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Monday, December 17, 2018

Irving Wladawsky-Berger on Blockchain

A favorite writer of mine Irving Wladawsky-Berger, on Blockchain, makes some good points.  Apply it carefully where it makes sense.      As a Trust model is probably the first place to examine it.

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger's Blog:   Blockchain Beyond the Hype:   Read the whole thing, he well describes the approach and areas of value:

A recent issue of The Economist included a special report on cryptocurrencies and blockchains.  The Economist’s overall conclusion was that “Bitcoin has been a failure as a means of payment, but thrilling for speculators.”  Its assessment of blockchain was somewhat more positive.  “For blockchains, the jury is still out,… For all the technology’s potential, though, most attempts to use it remain tentative,…  The advantages of blockchains are often oversold.” 

In 2016, blockchain made the list of the World Economic Forum’s Top Ten Emerging Technologies.  That same year, blockchain also made its first appearance in Gartner’s yearly hype cycles.  Even The Economist has been guilty of overselling when it featured blockchain in the cover of its October 31, 2015 issue with the tag line “The Trust Machine: How the technology behind Bitcoin could change the world.” 

Is there too much hype surrounding blockchain?  Absolutely,… but not surprising.  All potentially transformative technologies are oversold in their early stages.  Remember the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.  Blockchain is still in its early phases of experimentation and adoption.  Much work remains to be done on standards, platforms, interoperability, applications and governance. 

But, does blockchain have the potential to become a truly transformative technology over time?  Yes, said McKinsey in a recent article on the strategic value of blockchain beyond the hype.  The article starts out by acknowledging that all the hype around blockchain makes it difficult to nail down not just blockchain's long term strategic value, but also what it actually is and what it isn’t in the present. To make sure everyone is on the same page, the article first recaps what it calls “the nuts and bolts of blockchain.”  Let me start by summarizing blockchain’s nuts and bolts.  .... "

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