The cryptocurrency industry is the next basic infrastructure of the internet

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@jonnylyuJohnny lyu

Johnny Lyu is the CEO of KuCoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges launched in 2017.

I got into the Internet business in 1998 – a time when we still relied on dial-up modems. I watched as the hardware evolved over time to SDN, ADSL, and eventually to the gigabit network we know today. I’ve also seen first-hand the changes of the software ecosystem, from the earliest portal websites to the YouTube boom, all the way to the mobile web and the current TikTok era. In the 1990s, the small group of internet users was referred to as ‘netizens’. However, the term has since become obsolete as almost everyone uses the internet which has become the basic infrastructure of the world.

The co-founders of the KuCoin exchange and I first dived into the burgeoning cryptocurrency sphere in 2012. At that time, the cryptocurrency industry was just emerging, and to most people, Bitcoin sounded like a crazy idea concocted by nerds for exchanging assets between each other. I remember when I bought my first Bitcoins, my friend said, Why do you need this? You have to buy gold (in 2011-2012 gold was the most popular investment). Today Bitcoin is worth 4,000 times more than in 2012, while gold has fallen in value.

The outlook for cryptocurrency gave us enthusiasm and a sense of pride to be at the forefront of a technology that we believed would definitely become the technology of the future. We believed that in part because we noticed how similar the development of blockchain technology was to that of the early internet, and this time we had the opportunity to contribute to that development.

Blockchain: The Future Infrastructure of the World

In its early stage of development, the crypto industry was driven by adventurers who loved technology and innovation, just like the developers of the Internet did in the early years. Despite the prevailing skepticism and confusing challenges, the crypto industry has continued to grow over the years in both market size and number of users, which personally gives me enough confidence to say that the underlying blockchain will become an essential infrastructure in the future, just like the internet has for the modern world.

Today, the Internet allows us to meet our primary needs, as we no longer have to worry about food or clothing, or queue to pay for utilities, and we have instant connection to everyone. all over the world.

As the world evolves and the needs for scaling digital infrastructure grow, it is not at all impossible for us to ever witness the emergence of systems like those seen in the movie Ready Player One. Still, such a scenario will not be feasible in the near future as we still face numerous challenges in terms of technological perfection. Taking the internet as an example, it is still unable to store or transfer value, although it has significantly accelerated the process of information exchange.

Today, data or value is stored on the servers of companies and organizations that they actually own. Yet the second law of thermodynamics states that all entities come to an end. This means that if your value is stored online in a centralized organization, it will suffer from a lack of transparency and security – a problem the internet cannot solve.

The advent of blockchain provides an answer to this problem on a global scale, as it allows us to store data or value on a basic infrastructure that can be shared universally without being owned by any person, company or organization. In my opinion, this is the real value of the crypto industry and will be effectively implemented based on blockchain technologies within the Web 3.0 infrastructure of the Internet of the future.

Progress is driven by people for people

Looking back on the history of the Internet, it will not be difficult to notice that a world-changing technology needs people to constantly develop and update the products, to attract more and more users. In the same vein, the internet giants (ie Google and Facebook) are sending satellites and hot air balloons into space to provide network services at a lower cost. While some products are simply designed as an improvised solution, they can still help people better understand and use the technology. As in the late 1990s, email was the most popular application at the time, and according to the people that was what the internet was all about.

The new concepts and products emerging today, such as those of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) or Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), may not be as popular in the virtual world of the future, or metaverses. Still, we cannot deny their value at this point as they have helped us better understand the crypto technology and industry.

But for the crypto industry to be widely adopted, the products and services in it need to be better aligned with the needs of the general public. Major industry players such as crypto exchanges, regulators, software companies can contribute to this process by making the decentralized world more accessible to more people.

To use the internet as an example again in the early days, one had to go through all kinds of difficulties to get online, ie typing in URLs manually, as search engines were not yet available. It was only after the rise of Google and smartphones like the iPhone that the Internet became easily accessible to the public. The lowering of the barrier to entry also stimulates the further development of the industry.

Back to crypto, the decentralized public chain or blockchain technology can be used to provide the underlying data support. But the grassroots level public chain platforms cannot give rise to popular platforms like Google serving the general public. So tools need to be built on top of the data to meet the needs of more people. This is exactly why exchanges were created. Although ten years ago these exchanges – which could hardly be defined as a company or brand – had a low transaction volume and no proven business model, they were able to provide people with simple tools to store and withdraw Bitcoins. Such a basic function was sufficient because it met the needs of the users.

The infrastructure must meet the changing needs of users

As more people enter the digital asset market, their demands will become more complex and individualized. And the new solutions of the crypto industry will be popular only if the needs of the user are met by providing demanded, convenient and quality services.

This can include DeFi and NFTs, as well as cryptocurrency swaps, spot trading, options, futures, ETFs, and many other financial products. A significant part of the responsibility for the popularization of cryptocurrencies lies with leading cryptocurrency exchanges, where people buy their first digital assets. In addition to delivering cutting-edge financial products and working on streamlined onboarding, industry players must keep social responsibility at the forefront by offering users tokens or services for new promising projects, all of which could become the next Google of the cryptocurrency world. .

User-friendly products are synonymous with customer and community services that are healthy, high-quality and provide a high level of user experience and satisfaction. Such adaptation to the needs of the users is shaping the future of the crypto industry, which requires all its infrastructure components to remain steadfast and continuously improve their products and services.

Combined, such efforts could result in faster onboarding and a faster transition to the heralded arrival of Web 3.0. Only the popularization of cryptocurrencies as useful tools within well-known and customized services, along with ongoing user education efforts, parallel to integration, will ensure that blockchain becomes the future infrastructure of the ever-expanding digital environment.

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by means of Johnny lyu @jonnylyu. Johnny Lyu is the CEO of KuCoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges launched in 2017.Read my stories


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