First of all, I’ve been observing blockchain from the fringe for a couple years but recently opened up both arms and swan-dived in.
Second, I just watched this keynote presentation at Microsoft’s CXO Summit 2017 by Never Stop Marketing founder Jeremy Epstein.
In the video, he explains the profound implications of blockchain on essentially every major industry across the world. He says blockchain is following the same emerging patterns as the advent of the internet, social media, and mobile.
One of the things I appreciated about his talk was the honesty. He gave three reasons why blockchain isn’t working (for now), including immature technology, the lack of proven performance at scale, and standardization. It seems most other blockchain criers can’t say enough positive things about it, as if it’s a new world religion that finally unites humanity. Epstein’s passionate but nontechnical presentation was balanced, I found.
I highly recommend Epstein’s talk for anyone seeking to learn about the implications of blockchain, but not if you’re trying to learn the technicalities of how it works.
Here’s what I’m grappling with.
If blockchain codifies human trust, then it destroys it
I’ll explain more below, but allow me to build up to what I mean by this.
A short note on blockchain’s origination
Blockchain’s invention in 2009 is similar to how machine learning came to be.
In order for machine learning to exist, it needed big data — huge lakes of information to parse and learn from.
In order for blockchain to exist, it needed connectivity — billions of users to verify transactions.
Now that affordable broadband is global and over two billion people have powerful mobile devices, it seems there is enough connectivity for blockchain to work.
…which is why everyone is so damn excited about it.