitable future; that is, until the utterly unexpected discovery of cheap oil in Texas.
The stories of radical transparency and ownership drive blockchains, and these are the stories we tell each other in the space. In user experience, my stories are often about other people’s stories – a story to tie together the story of a product and the story of people that are using it.
It’s stories in this space, all the way down. Stories about surviving technological disruption, surviving technological apocalypses, about “meat bodies in jurisdictions” and how that affects our lives. Stories that follow the obvious path that was unforeseen at the time.
What is going to be the story of blockchain technology, unfettered by technological minutiae?
What is going to be the inevitable-seeming end to crypto-winter?
What is your story?