In 1998, at the height of its popularity, two unknown people who had just created Google contacted the executives of AltaVista to sell them their “pagerank” for 1 million dollars : An algorithm that established the relevance of pages to improve the quality of search results. In a decision that cost them their stay in business, AltaVista executives decided to pass on the offer. Yahoo acquired AltaVista in 2003 and deactivated it in 2013, the same time that Google turned 15 and achieved net income of $12 billion a year.
before and after facebook
Facebook is another iconic case of how a good idea can completely wipe out its predecessors. Friendster, for example, reached 90 million users and MySpace was the most visited page in the world in 2008. But that year Facebook opened its registry and anyone could open their profile without having to paste HTML codes. The inability to evolve put MySpace out of business, while Facebook has an estimated net worth of $320 billion in 2023. Is it possible for new cryptocurrencies to repeat this story with bitcoin?
Like MySpace or Altavista, many tokens and exchanges have succumbed to their own limitations during the crypto crash. Therefore, the cryptocurrency markets advance at a “flight towards quality”, declared to CNBC Mathew McDermott, Global Head of Digital Assets at Goldman Sachs. With crypto values falling in 2022, the trend is not to stop investing in them nor predict its end but to bet on a second generation that addresses the challenges that have arisen.
In that line, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of the need to protect investments: “Stronger financial regulation and supervision, and the development of global standards, can help address many concerns about crypto assets.”. The idea of this body is that governments “quickly manage the risks of cryptocurrencies without stifling innovation.” It is there when second-generation cryptocurrencies, which are backed by assets, emerge as the perfect alternative to bitcoin’s volatility.