We’re gonna party like it’s 1993!

The real future of cryptocurrencies – the one that nearly all of its proponents daydream about publicly or perhaps privately – lies in extending their use far beyond today’s tiny group of technologically-adept early adopters and risk-embracing speculators.  The only way for Bitcoin, Litecoin, or other systems to live up to their full potential as a transformative economic device is through widespread adoption throughout society.  Many societies, in fact.  It is the millions and billions of people across the world who today have little to no idea about what these digital devices are and what they can do for them who are the key to pulling any or all of these systems out of the realm of being just a fragile novelty buoyed by false hopes and instead becoming a robust, mainstream currency.  But the path from today to that day is going to be very interesting and eventful.  Spelunkin is our effort to examine the expansion of cryptocurrency into general mainstream life and culture.

Our goal is to be a resource for those who seek to learn more about cryptocurrencies, to be a responsible source for news and information related to these currency platforms, and to document how cryptocurrencies are actually working today.  We will be speaking with innovators, established merchants, technologists, and many others who have been essential to the growth of market share and awareness of these systems in recent times as well as the people who will be just as essential to the growth of the system on into future.  Most importantly, we are going to get up out of our chairs and perform various tasks using these tools in transactions both online (ok, maybe we will stay in our chairs for that one) and in the “real world” – including various brick-and-mortar stores and other forms of exchanges.

What we hope to accomplish by this is twofold – for one, we would like to accurately present the current “state of cryptocurrency” to the relative newcomer.  We want to show how this new digital currency slowly permeates into our already digital society.  We want to look at the various cultures that adopt cryptocurrency and see how they are changed by its introduction.  At the same time, we want to provide realistic “user feedback” to the long-term cryptocurrency veterans so that they can see how their own goods, services, and businesses appear through the eyes of the newcomers that this system will require to adopt this into their lives in order for it to become a viable currency medium.

Thus we have two main audiences – the larger one is the next expanding concentric circle of potential crytpocurrency adopters. People who have either not heard of such systems or who have felt that their instability, risk, usability, and basic barriers to entry have kept them out of the marketplace in any capacity.  These are people who, given the right amount of knowledge, might prove to be converts and even evangelists.  But this group is not just people – businesses, particularly smaller ones, are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs, increase sales and nearly all cryptocurrency proponents stand ready to make just such promises.

The other group we hope to reach here are the designers, the dedicated, the fanboys, the visionaries and particularly the entrepreneurs.  Basically anyone who might already be so far within this system or that platform that they do not understand or remember what exists on the other side.  The honest truth is that for any of these systems to go beyond a mere trinket-like existence and actually deliver on the bounty that they promise, the majority of users will not be versed in the dark arts of mining,  deep cryptography studies, and the ways of hardcore compsec best practices.  The “winning” system will have to be approachable, sensible, and overall, not scary to the layperson either in day-to-day usage or when it comes to the security of people’s hard-earned savings.

We think this is a very exciting time for all of these systems -Bitcoin, Litecoin, and others – and, much like the fledgling World Wide Web was  in 1993 with the popularization of the Mosaic web browser, the potential of cryptocurrencies as they emerge into society is both fantastic and entirely unpredictable.  In just a few years, any of the proposed systems could become the international standard for wealth exchange or while the others might simply be the answer to a trivia question at bar night.

So let’s see what happens next!