Technologist and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak played contrarian at the NEX technology conference in late June, comparing the hype around blockchain to the fervor he witnessed just before the implosion of the dot-com bubble. Still, Wozniak stood by his unflinching loyalty for Bitcoin, even in the midst of the market’s 2018 downturn.
To be sure, Wozniak believes blockchain technology will serve as a cornerstone for business and industry in the future, calling it “decentralized and totally trustworthy.”
Nonetheless, early adopters “can burn themselves out by not being prepared to be stable in the long run,” Wozniak said. Comparing the growth of the blockchain industry to the dot-com mania of yesteryear, he said, “It was a bubble, and I feel that way about blockchain.”
It’s Wozniak’s guess that the same pattern will repeat today. “If you look now you say all that internet stuff happened, we got it, it just took a while,” he told the tech conference audience.
Ultimately, Wozniak forecasts that blockchain technology will disrupt the social media sector. Facebook, which holds somewhat of a social media monopoly, is ripe for competition, and a blockchain-based platform could emerge as a key rival to challenge the status quo.
Wozniak also sees long-term potential in Ethereum and its currency, ether. In particular, Wozniak cited programmers’ ability to build out their own Ethereum-based projects, as well as development efforts from companies like Microsoft Corp. and J.P. Morgan to unearth the DApp platform’s full potential.
While Wozniak is putting blockchain on ice for now, saying it isn’t yet ready to live up to the hype with mainstream adoption, he held his ground on Bitcoin, something he once referred to as “digital gold.” Although the cryptocurrency lost more than half its value so far this year, he still referred to it as “just amazing.”
Wozniak purchased bitcoin at around the $700 mark and sold most of his holdings at the peak near $20,000.