Crypto Market Commentary
28 January 2020
Doc's Daily Commentary
The 22 January ReadySetLive session with Doc and Mav is listed below.
Mind Of Mav
The State Of Internet Connectivity
Yesterday we talked about the future of web development. Today let’s talk about the internet itself.
There are three technologies that make blockchain work: cryptography, a protocol governing incentivization, and the internet.
Of those three core technologies, it is the internet that is the newest and the most crucial.
After all, a common criticism of blockchain payments systems is its reliance on devices and active lines to the internet to work. If the power goes out, or if you’re in an underdeveloped part of the world, you’re better off sticking to cash.
Never mind, of course, that many basic functions of society are reliant in some part to the ubiquitous nature of a worldwide communication layer, but that’s irrelevant to the skeptics. Still, it can’t be denied that blockchain needs an open and functional internet to be viable In most circumstances (we won’t consider private blockchains in this example).
To that end, it’s both astonishing and frustrating to see the progress made on internet infrastructure in the last 20 years. There’s a common trope here in the States that the internet speeds are atrocious and governed by evil corruptions (looking at you, Comcast), whereas countries like South Korea enjoy super-fast and reliable connections.
And, unfortunately, that’s no accident.
Here’s a free copy of the book, “The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net”, which is based on the telco’s annual reports, state filings, etc.– and the data is based on 20 years of documentation—showing how large ISPs took government money that was supposed to be utilized for building internet infrastructure and instead used it to gobble up their competitors: http://irregulators.org/bookofbrokenpromises/
With basic functions of society, such as looking for jobs, paying bills, and receiving an education, increasingly digital, this puts artificial limits on the intellectual and functional growth of a society in an information age. And, as mentioned, it limits access to the emerging technological trends of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
In a sense, internet access has become a public utility that has a measurable aggregate benefit.
So, how to address this?
In one way, we are moving beyond infrastructure based on wires and cables.
Increasingly over the last decade, the preferred access method for the internet has been wireless and mobile. As mobile broadband devices and infrastructure have become more powerful and sophisticated, many in developed nations have found that their options for mobile providers outnumber and increasingly outperform fixed broadband providers.
While 5G does have demonstrated benefits over previous generation broadband data services, its rollout will be limited, costly, and years in the making. Furthermore, 5G is stratified by more airwaves that 4G is. Most notably, it opens up “high-band,” short-range airwaves that didn’t work with 4G technology. But 5G can run on any frequency, leading to three very different kinds of 5G experiences—low, middle, and high.
The key thing to understand here is that 5G speeds are directly related to how wide the available channels are, and how many are available. That’s narrow and few in low-band; more in mid-band; and lots in high-band. The huge amount of unused airwaves is the main attraction of high-band, which is otherwise very difficult for carriers to work with.
At the moment, low-band and high-band 5G are incompatible, in that there is no consumer device that can handle both. You have to choose one in your phone. This logjam will probably be broken in February, as the Samsung Galaxy S11 will be the first phone to handle all of the different 5G approaches.
5G, regardless of the band, will be faster than 4G in most scenarios, but that comes with tradeoffs.
If you’ve heard anything about 5G, you’ve likely heard it discussed in the context of the high-band 5G, or millimeter-wave. This is the newest form of mobile data communication today, and has some exciting possibilities — tests I’ve seen in person exceeded 1 Gigabyte / second download speeds!
But, unfortunately, the biggest drawbacks of this form of 5G is that it has a very short range, usually less than 1,000 feet, and requires line-of-sight. The former issue will be somewhat mitigated with technology improvements over time, but the latter will require creative solutions or unique use cases to really shine.
It is possible to “bounce” the millimeter wave beam through receivers using a technique called beamforming. Meanwhile, we could see applications such as self-driving cars using the near-instantaneous communication 5G provides to communicate with one another and make split-second driving decisions faster and more accurately than humans ever could.
So, 5G will certainly enable more connection, more powerful networks, and more enabled applications.
But, we still are left with questions regarding access. After all, many around the world lack access to basic internet — only 48% of the world had access to the internet in 2018, and that number only grew to 57% in 2019. Of the developed world, many countries only have 4G availability in the 50-70% range 14 years after it was introduced, and many have average 4G speeds of 15-20MB down, which is hardly better than the best of 3G (introduced in 2001).
Clearly, internet infrastructure is important. But it’s also difficult to deploy, costly, needs frequent upgrades, and will always take a backseat to crucial infrastructure like water and power.
While that paradigm exists, blockchain and digital technology will always be limited by physical infrastructure.
So, what if we didn’t need to rely on it as much?
What if the answer on Earth . . . is in space?
Let’s discuss the new space race tomorrow.
Press the "Connect" Button Below to Join Our Discord Community!
Please DM us with your email address if you are a full OMNIA member and want to be given full Discord privileges.
An Update Regarding Our Portfolio
We are pleased to share with you our Community Portfolio V3!
Add your own voice to our portfolio by clicking here.
We intend on this portfolio being balanced between the Three Pillars of the Token Economy & Interchain:
Crypto, STOs, and DeFi projects
We will also make a concerted effort to draw from community involvement and make this portfolio community driven.
Here’s our past portfolios for reference:
RSC Managed Portfolio (V2)
RSC Unmanaged Altcoin Portfolio (V2)
RSC Managed Portfolio (V1)