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Monday, January 14, 2019

When does Blockchain get the Simplest Value?

Thought of this myself.    When first hearing first about blockchain.  Isn't there a simpler way to do the same thing?  You know, with a suitably encrypted and protected database?  But doing what?  What are the specific goals you are trying to achieve. Each goal.  Better, faster, cheaper?   Or at all.  Without all the hashing, mining, hacking and coinage.  Yes, we want value, the best way.  Thoughtful piece:

Blockchain’s Occam problem

By Matt Higginson, Marie-Claude Nadeau, and Kausik Rajgopal   in McKinsey

Blockchain has yet to become the game-changer some expected. A key to finding the value is to apply the technology only when it is the simplest solution available.

Blockchain over recent years has been extolled as a revolution in business technology. In the nine years since its launch, companies, regulators, and financial technologists have spent countless hours exploring its potential. The resulting innovations have started to reshape business processes, particularly in accounting and transactions.

Amid intense experimentation, industries from financial services to healthcare and the arts have identified more than 100 blockchain use cases. These range from new land registries, to KYC applications and smart contracts that enable actions from product processing to share trading. The most impressive results have seen blockchains used to store information, cut out intermediaries, and enable greater coordination between companies, for example in relation to data standards.

One sign of blockchain’s perceived potential is the large investments being made. Venture-capital funding for blockchain startups reached $1 billion in 2017. IBM has invested more than $200 million in a blockchain-powered data-sharing solution for the Internet of Things, and Google has reportedly been working with blockchains since 2016. The financial industry spends around $1.7 billion annually on experimentation.

There is a clear sense that blockchain is a potential game-changer. However, there are also emerging doubts. A particular concern, given the amount of money and time spent, is that little of substance has been achieved. Of the many use cases, a large number are still at the idea stage, while others are in development but with no output. The bottom line is that despite billions of dollars of investment, and nearly as many headlines, evidence for a practical scalable use for blockchain is thin on the ground.   ...... " 

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