The crypto currency industry has expanded dramatically in recent years. It took cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology less than four years to transform from a niche industry to a global powerhouse capable of moving markets and shaping regulation.
It is safe to say that the opportunities created by this growth changed the world, but this change is most visible in areas where economic growth has stalled.
This is the case with Portugal, whose reputation as a sunny tourist destination has gradually been overshadowed by low wages and declining living standards.
Despite being an EU member state with vast natural resources, Portugal has long been regarded as Europe’s underdog. The country struggled to keep young people within its borders as higher wages and friendlier business regulations pushed them to migrate to neighboring countries.
Growing up in a small town outside of Lisbon, I witnessed this firsthand. Jobs were scarce, and young people struggled to find reasons to stay in a country that did not value them. Agriculture was one of the few industries that provided a sense of stability in the mid-2000s. Many young people chose it as a career path.
In Portugal, innovation and entrepreneurship were difficult to find and even more difficult to implement. Those whose ambition survived these conditions were then confronted with a slew of bureaucratic issues that stifled further progress.
Caution has cursed the Portuguese. Our grandparents lived through hardships and struggled rather than being liberated in the post-dictatorship era.
The uncertainty and instability they experienced kept them in a survival mode, which they passed on to their children, making it the country’s default mode of living. This resulted in a general lack of ambition among the general population. Despite having lofty goals, many people are afraid of overspending, reaching too far, and stepping outside of their comfort zones.
While things were gradually improving, it took blockchain to kick things into high gear.
It is safe to say that blockchain technology has completely transformed the Portuguese tech and business landscape. The emergence of cryptocurrencies was a black swan event that shook the country to its core while also paving the way for a brighter future for its youth.
Over a decade after the first Bitcoin block was created, blockchain technology has helped the country combat unemployment and instill a sense of ambition in young people. The opportunities it provided enabled Portuguese entrepreneurs to realize they could establish a parallel global economy free of government intervention.
I founded Masterblox, an incubator company aimed at assisting crypto startups in scaling because I was inspired by the limitless possibilities that blockchain technology provided. With no outside funding and a small but dedicated team, we were able to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to positively impact the world.
The crypto industry was once dominated by tech-savvy traders and developers. Because the community was so homogeneous, it was difficult for others to enter and grow their businesses. However, by 2023, the crypto industry is brimming with diverse experts, ranging from traditional finance bankers and analysts to lawyers, psychologists, and marketers. Having a diverse set of experts working in the industry provides strong backing for new companies looking to enter the blockchain space.
At Masterblox, we leveraged this diverse talent to assist our clients in scaling and growing their crypto startups. We quickly grew to a team of 20 people and achieved the professional success that would be difficult to achieve in a traditional corporate setting.
All crypto and blockchain companies in Portugal, including Masterblox, now have global access. We can all succeed solely on the basis of our talent and effort, free of the constraints of our local market.
This frame of mind makes it easier to weather bear markets. We at Masterblox know that there will always be new opportunities for Web3 professionals because we create them.
While Portugal is a prime example of the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, their effects can be felt in a variety of other countries. It’s a miracle to see the possibilities and potential of blockchain technology. People from almost every corner of the globe can now challenge traditional systems and address inequality.