I apologize. I get it. You hear “blockchain” and you immediately think “shady get-rich-quick schemes” or “bubble of magical fake Internet money” or “libertarian enfants terribles,” and when a true believer tries to explain to you why you should care, why it will change the world beyond just minting a new set of paper oligarchs, you think “wait, why not just use a database?” I hear you.
And you’re not wrong. In the developed world, at least, there isn’t a lot that Bitcoin can do which isn’t already handled better, and more safely, by banks and credit cards. The vast majority of other cryptocurrencies are basically penny stocks in an unregulated global stock market, except for the ones which are basically games of chance in a global casino, and the ones which are Bitcoin except actually secret and anonymous, which are technically amazing but don’t necessarily inspire greater confidence in the general applicability of the whole concept.
Ethereum is more interesting, you might grudgingly concede, with its whole “world computer” concept, running code and storing data on what is essentially a decentralized permissionless virtual machine scattered across thousands of nodes worldwide — but nobody actually uses it except to host the aforementioned stock market / casino, plus maybe the occasional memetic CryptoFad, and even if people did want to use it, they couldn’t, because it doesn’t scale.
All (currently) true. And let me hasten to stress that I’m not saying blockchains are going to take over the world. I stand by my stance that they are the new Linux, not the new Internet. I think it’s optimistic to project that they’ll wind up directly used by any more than a few percent of the population, those driven by the technology or the politics rather than convenience and ease of use.