In the same way that the global arms race drove the advancement of nuclear fission, the wealth generating potential of cryptocurrency has driven the advancement of the blockchain. Like nuclear fission, public perception of blockchain has been influenced by its initial purpose.
2017 was the year that cryptocurrency exploded into the mainstream, with Bitcoin becoming a household name. If you’re not convinced (not everyone has a hairdresser buying Bitcoin), consider that this upcoming year will be the first in which SXSW features a blockchain and cryptocurrency track. Over 200 panel proposals were submitted with the word “blockchain” in the title.
However, blockchain technology has far reaching applications beyond the world of crypto. Just like nuclear energy and its association with the atom bomb, treating blockchain and crypto synonymously does it a disservice. I believe these alternative applications will disrupt industries and ultimately have a greater impact on the world than that of cryptocurrencies.
So why do so doesn’t everyone see this potential? Blockchain is still a black box that many don’t understand. Here’s a simple version explained in less than three tweets.
Blockchains offer unique functionality but are not objectively better than a centralized database. This technology suits a niche problem set. For those specific problems though, blockchains enable a future that most people cannot yet envision.
I’m hoping my session will demystify the blockchain and inspire more people, not just those working in cryptocurrency, to start designing solutions for the future using this exciting new technology.
I’ll discuss the 10 year history of blockchain, and highlight how my team at Bitpress and others are using it to power the future.