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Circle CEO says blockchain industry is transitioning from dial-up to broadband phase

At the Converge22 conference in San Francisco, Jeremy Allaire, CEO of stablecoin issuer Circle, said that the world is finally moving from the speculative value phase of crypto to the utility phase. Drawing parallels to the early days of the internet, he said:

“It is an architecture that the internet was founded on many decades ago — this idea of open networks, of open standards and protocols, of connecting entities, devices and people in interoperable ways, of a globally intertwined world of decentralized systems.”

As told by Allaire, there are currently on-chain mechanisms to ensure safe, trustworthy interactions between crypto users. However, there need to be “advancements” in technologies such as zero-knowledge proofs that prove identities and credentials while simultaneously ensuring individuals’ privacy:

“People need to be able to interact with apps, and services, and content and transactions without knowing that they’re using crypto. I don’t know I’m using SMTP [Simple Mail Transfer Protocol] when I send an email with Gmail — I do know that, but a lot of people don’t know that, and that’s okay.”

Allaire explained that for mass crypto adoption to happen, participants would need to be introduced to a much more simplified version of the underlying technology. “People don’t need to know what chain they’re on or even what stablecoin they’re using,” he said. “They just need to know that it’s frictionless interaction with data and money.”

Finally, Allaire said we are reaching the next “broadband” phase of blockchain, referencing the dial-up era in the early days of the internet. “We need safe, scalable and energy-efficient public blockchains” just as we did with the internet, he stated, raising the example of new developments such as Ethereum’s recent move to proof-of-stake and the emergence of layer-2 and layer-1 scaling models. He said the step was “necessary for this [blockchain] to become something that is used by everyday society for mission-critical applications.”