Seizing The Moment In Blockchain Technology
For those who have been at the forefront of blockchain technology and its applications in enterprise business —building the technical solutions that can solve inefficiencies or connecting those solutions with the businesses that can benefit from them — the beginning of 2018 marks an exciting time.
There’s no doubt that legacy institutions are finding ways to make distributed ledgers work for them, including Deloitte and Mastercard. Governments from Dubai to France have found ways to incorporate blockchains to the benefit of their citizens. Entire industries from media and publishing to healthcare are undergoing major disruption.
But with the rising tide this year, it is also time to remember what brought the technology to this moment. Just as the rapid growth of Bitcoin, distributed ledger technology’s first high-profile application, has spurred a cryptocurrency ecosystem with projects both good and bad, “blockchain” has become a buzzword that is not always associated with its best qualities. While the majority of blockchain projects utilize the technology’s core value propositions (decentralization and verifiability for systems, efficiency and transparency for users), many others seize on the reputation without pursuing its best intentions.
As blockchain technology grows in popularity, it will be up to those pioneers who paved the way to ensure that their solutions continue to serve real-world needs. Groups like The Hyperledger Project and ConsenSys are ramping up educational efforts to get blockchain solutions into the hands of developers and the institutions that should be adopting them. If these parties learn to build and wield distributed ledger tools in the right way, there is no telling how far the technology will take us.
For those of us who provide information about the intersection between blockchain technology and business, it is more important than ever to champion the things that have made it such a tantalizing proposition at this moment in time and to rise above the projects and applications that could steer it in the wrong direction.
Discerning the difference between those who want to make our world more visible, faster acting and intelligent and those who want only to empower themselves can be a challenge. But if we want to grow along with the power of blockchain technology in 2018, enforcing that difference is the least we can do.
Thought-leadership contributed by Peter Chawaga, Distributed.com