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Blockchain

Last hot topic I talked about was cloud. I’m a big fan of cloud. So now let’s talk about a hyped up technology us mortals should stay away from. Blockchain.


First of all every time I read up on how blockchain exactly works I get a headache. That alone should make you shy away from it unless you truly have a blockchain expert in the room. What I’ve seen over an over again in the last three years is folks wanting to use blockchain for business scenarios that do not need blockchain in the first place or that assume everyone is going to just happily use your blockchain solution.

At first the three main technologies that enable blockchain seem very attractive:

  • Cryptographic keys → Secure

  • A peer-to-peer network containing a shared ledger → Complete visibility. You don’t need banks or other intermediaries to validate the contractual agreement

  • A means of computing, to store the transactions and records of the network → Standard way to interact with the blockchain


The complete visibility and security of the blockchain is really useful when interactions happen between different companies. I see what the other company did like delivered my goods so I can immediately pay for shipping. We both can see on the ledger that goods were delivered and payment made.


In the scenario above a major problem is that the two parties doing business have to agree on the blockchain they interact with. It can’t be one of the two companies that dictates this. You’d have to use the specific blockchain for each company who decides to blockchain enable this process. That’s a nightmare.


So service providers or governments have to build these blockchain solutions not you as an individual company. Governments can enforce blockchains as they have the power. E.g. all imports must be registered on my trade blockchain.


Service providers can leverage blockchain to enable their service that many companies subscribe to. DocuSign is the market leader in electronic signature technology. The company uses the Ethereum blockchain to record customer agreements, and it helped create one of the first public prototypes of a blockchain-based smart contract in 2015. That makes perfect sense. Docusign can dictate the use of the blockchain as its software interacts with it independent of the contracting parties. The contracting parties love it because the information and signatures are securely, permanently etched into a distributed ledger.


So if you’re just a regular company don’t waste your time thinking about blockchain.


Finally, this entire blog could be a bunch of nonsense as I admit to being far from a blockchain expert. If so please comment back and tell me that I am full of 💩

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