- Handling transactions requires trust. Banks, lawyers and other intermediaries provide a level of trust. But they also introduce friction and fees.
- Blockchain allows unknown parties to do business directly with abundant trust.
- Keep your cool. There’s excess hype in the blockchain space. Blockchains remove the need for an intermediary and solve the Byzantine Agreement Problem. No more, no less.
- Think about alternatives first. In most cases, a simpler database will be the correct choice.
- Study the basics.
- Assembl, WordProof, OriginStamp – Immutable proof for documents.
- Ujo Music, Audius, Opus – Get compensated for music without middlemen.
- Provenance, TradeLens, ShipChain – Transparent and trustworthy supply chain records.
- Storj.io, Arweave, Tardigrade, Sia – Share disk space for profit or store your data permanently with blockchains.
- DIF, Civic, Evernym – Decentralized identity management.
- Xage, HYPR – Blockchain-based cybersecurity.
- BurstIQ, Medicalchain – Secure transfer of medical records.
- Hyperledger, Quorum, Corda, Ethereum – Open source blockchain tools.
- Azure, IBM, AWS – Commercial blockchain ecosystems.
- Removes middlemen. Everyone can see and verify the information regarding a transaction.
- Increased transparency. Data is fully visible in the distributed ledgers.
- Decentralized. No single point of failure. Data is replicated across the network.
- Immutable and secure. At least in theory. Data written in the ledgers cannot be altered afterwards. It’s hard (but not impossible) to get control of a blockchain network and interfere with the process.
- High energy consumption. For Bitcoin alone, annual power consumption equals Chile. Annual carbon footprint equals New Zealand.
- Slow transactions lead to a scalability problem on public blockchains. Private blockchains perform better.
- 51% attacks. Gaining majority control of a blockchain network enables controlling all of the transactions. Which in turn compromises security.
- Bad reputation. Lack of standards; cryptocurrencies are often associated with scams and hackers; blockchain has a relatively low amount of case studies with proven ROI.
- Walmart reduced the time to track the origin of a product from 7 days to a few seconds.
- TradeLens claims to reduce global trade friction worth of $1.8 trillion USD with their blockchain-based platform.
- SCG reduced procurement processing time by 50% and costs by 70%.
- we.trade simplifies and speeds up trade by eliminating fraud and trust issues.
- Renault uses blockchain to track and certify compliance of vehicle components.
- MediLedger reduces the time to verify returned drugs from 48 hours to a few seconds.
- Blockchain will not reach larger adoption until 2030.
- 54% of leaders still think blockchain is overhyped. 88% believe that it’s not a game-changer, but will get mainstream adoption at some point. 55% include it the top 5 strategic priorities.
- 101blockchains.com – Basic guides to blockchain
- How Blockchain will redefine supply chain management – Stefan Gstettner argues why blockchain fits industries where high trust is required (healthcare, pharma, jewelry).
- Assess carefully whether blockchain is what you really need. The odds are you need a more common database solution.
- If blockchain really is relevant for you, try joining an existing network first before building custom solutions.
- Blockchain is not mature enough to reach mass-adoption yet. Pilot projects exist in many industries, but use cases are niche and specific. ROI is often unclear.