Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak to Join Crypto Startup
Reams of love stories as well as horror stories have been written, and continue to be written, on blockchain, the technology at the heart of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Blockchain advocates are certain that it will revolutionize business and redefine companies and economies. Skeptics dismiss it as hype and warn that the exuberance around cryptocurrency has all the hallmarks of a classic bubble, and a crash is inevitable.
Until fairly recently, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, too, held the view that the hype around blockchain was similar to the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. At the NEX technology conference in June, Wozniak said, “It was a bubble, and I feel that way about blockchain.”
However, last week, Wozniak seemed to change his stance on the future of blockchain. In an interview with Null TX, Wozniak announced that he intended to get involved in Equi Capital, a new blockchain-related startup which, according to their website, claims to be “the ultimate disruptor to traditional venture capital investing.”
Wozniak also said that a lot of “really good” blockchain ideas could burn themselves out by coming out early if they were not being prepared to be stable in the long run. However, he went on to describe the technology as “decentralized and totally trustworthy,” and added it has “real implementation potential.”
Wozniak has been a vocal proponent of Bitcoin, calling it the digital gold. He has often spoken publicly about its merit, and recently in June, he hoped that it would become the world’s single currency. He has, however, not shown the same enthusiasm for the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency – until now.
Rather than making the mistake of rushing headlong into blockchain technology, Wozniak seems to have made an effort to understand it. He told Null TX that he kept hearing about the nascent technology but failed to understand it, adding that it was not something that could be understood in a day. Also in the Null TX interview, Wozniak said, “You think about it, read more about it and how it works, and then you see how people actually start to use it, through the mining process and also the verification and, aha! It all adds up!”
The blockchain is a decentralized, public digital ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions. The truly peer-peer technology carries significance far beyond virtual currencies. Many, including Wozniak, have likened it to the internet in its early stage, promising revolutionary possibilities that could enormously impact the way companies do business and collaborate with others. Wozniak joining a blockchain-based company is further indicative of the technology’s disruptive potential.
It is still too early to see the true blockchain-led transformation of business, and the process of adoption is likely to be gradual and steady. At the NEX technology conference, Wozniak said that like the internet, it could take “longer than expected to catch up to its early hype.”
Even still, spending in the space is projected to increase. International Data Corporation’s (IDC) inaugural Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide forecasts that the blockchain spending will grow at a “robust pace” over the 2016-2021 forecast period with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.2 percent and total spending of $9.7 billion in 2021.
Perhaps Wozniak has joined Equi Capital at the right time. He could play a crucial role as the blockchain technology now enters the phase where it must to emerge from the shadows of the stratospheric hype and prove its potential.