Talk for Article "The business opportunities of blockchain"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    This sentence isn’t quite right.

    “Until recently, information sent over the internet relied on trusted intermediaries.”

    It should refer specifically to payment transactions, not information which could be any kind of information.

    Also, I think that blockchain does still rely on trusted intermediaries. For example, Bitcoin miners update and validate the ledger, the miners are the intermediaries. They’re not necessarily operated by trust worthy people, but the design of the blockchain is supposedly secure enough to prevent fraudulent transactions.

    These miners could also be commercial entities, and are effectively being paid transaction fees, in a roundabout way, because they’re rewarded with mined bitcoin.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      I do agree with your remark on the security-risks. Although the blockchain network on which well-known cryptocurrencies reside are quite large, and thus pretty secure, smaller blockchain networks can indeed be ‘compromised’ by large players supplying a majority of the miners, and taking of the “truth” (see my remark about banking institutions: https://newsroom.kbc.com/zeven-europese-banken-plannen-blockchain-platform-voor-kmos).

      However, the sentence in particular seems about right; besides P2P-networks, there’s no easy way to send information across the internet without a third party being involved, if I’m not mistaken. All webpages are stored on privately owned (and controlled) webservers, controlled by these third parties.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        The point is that information sent over the internet does still largely rely on trusted intermediaries.

        Whereas the that sentence is claiming that it no longer does.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Ah, my bad, you’re right, it still does, even with applications based on blockchain!

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            I think it should probably just say “payments” instead of “information”.

            I suggest:

            “Until recently, payments sent over the internet relied on a small number of trusted intermediaries, such as banks and other financial organizations.”

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

              Thanks Dan, I’ve taken your suggestions on board and have published them.

      2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Yes, I agree. By the way we are making a combination of a Non Profit Organisation that guarantees P2P in combination with blockchain (the best of two worlds; public for blockchain and private for encrypted cloud.
        As such, you make the users like the owners (shareholders you could say) and value goes back in the ecosystem.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    This is exactly what I was hoping to see in the article. I want someone to talk about what blockchain actually provides- a decentralized transaction authority- and what the potential applications and natural limits for that technology might be. As you said, transparency is one major side-effect of a blockchain that I think people aren’t talking about enough, and I’m sure there are others as well. I feel like the article conflates blockchain technology with crypto-currency, and that it doesn’t dig into what either term really means.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The story needs a counter point, it is basically an ad piece at this point. More specifically, there is a lot of hype around the block chain as a technical solution to organizational problems. There is a hidden premise in that organizational problems *can* be solved by technical tools, a premise that has very little evidence behind it. In fact, the body of work on social sciences actually points in a different direction. The technocratic perspective presented by Max Weber is generally accepted to be insufficient to describe our society. But perhaps even more importantly, there is a lot of evidence that organizations that want to break norms do not depend on specific technical solutions to do so, there are extensive materials discussing that topic, perhaps the Temporary Autonomous Zones are an interesting point of reference to be used on that conversation. I think the interesting question that technologies like Ethereum bring to the table is the perspective of radical transparency and what impact that could have in organizations, although the block chain is not a requirement for that.

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      Agreed: a counter point is needed, although from a different perspective. Even solemnly as a technology, Blockchain in its current understanding by the masses is too vague, and banking organisations are using it to create a mirage of safety. Right now, multiple European banks are working together in integrating Blockchain(https://newsroom.kbc.com/zeven-europese-banken-plannen-blockchain-platform-voor-kmos) into their networks, but chose to keep the chain stashed on private servers, removing the ‘transparency’ of Blockchain. Perhaps this point of view could be of interest?

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Hi Jaak. I’ve made some edits and comments to your piece so please take a look at them when you can and we can take the piece further. I have saved them as pending so you should be able to see them in the backend. Let me know your thoughts.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    DU
    Deleted User

    Hi Jack — is this ready for an edit? WT member Linh said she was working with you on this.

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