re: Is Blockchain really changing the world at all? VIEW POST


Hello, I have a boring answer for you.

Blockchain is neither useless nor it is likely to be a revolution.

products matter more than technologies

Blockchain is not a product, it is a technology.

New products that solves a real important problem in the real world can cause a revolution. That usually do not require a super sophisticated technology.

Wikipedia is built with PHP. It is a genuine revolution.

The guy who asked doctors to wash their hands before helping women to give birth caused a revolution.

The technology used there? water.

The result? Countless millions of women stopped to die.

Bitcoin is a product. But it solves as a problem that almost nobody has: there is no single Central Bank on Earth that I trust more than I trust my own cryptographic skills.

Bitcoin's main use case is: unregulated internet gambling.

It's pretty good for that to be honest.

the technology

What about the technology?

It is a technology at the peak of its hype cycle. Or maybe on the descending phase.

Lots of blockchain fans love to use complex words.

But what you have to understand is that Blockchain is basically two things

  • Blockchain is a merkle tree structure - better known to us with the three letters git.
  • Blockchain is a distributed consensus protocol.

The first part (GIT) is very useful, but it's not new. It is git


The second part is new, but it's almost never the simplest solution to a given problem.

People are always asking the wrong question.

It's not: can we build dev.to on the blockchain?

Yes you can, but there is a much simpler solution that works.

The consensus algorithm is also terribly wasteful. If you care about climate change, and more generally about energy, the first thing you should throw away is the whole blockchain industry.

the right vision for the future?

The point about "democracy" are usually fake.

Trusting no-one is not the right ideal to strive for.

In the dark ages, we trusted no one.


I loath that Gartner hype chart, it's so full of it. The only reason why some of Gartner's "predictions" come close is because they try to create a self fulfilling prophecy. COs like to drink the Garner cool-aid, and because of that a lot of attention goes toward buzzwords (because the CO's FOMO), and thus validating Gartner's point.


I don't see it as as prediction tool, you are right that this would be yet another way to be a slave off the hype cycle.

I see it as a good reminder that I should focus not on the hotness of $TECH but on the problems that my products are solving.


Thanks for your in-depth analysis and interesting answer Jean-Michael!
I know that Blockchain is just the underlying technology innovative products could be built on, but do you really think that the Blockchain itself will become such a widely spread industry standard like modern internet protocols? It's often refered to as the "biggest thing since the internet" and I'm not really getting the hype. Distributed databases aren't an innovation at all, neither are merkle trees or even hashing algorithms. I was just wondering if there's any useful product right now, that shows the true value of Blockchain?
Wikipedia could also have been built on another tech stack, I think PHP was just the way to go at that time. But Blockchain isn't just an alternative tech-stack imo. You don't just swap your SQL or mongoDB for some ethereum-based blockchain if there's no reason to do so, am I right?


I agree with you.

I think that in general new simple technologies have more use cases than ad hoc sophisticated technologies. For example none of the coolest stuff invented by the space industry did change the world as much as the simple and stupid container. I'm not talking about Docker here. About the real container, one of the most underrated recent invention.

There are multiple requirements that must be met for the blockchain to makes sense - else it's just an over engineered git. Of course I don't know what will happen in the future better or worse than anyone else, so I might be wrong.

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