“Race of the Steamboats: Robert E. Lee (nicknamed the ‘Monarch of the Mississippi’) and Natchez, chromolithograph, 1870

What is the future of blockchain?

Lepetit Jeremi


Many, even infinite, trajectories are still possible for this technology. However, it seems to become one of the new cornerstones of the technical infrastructure of the World Wide Web, as it was announced. Blockchain will be everywhere and in all industries: healthTech, Legaltech, LuxTech, AgriTech, Edutech, etc … and of course Fintech. Like others before me, we saw it coming and announced it. It was not foresight but ballistics.

Therefore, when it comes to talking about the future of blockchain, I would not dare to make predictions, but I always try to stay in this quasi-certainty zone (absolute certainty does not exist) in terms of trajectory. This trajectory is however intimately linked to the dominant narrative, of a totally connected, mobile, algorithmic and partially virtual world. Other trajectories and other narratives or narrative hybridization are possible (and perhaps even desirable).

Blockchain: Infrastructural Technology.

Blockchain is an infrastructural technology. A technology at the service of human beings animated by various intentions. Layer 1 is therefore more or less complex variants of the same technology. Infrastructure technologies in the history of mankind have systematically led to the creation of an ecosystem of application technology around them. Moreover, most of the time without any great reward for their creator father. The wheel’s inventor probably gained nothing, unlike those who developed trade and empires thanks to it. The same goes for the steam engine or drilling technology. Unlike the companies that were able to exploit them and give birth to the great industrial fortunes.

The same goes for the internet. The civil and military researchers who invented the internet are unknown, but today we are all customers of digital giants like Facebook, PayPal, Tencent, Google, Alibaba, Amazon & co. All these services rely on the internet and its multiple additional infrastructural technological layers. The same goes for virtual reality, for example. Facebook’s OCULUS like all VR headsets are VR interfaces, not the technology itself but a gateway to this infrastructure technology.

In the end, these infrastructure technologies have only two possible alternatives: implementation or disappearance. The contemporary is always aware of the current technologies, but no one looks at the infrastructure technology graveyard that is dead for lack of use, and only remembers those that have succeeded in creating an ecosystem of services and applications, and therefore a use anchored in the real world.

Layer 1: first step towards the application.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Fantom, Algorand, Cosmos, Polygon, Avax, Massa, Solana, Tezos, Elrond, Terra (RIP) etc. All these layers 1 are competing to play the leading roles in the world of tomorrow. There is a place for coexistence because the properties are different. However, they are in competition to create around them these use ecosystems and try to become the reference blockchain in their segment. Besides, there is nothing surprising about the fact that low blows are raining down. These blockchains are or will become the giants of tomorrow’s Web3. Top players in healthcare, gaming, e-sports, education, transport, finance and Web3 are in the pipeline or will become so, and they won’t be layer 1s but application services.

Nevertheless, the token economy has opened up a new dimension for infrastructure technologies. Technology becomes intrinsically remunerative to the extent of its use. The holder of a layer 1 native token holds a sort of intellectual property right on the technology, giving him the right to a revenue mechanism shared with all the holders and indexed on usage. Imagine investing in the H20 token of the “steam engine” project in the MECA 3.0 era and taking a few pennies for every turn of an engine piston. The deal would be nice. But despite everything without possible comparison with the one who produces a high added value manufacturing thanks to the underlying technology. In finance the comparison could be made between Visa and Goldman Sachs. Although Visa is not an infrastructure technology, it is a service that is closer to infrastructure than Goldman Sachs, which is one of the many investment banks that use Visa. In Q1 2022, Goldman Sachs’s revenue was $12.93bn compared to $7.20bn for Visa. Implementation is the meaning of the history of any technology.

Web3: The New World Analogy.

If Web3 is a new world, then it is interesting to draw a parallel with the discovery of a new world. Let’s draw an analogy between the conquest of the Web3 and the conquest of America between the 15th and 19th centuries. The first settlers first groped, made contact, fought and then quickly laid the infrastructure of what would become: cities, roads, bridges, railroads, etc. Blockchains are the cities, the roads, the railroads of the Web3. And from 2014 to 2020 the Web3’s entrepreneurs were the settlers who came to lay the infrastructure of this new world. And as with the colonies, these are in competition with each other to impose themselves. Others will follow, but now that infrastructure are numerous and efficient enough, a new wave of colonial entrepreneurs will conquer this new world to bring the application and service layer essential to its adoption and growth. But this new world like America before it with Europe is not that disconnected from the old world. The applications that will take the leadership of Web3 are those that will bridge these two worlds and will be able to bring people to frictionless use. This new world needs health services, insurance, logistics, education, legal, etc… and also payment. This is also ballistics.

: a mainstream solution for a seamless Blockchain

We are building retreeb with this ambition: first to become the leader in ethically mainstream Web3 payments and then become one of the leaders in payment. I am convinced that our approach and our particular attention to eliminating friction during use are decisive advantages in winning market share. It is with this ambition that we are building our payment solution based on a multi-chain infrastructure (Fantom/Polygon) that is able to get the best performances and to keep a total independence and autonomy. We make Web3 almost invisible to the end user to make it more accessible: no seed phrase, no public key, no gas, no swap, etc. As I explained to the Abu Dhabi Fantom DC conference, to make the blockchain mainstream you have to make it seamless.

But before time it is not time and after time it is not time. Each industry knows its momentum, these great years of change. We are in those of payment means whether it is Web1, Web2 or Web3. Moreover, the Gafams are not misguided and everyone wants to have a piece of a cake that will grow (+30% by 2023). But no player except for Retreeb is challenging the recipe for the cake. An ethical and solidarity-based approach to payment embedded in the economic model. A deep paradigm shift from financial capitalism: make as much profit as possible, to a new paradigm: make as much profit as possible to share. Create an efficient, rental and virtuous payment system. The three pillars of the new economic equation: meet the need, generate profit, solve societal issues. This equation has become essential to any form of economic sustainability.

Finally, the forces involved must be taken into account. Retreeb is unique in the Web3 mainstream payment industry and its direct competitors are traditional players in the industry. With our stableTreeb locals and our frictionless usage, we will provide service to Mr. and Mrs. Smith or Dupont (in France). Not specifically to crypto holders. I think it’s a strategic posture, both in terms of adoption and regulation. Because the regulator is undoubtedly the main obstacle for full crypto Web3 projects. It is the enforcer of the industry in place. For example, Libra/Diem was confronted with a regulatory shield that was intended to prevent the creation of a new supranational currency out of control of central banks. Currency that would have been under private ownership (Facebook) unlike bitcoin. Together with retreeb we immediately made the choice to avoid confrontation with the monetary sovereignty of states and banks. By 100% collateralizing our stables with the user’s devices and good legal/financial engineering, our stableTreeb has the status of electronic money circulating on-chain.

If the uncertainties are numerous and the challenges immense, the adventure promises to be exciting. We have big ambitions for Retreeb, but even more than the goals, it’s the journey to reach them that makes this journey to the new world so exciting.

We are only at the beginning of the story.