Yup, you are exactly right. Ultimately, as with all great technologies, it comes down to two key things:
- The platforms we build with bitcoin that ordinary folks want to use.
- The people behind those ideas and platforms.
In that respect, creativity, imagination and good old fashioned collaboration are more important than the intelligence of individuals or the ‘bigger, faster, stronger’ backbone running the technology. After all there were plenty of competing internet protocols potentially superior to IP after the idea of the internet was unleashed upon the world. Indeed, if we were to go back and rebuild it all, IPV4 would look nothing like it does today.
Perhaps this is why:
“We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.” – Ellen Ullman
As such, in the end it was the most open protocol, with the greatest diversity of imaginative minds intellectually and emotionally invested in its long term success, that thrived and captured the imagination of ordinary people wanting to play with it.
This is why things like the DAOhub failed, even though (at least ostensibly) the technology platform was superior to say, discussing initiatives over bitcointalk or on IRC, and ethereum (which DAOhub was built on) was, arguably, technically superior to bitcoin.
Rootstock, Blockstack, Sidechains, Drivechains, Lightning, MAST and myriad other Layer 2/3 ‘upgrades’ address all those early bitcoin growing pains of course, but in a way that is slow, cautious and methodical, with working groups that have been together for nearly 9 years that, in many ways, mirror the way W3C shaped and continue to help shape the evolution of the internet.
None of us have a crystal ball and, as you say, time will tell.
In the meantime it’s OK to not know for sure how it will all unfold, as long as we continue to enjoy the ride, and keep shaping this technology in a way that solves real problems that will improve the lives of billions of people across the planet.