Look for the paradigm
This is going to be a text about a hardware company called Ryder that I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating closely together with. They are in the process of whitelisting people for their NFT-presale and highly recommend checking out their discord to get in on it.
People who know me know that I like to spend a lot of my time thinking in terms of paradigm shifts and axioms and how re-imaging the way we approach challenges can be as powerful as a scientific discovery.
The most relevant example of this today is of course Bitcoin and the overall crypto industry. Going back just a decade, dedicated individuals thinking about digital money and self-sovereign ownership was a niched branch. Thanks to Bitcoin digital ownership is now a trillion-dollar market. Equally amazing is the movement it has sparked with online-based remote collaboration. Today I see brilliant minds come together each day, from all across the globe, with a common purpose and goal they collaborate as efficiently across continents as just across the street.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Bitcoin is really old tech. I don’t mean that in the sense of “newer” blockchains might be more capable in terms of TPS and etc. Rather in the sense that the building blocks necessary to create Bitcoin have been available for some time. Public-key encryption was discovered in the seventeen and commercialized in the eighties. We all know the web has been around for a few decades now. Equally, distributed computational capacity.
To get to my point I want to share a quote from my not so favorite, but very quotable, author Yuval Noah Harari.
Getting the steam engine out of the mines broke an important psychological barrier. If you could burn coal in order to move textile looms, why not use the same method to move other things, such as vehicles?
This is quoted from his book Sapiens (A Brief History) reasoning about the change of mindset that facilitated the industrial revolution and gave us the internal combustion engine. However, the brilliance of his reasoning starts even earlier when he sees the invention of gunpowder, invented in mid 1900th century China, needing close to 600 years before ending up in the use case of harnessing energy for motion.
The case I’m hopefully making here is that re-thinking existing knowledge is often at the heart of disruption and change. Like the combustion engine turned energy to motion, Bitcoin has turned encryption keys from a tool to keep the knowledge to a small entitled group, to means of strong public ownership and a global tool for open collaboration. All through re-imaging how they can be used.
The axiomatic change that comes with Bitcoin is small but brilliant, PKI has been around for decades, but people owning their own keys have been limited at most. Bitcoin showed that with Sovereign encryption keys we can build amazing solutions and means of collaboration.
And that finally brings me to the core of this text — Ryder. When I look at Ryder I see an effort on the brink of another one of these paradigm shifts. The wallet is at the center of UX not just for crypto, but for all forms of self-owned key-based solutions. A company that understands that the UX of key ownership cannot be excluded to the desktop engineer or investor, that adoption for many (read most) does not go through capability but appeal, and that bringing a solution that works in real life needs to shift axioms of the current approaches.
Ryder might be seen by many as a hardware company, for me, they are an effort to make sense of key ownership. One that uses design and utility to approach the BIG group of non-crypto users. And I’m going to let you in on another little secret — it's Ryder that's going to bring users into crypto, not the other way around.