Power of the Meme: How Bitcoin Breaks the Snail Pace of Tech Innovation


Power of the Meme: How Bitcoin Breaks the Snail Pace of Tech Innovation

Growth in the financial technology sector has been stagnant. Things have evolved at a snail’s-pace. However, believe it or not, this pace is being broken by the power of the meme. 

Also read: Gartner Exclusive: Blockchain Is ‘Over-Hyped’

People are still using credit cards and payment systems created in the 1950’s. They are also reliant on central banks to aid them in securing their funds. Many see this monetary “old regime” as normal. Some may even view these outdated methods and monies as the pinnacle of financial innovation.

But luckily, things are changing. Cryptocurrencies—namely Bitcoin—have been introduced as a competitor to the old regime. And it is starting to see widespread adoption.

But why has it taken so long for this change to take place?

Financial ‘Memetics’: How the Meme Creates Revolution

Things have been slow for sociocultural and psychological reasons.

When people become accustomed to a cultural trend—that trend becomes ingrained. It becomes commonplace for most people. This occurs because of the introduction of memes in society.

Memes are socially transferred bits of information that take on a life of their own. They seem self-propelled as they spread through an ecosystem.

Just like their biological counterpart, the gene, memes have a tendency to replicate with ferocious fecundity.

The old regime of financial technology is a meme itself. And until now, it has had a stranglehold over society.

Indeed, it takes time for new memes to infiltrate society and change culture. That is one reason why technologies like Bitcoin have not yet seen mass adoption. But now more people are starting to use it and see its potential as a life-changing currency.

So long as visionaries and monetary entrepreneurs continue to feed new memes into culture-at-large, the collective psyche will start to cede to the power of new technologies. This means that the new meme of “cryptocurrency” will eventually establish itself in society.

But there is another, more pernicious reason for the snail-paced growth of fintech.

Byzantine, Outmoded Regulations

Byzantine and outmoded methods dominate regulation in the financial sector. Rules, codes, and requirements for creating money date back to early America.

These regulations have acted as barriers to entry for people trying to create new financial technologies. No one can simply build a new financial instrument with ease. They have to appeal to bureaucratic agencies and fit within the mold of existing laws before innovating. This gridlock poses an obstacle not easily overcome, significantly diminishing the “meme effect” of new ideas.

But this has started to change with the invention of cryptocurrency. The reason this happened is that with decentralized currencies, a person does not need to ask permission to create new financial tools. Previously, any new idea would need to wade through the migraine-inducing shuffleboard of regulatory scrutiny.

Toward a New Financial Era

The combination of meme warfare within society, as well as technological advances, likely foreshadow the fall of the old financial regime.

The pace of change in financial technology has previously moved at a snail’s pace because of psychological and regulatory barriers. But innovative people have outsmarted these barriers. They have found workarounds to the current system. And no longer do they have to appeal to anyone to innovate or create new assets. They just do it.

And since there is an abundance of new cryptocurrency memes circulating in society, the final effect should be an end to the snail’s-pace era of financial invention and creation. The floodgates of innovation and change have been busted wide open.

Do you share this attitude about this new financial era and its emergence? 

Images via Shutterstock, How the Market Works, Northwestern Business Review, Your Training Provider.

Tags in this story
Crypto-Psychology, meme, memetics

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Sterlin Lujan

Sterlin Lujan is a journalist, editor, speaker, anarchist, and essayist. He has been involved with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin since 2012. Sterlin is especially interested in the intersection of psychology and cryptography. He has written on behavioral economics in regards to innovative technology, and was one of the first to write about the emerging field of cryptopsychology on bitcoin.com.

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