Bitcoin has been proclaimed dead 89 times. It has been labeled a Ponzi scheme and a failed experiment. Writers have argued for it to be forgotten and for developers to move on to greener pastures. But moving beyond this rhetoric, it’s not all that difficult to compare the rise of bitcoin to that of another technology: the World Wide Web.
As with the web, the early days were filled with excitement, over-enthusiasm, and bubble-like behaviors, commonly referred to as the hype-cycle. On October 13, 1994, the Mosaic Netscape 0.9 browser was launched. Six years later, the world experienced the 2000 dot-com collapse, resulting in many companies completely evaporating.
The excitement of the web resulted in venture capitalists throwing money at any company whose name ended with a “.com”. The idea that a company would achieve profitability was irrelevant — all investors cared about was growth. Venture capitalists got greedy.
But that greed was not inherently bad. Fred Wilson, venture partner at Union Square Ventures, commented on the tech bubble in Boom Bust: A Look at Economic Bubbles:
“A friend of mine has a great line. He says ‘Nothing important has ever been built without irrational exuberance’. Meaning that you need some of this