Maybe I am misreading the Cardano community excitement expectations regarding the impending Shelley launch planned for June, of which I am also excited about. But expectations could be ramping based on misunderstanding about what will really put the rocket fuel under mass adoption.
Reading from the various discussions/opinions in the various groups, it appears the Cardano Community may have the impression that the successful launch of Shelley, combined with planned expansive advertising through McCann will automatically lead to mass adoption. But I think this will not yield the expected result, just yet. No doubt, there will be substantially increased interest in the Cardano ecosystem, don’t misunderstand, but it will be measured or pragmatic following an initial spike, for the following reasons.
I believe mass adoption will be driven by DApp developers entering the Cardano ecosystem to develop Fintech and Corporate/Institutional Governance solutions that go viral. These DApps will then highlight to users the value of the associated cryptocurrency. Some of these real-world solutions have already been in the market in other blockchain environments, but have had limited success or failed miserably because:
- They have either failed the security test with customers losing millions
- Many failing the scalability test (that is, too few transactions per second to be profitable)
- The development environment for Smart Contracts is plagued with too many changes, bug fixes
- Poor technical support and in-fighting among blockchain developer community leading to multi-directional paths for developments.
Realistically, the vast majority of potential cryptocurrency and DApp developers are looking for Blockchain environments that provide some degree of certainty that their DApps will be viable over their forecast life. The developers are looking for:
Smart Contract tools that have high levels of usability and functionality so that they are not forced to develop additional basic functionality. In their minds, they will be comparing with existing top-tier non-blockchain software development platforms available around the world.
Scalability, so that they do not have a “cryto-kitties” moment should their DApps go viral.
Managed upgrades and stable underlying platforms so that they do not have to constantly scramble to update their DApps because the blockchain platform has upgraded or had an emergency fix.
24/7 support from the Blockchain core development environment team, because the blockchain ecosystem and users know no timezone and scheduled work-hours
Corporate support from the owners of the Blockchain ecosystem to promote the developers DApps so that they can leverage on the existing ecosystem user base to ramp-up their DApps marketing efforts.
Lessons from Bitcoin and Ethereum mass adoption paths
Bitcoin mass adoption really started to occur when DApps were developed that were applicable in the FinTech ecosystem. This became an opportunity for anyone to challenge the existing Financial infrastructure. But even this was constrained by the lack of a blockchain specific development environment/ecosystem for many developers to enter because it did not have the critical ingredient which was what Ethereum introduced.
Ethereum based Smart Contracts development language and tools enabled large numbers of developers to create cryptocurrencies with speed, as well as DApps for Fintech. In particular, it introduced a seemingly unlimited opportunity for solutions to Fintech Fund raisings through cryptocurrencies. This also accelerated the value of Bitcoin as the major on-ramp for the new speculators into the cryptocurrency ecosystem, being regarded as the most secure cryptocurrency amidst the abundance of new Altcoins.
What about SHELLEY?
As with most infrastructures (telephony, electricity, Road, rail, etc.) for a vast majority of users, they only respond to features built on top of the infrastructure that they actively directly interact with. However, this is not Shelley by design. At best there will be some thousands of Pool Operators, and tens of thousands of Stakers. This will be nothing compared to the potential billions of DApp users and millions more who will also hold ADA as transactional currency. These billions will not even know or care about, Shelley.
So, SHELLEY is to Cardano ecosystem (& blockchain) what TCP/IP is to the Internet. SHELLEY will bring the security and stability into the blockchain ecosystem that is still lacking, especially for Corporates and Governmental Institutions and, in particular, for those that want to deploy DApps with high assurance on trustless platforms.
From mass adoption perspective, you will know that Shelley has been a huge success, when it disappears from consumer presence of mind over the coming 12-months, just as TCP/IP is largely ignored by most of the public unless they cannot access their website or Facebook page.
Cardano mass adoption will most likely follow the path/trajectory of the Ethereum Smart Contract mass adoption rather than Bitcoin . Most importantly, this means it will be Goguen (for Smart Contracts) and Basho (for Scalability), that will put a rocket under Cardano mass adoption.
I would appreciate community feedback on this article, thanks in advance