Monday, January 08, 2018
Blockchain has become a buzzword in the world of finance and mercantilism. One company even changed its name to include blockchain in a cynical move to boost its stock price. (It worked.) The problem with the technology is that no one really knows what it is. They are caught up in the mania of Bitcoin, which operates under a permission-less form of distributed ledger. Corporations entering the field use a different type of blockchain in which all parties agree to a protocol. The distinction is critical to understanding the theory and practice of the software. Now, there is mania, which doesn't understand algorithms, but is only too ready to invest. As usual, early entrants will get burned when the buzzword is no longer fashionable and the market settles into a few practical technologies. Communicators should be wary of using the buzzword until they understand its complexities. There is no need to add to the hype.