Monday, March 6, 2017

Vinay Gupta — The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

We’re going to see the potential for a trajectory of radical change in all industries. As a society, we’re experiencing a time of unprecedented technological change. It can feel like an insurmountable challenge for leaders to stay on course in such rapidly changing tides. And yet, with each passing generation, we are acquiring more skill and expertise in navigating a high rate of change, and it is to that expertise that we must now look as the blockchain space unfolds, blossoms, and changes our world.
Harvard Business Review
The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen
Vinay Gupta is the founder of Hexayurt.Capital, a fund which invests in creating the Internet of Agreements™. He was instrumental in creating the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, project managed the Ethereum blockchain platform release, and invented the hexayurt refugee shelter. His areas of expertise include disaster management, energy policy, and computer graphics.


André said...

Too much "techno-community" hype. Too few good ideas.

I mean, what the hell this sentence mean? "The Internet of Agreements™ is a vision for global supply chains and logistics, integrating local law and regulations with the global economy, mediated by technology."

Beyond cheap propaganda, there's nothing there.

I, personally, can't see how blockchain is adding anything useful to anyone. But I guess I will have to wait and see.

Ignacio said...

André, you are right on the hype (throw into the overdone tech hype all the hype about AI takign over the world "real soon"...) thing, but nevertheless is an useful technology which builds upon a trust model that is not based on encryption (and then on privacy), but on algorithmic computation.

Blockchain is a good technology because of that, it does not require secure data encryption and decoding to be safe, which makes it good for distributing secure data. So it's an useful technology with potential for distributed networks for finance (and other sectors which depend on distribution of risky data) becoming competitive instead of depending on centralized institutions, but potential and reality are two different things.

Noah Way said...

This is the funniest thing since the paperless office.

Noah Way said...

And it sounds suspiciously like HRC's email server.

André said...

"but potential and reality are two different things"

Yes... I don't know much about blockchain, but I read that bitcoin technology is facing difficult times. Transactions are taking days or even weeks to be processed. I guess that even if we accept that the concept is ok (which I don't) there would be a lot of technology challenges to overcome.

Ignacio said...

Right, that's because the technology depends upon confirmation of all past computation. Think of it like taking a log of transactions and read from the beginning to the end each time you add up a new transaction to the log. So it gets slower the larger the log gets (in O notation is O(n), which adds up, linearly).

The thing with bitcoins (as one application of blockchain tech) is that the algorithm used is logarithmic in its output chain, so theoretically the rate of 'slowdown' will decrease over time (but will continue until the cap is reached).

However is important to distinguish between the concept of blockchain itself and the algorithmic implementation used to compute the blockchain, one of the reasons it is slow is because the algorithm it depends upon (the computation of hashes for a cryptographic hasher function, SHA-256), not necessarily because the technology of blockchain(that is nothing else than glorified record keeping and distributed transaction confirmation).