Day: February 14, 2018
At the ripe age of almost 10 years old, cryptocurrency is mature enough not to be considered a passing fad any longer, yet the market is still susceptible to periods of frenzy as if it was an infant idea. Like most fads, groupthink is indisputably prevalent in cryptocurrency, and a primary driver of the unthinkable heights to which prices have climbed. Sudden declines are just as attributable to herding as spikes, but regardless of the price at any moment, volatility is a persistent and worrisome constant.
Many wonder where the future of cryptocurrencies could possibly be. The never-ceasing influx of new coins and unique technical solutions only muddles the picture: how will they all survive at the same time? Will the notion of speculation persevere, or will the ecosystem calm down eventually? Which coins will exist in ten years, and which will not? We can attempt to answer these questions and more by studying the social developments happening in the blockchain sphere, and what role human participants play in it.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “pushing the envelope,” or, more completely, “pushing the edge of the envelope,” but knowledge of its origin is less common. This metaphor refers to extending the current limits of performance, to innovate, or go beyond commonly accepted boundaries. The phrase goes back to engineering references of a mathematical envelope or “flight envelope.” The term entered the mainstream shortly after Tom Wolfe’s book, The Right Stuff, in 1979. The book highlights aviation pilots engaged in U.S. postwar research with experimental, rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft. Even earlier, the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society had been using the term “flight envelopes” for aviation and aeronautics since 1944. Shortly before Wolfe adopted the term, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine referenced how NASA pilots were pushing the flight envelope to 10,000 feet.