Despite being the loudest tech word of the past decade, blockchain technology is still largely a buzzword. Although the most popular app, Bitcoin (BTC), has become a household name, the technology behind it remains more than just a mystery to most people.
This can be attributed largely to slow progress in technology adoption by consumers and businesses, driven by a shared interest. Rather than collectively seeking to improve the Bitcoin blockchain alone, we have instead seen significant criticism around creating multiple alternative blockchain platforms.
Instead, resources were used that could have been used to expand the Bitcoin blockchain and develop new applications of core technology to distribute thousands of competing digital currencies and hundreds of alternative blockchain or distributed ledger technologies, driven by the desire to get rich quick from launching a coin for a new venture. But with an index of just over three characters.
So our understanding of blockchain technology and its enormous potential did not go much beyond the original use of online peer-to-peer money. Despite promises of a future where smart contracts, identity and data management systems will operate on the Bitcoin blockchain as part of everyday life, progress is still only measured by lines in the trading charts.
Transactions in a broader sense
This is largely due to the fact that people were very narrow about Bitcoin, and believed that the blockchain was only intended to convey the value of money. At its most basic level, the blockchain is simply a distributed data ledger used to permanently record transactions in an open, chronological, and verifiable manner.
When thinking about transactions, especially when it comes to blockchain technology, it is easy to focus only on payment transactions. But data transactions are an essential aspect of modern life – in business, economics, law, politics, etc. Transactions that exchange information are happening around us. However, the way we handle information transactions and the tools we use to deal with them, rely on digitization for the rest of our lives.
And with blockchain technology, our understanding of transactions should be expanded even further.
Every message, every contract, every task, every transaction, and every batch can ultimately be converted into a data transaction, just as all actions on the Internet are ultimately broken down into packets of data to send over the Internet.
As with the blockchain, the Internet was originally designed around the primary use case of the underlying data network: email of researchers through the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET. Building on the TCP / IP communication protocol implemented over ARPANET, the Internet pioneers have designed and expanded the Internet into the critical infrastructure it is today. Crucial to achieving this vision was commitment to a common core protocol, without which the openness and interconnectedness of the Internet that changed the world as we know it would not have been possible.
And this is the problem with developing blockchain technology. In an effort to capitalize on the growing wave of speculative investment after Bitcoin brought with it different possibilities for blockchain protocols, several new attempts at blockchain and distributed ledgers have emerged, forcing competition not only on the price of competing digital currencies, but across the entire network and ecosystem rules. …
Hundreds of different competing systems are not only ineffective – they undermine much of the transformative advantage of the blockchain, eliminating various data, simplifying transactions with anyone and creating a single source of reliable information. Hundreds of competing digital communication networks grew in the 1990s rather than clustering around one ubiquitous internet with one global network, the resulting tremendous value creation and awakening of information may look very different today.
We haven’t let this happen with the internet, so why is the blockchain any different?
It is time to seriously think about the future of blockchain technology. It’s time for a world, a series.