From flatcoins to international payroll on the blockchain – Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s vision for the future is sweeping.
Cryptocurrency was once a fledgling field dominated by tech enthusiasts, but it has now captured the imagination of innovators globally.
And with it, the next wave of blockchain business ideas and how they can impact the world are a key focus for companies such as Coinbase.
Disruptive technologies and the convergence of the traditional financial world with digital currencies present an unprecedented paradigm shift – but work still needs to be done.
We dig into the businesses Armstrong would be “starting today if he could” and how these would affect the world of tomorrow.
I’m sometimes asked, if you were to start another crypto company today, what would it be? The crypto space is in its infancy. In five years, many entrepreneurs will be looking back wishing they had started a crypto company in 2023. Bear markets are for building, so why not start today?
I decided to share my 10 top ideas with the hope that someone goes out and builds them. Ideas are cheap. It’s the hard work and determination to go build them that will be challenging. Coinbase has the resources to build a lot in crypto, but we don’t have time to build everything.
Coinbase’s Clarion Call for Innovation
Brian Armstrong’s video and post this week aren’t merely about capitalizing on a trend but pioneering the next wave of innovations that could redefine society’s economic fabric.
1/ I'm sharing the 10 ideas I'm most excited about in crypto right now. If you're building something in crypto or thinking about doing so – check it out.
We’re building lots at Coinbase, but we don't have time to tackle everything. So I figured I'd share these. Bear markets are… pic.twitter.com/XKzCkMaOOT
— Brian Armstrong 🛡️ (@brian_armstrong) August 30, 2023
Coinbase, one of the crypto industry’s juggernauts, sees an even grander future.
By highlighting areas ripe for exploration and disruption, Armstrong seeks to catalyze a collective push into new realms, opening doors to solutions that have only been imagined so far.
This comes ahead of the Coinbase Ventures Summit, which aims to bring together 30-40 builders to shift the boundaries of crypto innovation.
Let’s delve deeper into each of these crypto frontiers to truly grasp their potential.
Brian Armstrong’s Top 10 Crypto Ideas
1. Flatcoin: Reinventing Currency
Armstrong’s envisioning of a ‘flatcoin’ is a technical marvel and a societal game-changer.
It sets out to resolve the inconsistencies in traditional currency values and the disparities caused by inflation that still plague fiat-pegged stablecoins.
By mirroring consumer prices, flatcoins could bring stability in a volatile financial landscape, and with decentralized operations, they could bypass governmental controls and market speculations, ensuring a more egalitarian global economy.
The true beauty lies in its potential to become a universally accepted medium of exchange without the baggage of regional economic pressures.
2. On-chain Reputation: Trust in a Trustless World
In an era where anonymity is both a boon and a curse, a decentralized reputation system is no less than revolutionary.
Armstrong’s idea transcends mere online reviews; it aims to create a robust, unfalsifiable ledger of trust.
Businesses and individuals alike could benefit. Imagine entering any transaction armed with an indisputable record of the other party’s history – this could redefine due diligence, lending practices, or even simple online trades.
“I think on-chain reputation should be expanded into ‘on-chain credit score,'” said Anndy Lian, an inter-governmental blockchain expert and book author of Blockchain Revolution 2030.
“Decentralized identity solutions like ENS provide a foundation for trust; however, knowing who to trust among the vast number of participants in a decentralized network remains challenging. On-chain credit scores could act as a reliable indicator of the trustworthiness of an entity.
Lian added: “Thinking further, on-chain credit scores could also play a role in distributing airdrops more equitably; VIPs or users with higher on-chain credit scores could be rewarded for their participation and positive contributions to the network.
“While all these are good to have, I still want to caution that the accuracy of the on-chain data used to calculate credit scores is crucial. Garbage in, garbage out—meaning the credit scores could be unreliable if the data is flawed or manipulated.”
3. On-chain Ads: The Evolution of Advertising
With Web 3.0, the Internet will no longer be a static repository; it will become an ever-evolving organism tailored to individual users.
In this setting, on-chain advertising has the potential to redefine marketing dynamics; instead of being intrusive, ads could become informative and welcomed.
Based on transparent metrics, advertisers can provide genuine value to consumers – Armstrong’s vision could spell the end of ‘spray and pray’ marketing tactics, moving towards precision and authenticity.
4. On-chain Capital Formation: Democratizing Fundraising
Armstrong taps into the shortcomings of present-day fundraising mechanisms – the exclusivity of venture capitalism or the geographically confined nature of crowdfunding.
Envisaging a crypto-powered platform, capital could flow seamlessly across borders, championing projects solely based on merit.
Innovators worldwide could access funds, removing traditional barriers and leveling the entrepreneurial playing field.
5. Job/Task Marketplace for Crypto: Bridging Global Labor
With its geographical and economic barriers, the conventional job market often leaves talent untapped.
Armstrong’s proposed crypto job marketplace can transcend these barriers; professionals worldwide could offer their expertise, ensuring a global talent pool.
It wouldn’t just be about getting tasks done; it would be about getting them done by the very best, irrespective of where they reside.
6. Privacy for Layer 2: Transactional Privacy in the Spotlight
Privacy concerns are paramount in an increasingly interconnected world; the dichotomy between transparency and privacy becomes evident as blockchain expands.
Armstrong’s push for layer 2 privacy solutions underscores the need for personal and business transactions to remain confidential without sacrificing blockchain’s inherent transparency.
This strategic move could bolster widespread blockchain adoption, assuring businesses and individuals of their confidentiality.
7. P2P Exchange Fully On-chain: Decentralizing Trade
Centralized exchanges, while popular, often become single points of failure in the crypto space.
Armstrong’s vision for a fully on-chain P2P exchange aims to circumvent this issue; users could enjoy direct trades without the intervention of third parties, resulting in reduced fees, increased security, and enhanced autonomy.
It’s not merely about trading assets but redefining the essence of trade.
8. On-chain Games: Immersive Gaming with Crypto
Armstrong recognizes that the gaming industry is not just about entertainment; it’s an evolving economy.
Integrating crypto mechanisms can allow gamers absolute ownership of in-game assets; this integration could spawn a marketplace where virtual items hold tangible value, blurring the lines between virtual economies and real-world financial systems.
Gamers could then transition from mere players to stakeholders.
9. Tokenizing Real World Assets: Merging Real and Virtual
The tokenization of assets isn’t a novelty, but Armstrong’s perspective takes it to new heights.
Beyond stocks or commodities, envision a world where art, property, or intellectual properties can be effortlessly traded on decentralized platforms.
It democratizes asset ownership, making investments more accessible to the average individual and potentially revolutionizing wealth distribution.
10. Software To Start and Manage Network States: Building Communities
Beyond crypto’s financial implications, Armstrong envisages a future where blockchain-backed software can nurture, manage, and govern communities.
This could encompass everything from niche online forums to sprawling digital cities; elements like voting, community contributions, and governance could be seamlessly managed, heralding an era of organized, transparent, and democratic digital communities.
The crypto realm, as painted by visionaries like Armstrong, isn’t a mere extension of the present – it’s a bold leap into the future.
As we venture into the heart of Armstrong’s visionary outlook, it becomes clear that he isn’t merely projecting the cryptocurrencies and tools of the future but also how its underlying technology might influence every facet of our society.
From transforming fundamental financial structures to reshaping the paradigms of trust, advertising, and even gaming, Armstrong paints a comprehensive picture.
A future where assets, digital or tangible, are accessible to all, where trust is algorithmic, and where borders, both geographically and ideationally, fade.
As traditional financial systems intertwine with crypto innovations, we can witness the dawn of an era where immediate settlements, democratized access, and seamless integrations become the norm.
This isn’t just technological advancement; it’s a societal evolution.