2017 was definitely a year that operated on token time. Decentralised projects collectively raised $5.6b, with hundreds of worthy projects laying the groundwork for a new client-to-client computing architecture powered by a multitude of token economies. However, this has been in the making for many decades. In fact, the history of a formally implemented ‘token economy’ actually pre-dates Satoshi and Vitalik quite a bit. It dates back to the early part of last century and was focused on non-monetary rewards or dis-incentives for toddlers, prisoners and, perhaps notably, the psychologically unstable.
For several decades, entrepreneurs and developers have been building software companies, deeply rooted in open source. Among them are successes like MySQL, built and coded by one of our team members Monty Widenius, and which remains the world’s most popular database to date. What we see as the power of decentralised ledger technology, or more particularly the trustless digital networks it enables, is the new age of open source software development that can fund and build a whole new generation of censor-resistant projects that will ultimately overtake the impact of MySQL or even Internet itself.
There is a lot of excitement when it comes to the promises that the upcoming year aims to deliver: numerous projects intending to go live on main-net, decentralised exchanges gaining traction, industry grade services including custody and accounting, identity networks and data ownership models enabling the blooming of the sovereign individual and many more.
In this report, Fabric Ventures and Token Data are reviewing the state of the token market in 2017, and exploring the importance of some of the most critical developments we expect to take place in the year ahead.