Internet vs blockchain revolution: the origin of the giant company

Mark Twain once said, "History will not repeat itself, but it will always be strikingly similar." We try to find similarities between the Internet and the blockchain revolution to help you better understand the technology lifecycle and the future of the blockchain industry. The history of the Internet revolution is based primarily on Brian McCullough's Internet Trends.
This series of articles will be divided into five parts for everyone to tell.

First, the Internet vs blockchain revolution: early successful products (click on the hyperlink to view)

Second, the Internet vs blockchain revolution: the origin of the Internet giant company

Third, the Internet vs blockchain revolution: early challenges

Fourth, the Internet vs blockchain revolution: new concepts, valuation methods and timing

V. Internet vs Blockchain Revolution: Are we in 1994? Where will the future go?

This article is the second part – the Internet vs blockchain revolution: the origins of Internet giants.

Looking back at the history of the Internet revolution, we found that the founders of many disruptive companies did not have any business acumen at first. They have different social backgrounds, such as amateurs, university researchers, hackers, staff of big companies, and so on. Let's look at a few examples.



The origin of Yahoo is a hobby. In 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo, who were pursuing doctoral degrees at Stanford University, liked to collect links to some of the early Internet sites.

After discovering the first web browser mosaic (Mosaic), the two began to indulge in the World Wide Web. The goal of Yang Zhiyuan and David is to find the best sites, classify them by category, and compile them into a list.

Their public website index quickly spread among the first users of surfing the Internet. To some extent, Yahoo's first version is more like a "beautified list," unlike a technology company. But Yahoo has provided users with tremendous value by bringing together scattered websites on the web, giving it a preemptive advantage in this area.

Vitalik Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2012

Similarly, Ethereum co-founder and chief scientist Vitalik Buterin began by writing articles on the Bitcoin blog forum as a hobby. At that time his manuscript fee was 5 BTCs per piece (approximately $4). The cryptocurrency made him very fascinated. He also kept writing articles for the site, but the site was forced to close because of lack of mainstream attention.

Vitalik Buterin later founded Bitcoin Magazine as the lead author. Later, he hoped that the cryptocurrency not only had financial use cases, but also other uses, so in 2013 the Ethereum white paper was released. Everyone knows the next thing.


University researcher

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founder of Google

In many cases, research projects at universities may lead to groundbreaking solutions compared to existing technologies. In 1995, Google's founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University and wanted to set a thesis topic together. They realized that the network was built on top of links that link pages together.

Academic research papers often cite other well-known academic papers to construct their own arguments. We can rank the importance of a paper based on the number of citations. In other words, the more times a research paper is cited, the more important it is. Inspired by this, Larry and Sergey created a very powerful search system, Google, which ranks pages based on their importance. Google quickly surpassed existing search engines such as Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and AltaVista.

They tried to solve interesting problems and put forward some convincing ideas. There are also a number of projects in the blockchain field that are derived from academia, including Algorand (MIT- Silvio Micali), The Oasis Team (University of California – Dawn Song), Thuner Core (Cornell University – Elaine Shi and Rafael Pass) and many more.


Hacker chat room

2002 w00w00 team

As it turns out, many groundbreaking ideas come from the technology community, where hackers exchange technology and share new ideas. Between 1997 and 1998, Napster founder Shawn Fanning was invited to join the private Internet Relay Chat (IRC) called w00w00, an online meeting room for hackers. . The members of w00w00 were made up of a group of anonymous young hackers who later founded several technology companies, including WhatsApp and Arbor Networks.

The history of the blockchain is similar. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto sent an academic paper to the cryptography mailing list, proposing a digital cash called bitcoin. In 2016, an anonymous person named Tom Elvis Jedusor (the name of Harry Potter's Voldemort) logged into the chat room of Bitcoin Research, providing a completely different blockchain solution that eventually evolved into Grin and Beam these two projects.


Giant company employee

The famous "Paypal Mafia" and "Coinbase Mafia"

During the Internet revolution, Paypal's early team created some of the most successful companies and investment institutions, such as Elon Mush founded Tesla, Jeremy Topman (Jeremy) Stoppleman founded Yelp (overseas version of the public comment), Max Levchin founded Slide. Other Paypal members are involved in the creation, investment, and promotion of many companies, such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer, Palantir, and Square. Therefore, people in the scientific and technological community often refer to these people in Silicon Valley as "Paypal Mafia."

In the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, the Coinbase team has also created key projects and investment companies such as Lissoin, dYdX, Dharma, PolyChain Capital, and Scalar Capital. In addition, the co-founders of Ethereum have created popular blockchain projects such as Consistsys (Joseph Lubin), Cardano (Charles Hoskinson), Parity & Polkadot (Gav Will / Gavin Wood). The early team members of these companies have a strong industry network that sees new potential business models in emerging industries and has significant advantages in expanding the size of startups.

The history of the Internet revolution is based on the book "The Internet Tide" by Brian McCullough. Mark Twain once said, "History will not repeat itself, but it will always be strikingly similar." We try to find similarities between the Internet and the blockchain revolution to help you better understand the technology lifecycle and the future of the blockchain industry. I hope this series of articles can provide you with some valuable views on the blockchain industry. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment at the end of the article.

Reference materials:

  • Internet Trends, Brian McCullough
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Original link:


Author | Remi Gai

Translation | Huang Feihong

Source | Medium