Why the panic?

For those watching the cryptocurrency markets, we have been witnessing the umpteenth market scare, market correction, bear market—take your pick on your preferred interpretation or description. So why is this correction happening? Coin Telegraph provides these observations: Buy the FUD: Mainstream Media Convinced Coinrail Hack Caused Crypto Price Plunge and All of Top 100 Cryptocurrencies See Red Amidst CFTC Price Manipulation Probe, among others.

Is this the end?

Let’s continue to separate blockchain from cryptocurrency speculation.

Blockchain evolution continues

A few exciting recent developments have caught my eye, precipitated by a few discussions I had with some of the brightest minds I know while attending Microsoft Build 2018. I’m an enterprise blockchain fanboy. Guilty. While at Build I was trumpeting the blockchain mantra’s and was challenged to explain what actual use-cases blockchain provides. A trap was brewing — no problem — I started with the softballs that easily get shot down. Outside of a few use-cases around certain currency uses, blockchain in general can often be distilled down to who get’s the fees.

Enterprise blockchain can save the world. Don’t believe me? Check out, “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World” (Penguin Random House 2016) by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott.

This book is a very good read, I would recommend it to anyone interested in blockchain. My few word summary is — to any question — blockchain is the answer.

Blockchain – a distributed, secure ledger

Enterprise blockchain is basically a secured, distributed ledger with accompanied distribution of trust. A blockchain ledger works well when you have two or more entities that do not truly trust each other but want to work together in some manner. OK, this does make sense for currency, I completely get that, but for enterprise? Are we truly sure that blockchain is actually solving the needs between organizations that are not already solved via distributed databases or other existing technologies? Throw “trust” at me, OK, sure, but does the cost and uncertainty of blockchain truly override the cost savings we would see with Cosmos DB or a reasonably redundant database with auditing and logging?

Is that calls of heresy I am hearing?

These discussions got me thinking that there are of course better examples of enterprise blockchain use cases within completely untrusted environments, or the flip side, where we wanted guaranteed trust of data with mathematically immutable data even within a trusted environment. The legal field springs to mind. And of course government records provide fertile ground for more R&D.

We should also consider general costs in our comparison of blockchain vs traditional ledger management. CosmosDB is very cool, but not cheap. The promises of some dapp friendly blockchains such as Ethereum and EOS to name a few look enticing.

No blockchain is truly “free”

Does enterprise blockchain come down to fees? It is going to cost you X micro-pennies to run a given transaction. Who do you want to pay? A trusted vendor such as Microsoft, AWS, or others, or a global network? The answer is likely, it depends, but when does it not depend?

Is the crypto market going to rebound?

Who knows, not I for one, but I can say my belief in blockchain’s promises unflinchingly continues. Block.one just released EOSIO 1.0 in early June 2018, and then a few days later, the block producers (i.e. miners), voted “Go”. Ethereum continues to grow and Microsoft announced at Build 2018 a new tool for rapid dapp development, Azure Blockchain Workbench. Workbench quickly creates a blockchain consortium for you – basically your own Ethereum network that allows you to focus on the code with pre-built extensibility endpoints.

Further, Microsoft continues to partner on blockchain concepts, such as one related to product tracking and tracing, combined with AI. Encouraging developments.

I, for one, continue to focus on blockchain developments rather than the speculative market. How about you? Is blockchain dead or are the continued ups and downs just a distraction?

Speak Your Mind