Terabytes of articles have been written comparing the historical rise in the price of Bitcoin to the Dotcom bubble of the late 1990’s. The speculation in new technology companies, particularly by individuals, drove the US NASDAQ stock market to a record high of 5,132.52 on March 10, 2000. It then lost 78% of its value.
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The point of these articles is usually that “history repeats itself”, and so anyone buying Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general now is more likely to end up losing their money than making a fortune. The suggestion is that the money to be made in cryptocurrencies has already been made by those smart enough to have bought early enough.
A Tale of Two Companies
This point-of-view fails to learn the real lesson of the dot com bubble. That lesson is best illustrated by Amazon.com and Pets.com. The first company is familiar to everyone, but the second died an ugly death when the Dotcom bubble collapsed. Both were in the retail sector and sought to replace brick-and-mortar stores with on-line shopping.
Pets.com failed in spite of having very popular ads that featured a clever sock-puppet spokesman. Amazon has succeeded to the point where they are now considered one of the 5 companies that “rule the world”. These outcomes demonstrate that not everything in a financial bubble becomes worthless when the bubble “pops”. This is the real lesson of the current interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin vs. Everyone Else
Bitcoin may – or may not be – in the grip of a speculative frenzy that is heading for a painful fall off a very tall cliff. The point is that just as Amazon was able to capitalize on the emerging trend of buying items over the internet, new business ideas will capitalize on the emerging trend of buying goods and services with cryptocurrencies.
The speed at which this change will take may be astonishing. There is certainly ample evidence that the rate at which new technologies are replacing old ones is increasing rapidly. This means there may be limited time to apply the lessons of history to the current environment.
If the goal is to look past currently popular leaders to cryptocurrencies with a solid business model, Dentacoin is a very interesting case study. It is designed to improve global dental health and save a portion of the money wasted every year on preventable dental problems. This cryptocurrency is a key component of a multi-faceted approach involving smart contracts, mobile apps and blockchain technology.
One fact that makes Dentacoin so interesting is that it has already created the total supply of 8 trillion cryptocurrency tokens. Bitcoin investors scoff at this approach and tout the “limited supply” of Bitcoin. That scoffing ignores both the smaller denominations of Bitcoin that are already available (Satoshi) and the creation of multiple “Bitcoin clones” such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
However, 8 trillion tokens is not an arbitrary amount, but represents 5% of the total of all currencies in the world. This is the minimum required for an authentic global cryptocurrency. Dentacoin has planned for growth by placing the majority of these tokens in time lock contracts that distribute the coins gradually over the years, finding a balance between supply and growing demand and awareness on the project.
Blockchain is the technological innovation that drives Dentacoin and may remake both the dental industry and the economic landscape. Large corporations and industry giants are embracing blockchain as the wave of the future. Amazon did this for internet retailing in spite of the Dotcom bubble. Dentacoin and other use cryptocurrencies hold the same promise.
5 companies that survived the Dotcom bubble, Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/5-successful-companies-that-survived-the-dotcom-bubble.aspx
5 companies that “rule the world”: http://www.newsweek.com/amazon-apple-facebook-google-control-internet-702202