If you are a chocoholic like me, you just might know that Belgium has been involved with the manufacture and sale of chocolate for nearly 400 years. Yes, 400 years. It has more than 2000 chocolate shops selling just – chocolate. They manufacture over 170,000 tons a year. It’s a big business. And it’s been growing for 400 years.
And that is actually the point here. It’s been growing for 400 years. What was it like after say…. 10 years? Around 1645……
Well, I’m not pretending I know exactly how much they produced, but I do know (from historical records) there were less than ten chocolate shops. So let’s just think what that means. In the last 373 years, the number of shops has grown from 10 to 2000. It represents an increase of just over 5 chocolate shops per year, every year, from then until now. That may not sound like much but look where it has ended up.
Now go back just say… 10 years from today. And hey, there’s this new thing called blockchain. And it does something called Bitcoin. And hey, usage, knowledge, and acceptance is growing.
My point is this blockchain business is absolutely in its infancy. It’s probably less accepted than chocolate was in Belgium after 10 years. From my point of view there is no contest between chocolate and the blockchain, but suppose blockchain grows as we all think it will.
All our present institutions and technology has had years to mature. Banks, as we know them, are 300 plus years old. The UK Parliament has been growing and evolving for more than 700 years.
So as regulators and central banks try to frame responses to where we are with blockchain and crypto currencies, let’s just reflect on how young this all is.
Let it grow. Let it evolve. Let it mature. And let it enrich – exactly has chocolate has done.