Infrastructure calibration scale for blockchains

  1. Blockchains are like time-travel networks. Science fiction that can’t actually work with known tech. (0%)

  2. Blockchains are like space tech. Only a tiny fraction of humans will be involved but everyone will use satellite based comms and weather and be spectators (1%)

  3. Blockchains are like railroads. Dominated by freight (backbone transactions), and passenger travel will be a loss-making subsidized public good that will be some fraction of traffic.(20%?)

  4. Blockchains are like renewable energy grids. Some fraction of property users will install solar or wind, or BTM batteries, and have net metering relations with grid. Rest won’t see any difference in electricity usage. (30%)

  5. Blockchains are like social media. Everyone will use a little, some users will be “very onchain” similar to “very online” (1-9-90 rule, participation inequality)

  6. Blockchains are like credit card networks. Everyone has a credit card past some level of standard of living, same group will have crypto wallets/ids etc. (~80% at mature adoption)

  7. Blockchains are like smart phone networks. Everyone except the most desperately poor will eventually be onchain (99%)


This is pretty great.

Two thoughts

First, if you put DNS on this scale, is it 1 or 2 (most people / orgs don’t have their own registered domain names) or is it 4 or 5 (most people do have a domain of their own in some fashion even if they don’t register directly)?

Second, “Blockchains are like application databases” – everybody interacts with several of them in using apps, but invisibly and not really directly. And maybe that’s scale 5 or 6?


Blockchains are like a distributed version of Los Angeles - started based on pure speculation (Real estate in the case of LA) and looking for a “use case” which LA found in the form of Hollywood. Now a fraction of the planet completely inhabits Los Angeles or has work associated with it, but everyone around the world is influenced by it culturally and you cant escape it.


Edit: Los Angeles is the distributed version of Los Angeles. The mall parking lots are the nodes.