The future is not what we thought

For the last few years, a team of us has been working to build infrastructure that simplifies creating stablecoins. By design, these are boring stablecoins. What is exciting about them is that nothing is inherently exciting, which is why they are unique and, most importantly, usable.

Last week, some of the core technology graduated from Alpha to Beta. If you’re not familiar with these terms, it’s a way to open it up to more businesses to use it. Here is a video that Brale released:

The cash stablecoin deployed in the video is an example but shares many traits with SBC. While we can talk about the virtues of those traits at length, it’s not the traits themselves that are important. It’s what they enable in the world.

At some point, I started getting excited about what and how things were practically usable and could be adopted. Adoption and normal everyday use go hand in hand. For example, I use street parking in Des Moines, IA, most days just like anyone else and needed to pay to extend my time. A lot of payment innovation has been built over the last decade that would be difficult to use to pay for my parking.

My parking was paid using SBC enabled by a fintech, and everything just worked. By my count, a dozen banks are involved from end to end, two networks, an issuer, at least one blockchain, and a merchant who will get a deposit alongside all other deposits. It all just worked and the fact that I used a stablecoin is irrelevant to those involved.

There was no keynote, no camera recording, no press release, or fanfare. There was no BD meeting, or highlight video on the benefits and my eyeballs were never scanned. Just ordinary people doing everyday things where the collective systems’ efficiency was realized in real-time.

Maybe the future isn’t paying for things with our eyes and it’s just more efficient and convenient. That may be why stablecoin use keeps growing, and graphs like the one below keep popping up. When designed correctly, stablecoins are perfectly usable in the real world. They don’t reinvent money but extend it just like every other financial innovation that’s reached mass adoption in our lifetime.

Castle Island Ventures

If I can use a Brale-issued stablecoin to pay the government for parking in Des Moines, Iowa, of all places, imagine what else just works. I also purchased some donuts this morning at Dunkin’, and there was no discussion of what a stablecoin is, only a surprising negotiation over an adequate replacement for a Long John if there are no Long Johns available.

Maybe that real-time future we all imagined is more bottoms up than top down. Maybe it’s both and maybe the convergence finally gets to just happen inside of the legal structures and institutions we already have.

Either way, stablecoins work. No keynote required.