We talk a lot about blockchains. It’s a hot topic with nearly anyone involved in emerging technologies, and almost everyone has an opinion.
Executives and business professionals worry they might be falling behind on something revolutionary. Investors are eager to capitalize on the buzz in the traditional markets. Speculators are eager to play the cryptocurrency craze. And thousands of entrepreneurs are working hard to secure their piece of this disruptive technology.
There’s considerable debate about the utility of cryptocurrencies. Will they replace traditional currencies? Do they fill a niche as a “store of value” or a “medium of exchange”? Do they exist simply to avoid governments and regulators? But, the discussion is much simpler for blockchains. A blockchain is a tool in a technologist’s toolbox for addressing problems like tamper-resistance, trust and integrity.
A blockchain is a tool in a technologist’s toolbox for addressing problems like tamper-resistance, trust and integrity.
Blockchain itself is just a technology. A piece of the puzzle. It isn’t a business, it isn’t an application. There is an important distinction here: cryptocurrencies are built by using a blockchain. Consumers don’t set out to “use a blockchain,” they set out in search of a solution. And blockchain is a solution that could be applied to many technological problems.
In the last 6 months, we’ve experienced another bear market for cryptocurrencies, seeing a more than 80% crash in some values since the peak in December of 2017. As the market froth cools down for cryptocurrencies, we’ve seen interesting developments in applications of blockchain technology. Regardless of the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the excitement and potential of blockchain technologies is something to look forward to.
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