Today’s Bitcoin is the Internet of the 1980s

Toni Koraza

Was the internet just a fad? entering a room with 2,000 people raving about this new technology. 

And you just don’t get it. The whole damn room is on a secret together, except you. You’re out of your depth. Cryptocurrency and strange tech talk are only making it seem more exclusive and geeky. Tech is maybe not your cup of cold coffee. You’re not entirely convinced by any of it, even though you can’t deny massive attention, absurd money in circulation, and global headlines.

This is how I feel listening to a Clubhouse room on Non-fungible Tokens. 

I’m dazed and confused but excited.

Something is brewing. 

The more I listen, the more the crypto world makes sense.

Imagine the internet in the 1980s — an idea started only a decade earlier in ARPANET, a tech branch of the United States Military. Here’s what followed:

  • IBM launched the first PC in 1981.
  • “The computer” was on the cover of Times Magazine, as the person of the year in 1982.
  • In 1983, ARPANET standardized TCP/IP protocol.
  • Internet went truly public in 1984, and individuals could register .gov, .mil, .edu, .org, .net, and .com domains
  • The number of networks grew from 2,000 to nearly 30,000 between 1986 and 1987
  • LAN technology-enabled local PC connection with the speed of 100Mbps in 1989.

What about the World Wide Web?

The internet of the 1980s didn’t have a single functioning website that you could fit on today's web. The Internet didn't make any sense for 99.9% of people.

Why do you need internet when you have phones, TV, and satellites? You can call your friends in Europe any time you’d like, and watch what’s going on the coast of Croatia from the comfort of your living room, so why would you need the internet? 

“Textual information that exists on host computers and is transported through wires and invisible signals? That would never live on. Surely, we have better technology already. Look at the microwave. Can the internet cook my food? Well, I didn’t think so.”

That’s how I imagine the sentiment of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The decade was coming to an end, and a man named Tim Berners-Lee draw an informational management proposal for CERN, a scientific research hub in Switzerland. Tim wanted to re-arrange the common informational architecture to make the internet more accessible for everyday people.

His efforts gave us the World Wide Web, or WWW, the extension at the beginning of most web addresses. The first website went live in 199. 

The simple textual website is still alive today: The Project: Hypertext. Time Berners-Lee singlehandedly changed the course of human history. 

Imagine reading a few blocks of text from a blinking computer screen. What would your thoughts be? I’d say, This surely is just a fad — crazy young kids have nothing better to do.

Seth Godin, known as the ultimate entrepreneur for the digital age, advised people to stay away from the internet.

“My biggest mistake (at least in terms of income avoided) was not believing in the world wide web in 1994.”

Today, Seth Godin is one of the most prominent internet personalities. He’s the author of 19 international bestsellers. Let the number 19 slowly sink in — all internationally bestselling books. Seth is obviously a smart person, but sometimes smarts and wits don’t matter. Einstein could miss opportunity staring him dead in the eyes. You probably think that Bitcoin is a strange digital creation that you don't want to have anywhere near you.

Here’s a bit more from Seth Godin:

“I’m going into all this painful detail to let you know what an idiot I was. How many clues were just sitting there, how much access I had, how deliberate I was in ignoring them.”

You’re not less of anything if you don’t get the hype around Bitcoin, blockchain, and 100,000,000 other altcoins and NFTs. Most people don’t, and that’s why it’s the best time to get involved. Once everyone understands new technology, opportunity drops, and it just becomes a normal part of everyday life.

Big institutions are becoming blockchain players.

Imagine the pandemic without the internet? What would you do with your life? Imagine life without Cat memes and showdowns in Facebook comments.

In the not-so-distant future, the same horror will draw across faces when they think of a world without blockchain technology.

Photo by Roman Denisenko on Unsplash

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