On the other side of the global pandemic that is rattling citizens around the world, forcing quarantines, spurring panic buying and locking down countries in Europe, transformative technologies will undergo their own explosion to reshape everyday life and dramatically improve the human condition. Charles Hoskinson, creator of the public blockchain network Cardano, designed to move money and value digitally, without intermediaries and at low cost for anyone with internet access, says cryptocurrencies and graphene are two such forces.
Hoskinson says that despite the dark days ahead as the world battles Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, a new age of rapid technological developments awaits humanity. And it will improve conditions, systems and day-to-day life.
“Yesterday I received a package, and I was very excited to receive this package. It’s a battery but it’s not just any type of battery. It’s actually a graphene battery. Graphene is one of those wonder materials that when I went to university, I got to read about and study and understand. There are a lot of prominent scientists who feel that it’s going to bring in a new dawn of humanity. This battery charges much faster than normal batteries. It’s capacity is much higher. Once these things become mainstream, we’re talking about cell phones that could stay three, four days without recharging, cars that could drive 1,000 miles.
This is just one of many examples of what’s coming in the next 10-20 years. Whether it be advancements in AI, whether it be advancements in nanotechnology, whether it be advancements in material sciences, we are entering into an age of plenty and wonder, and we are entering into an age where the foundations of the research done in the 20th century get to be enjoyed by those living in the 21st century.
So there are no problems so big that it will collapse society. There are no problems so big that everything is going to fall apart. The reality is, right now, we are in a period of fear and uncertainty, and the fear is far worse than the reality.
This is certainly a problematic disease. There are plenty of problematic diseases and certainly far worse ones, like hemorrhagic fevers, even HIV, and it will pass.
While it will disrupt things and slow things down and the markets have taken a temporary hit, our fundamentals as an industry are just as sound as the fundamentals of graphene technology or any of the things that we’re getting in the 21st century.
Right now, today, in my calendar I have meetings with people in my company, living in nine different countries. We have no disruption to our business operations, and we have no disruption in the passion and excitement that we carry for the technology we build.
None of our roadmaps or schedules are changed, and we do continue working hard every single day. The reality is this is the same truth for most of the people in the cryptocurrency space. And I asked myself, who is my community? Contains engineers, doctors, lawyers, politicians. The rich, the poor – they’re all unified by a belief that the things that we build should exist. And these things should belong to the global commons.
At the end of the day, long after Covid is gone, Cardano will still be here. Long after Covid is gone, our industry will still be here. And during the clean-up phase from this global pandemic, we’ll start asking fundamental questions – why wouldn’t we, when we knew this was coming – we had 17 years of notice, since the first SARS epidemic in 2003 – did we do nothing collectively as a global community?
Why are our markets so fragile that a disease – that when a young, healthy person contracts it, kills less than .1% of them – were we so filled with fear that we had to shut entire countries down and end all recreation?
Why is it an age where we can build batteries like that, where space travel is becoming commercialized and private, where we can do pretty much anything we want – these things keep happening?
We will start asking for new systems, new ways of voting, new ways of giving people power, new ways of dealing with crises, new ways of representing value and property, so it’s not as volatile and not subject to the irrational whims of a marketplace day-to-day and black swan events we don’t have any control over.”
Hoskinson says systemic failure can be fixed, but the only people who are truly equipped to solve the problem are the minds that have not been engaged in the problem.
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