Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Blockchain Poised for Innovation

The buzz around Bitcoin and the broader blockchain ecosystem has been simmering for years, in particular how this technology as an infrastructure will revolutionize / disrupt / and otherwise affect most (all?) transactions conducted today.  However, despite the growing hype (and increasing market value), blockchain has yet to materially affect many areas, save the black market and a few other niche transactional systems.  I believe this is about to change.

Led by Ethereum and others, new code sets are going to production that will (finally) enable real innovation to happen.  Hyplerledger's Fabric goes to production early next year.  R3's Corda is making steady progress.

I view this time as "big data" was in the early 2000s - the promise of the technology was understood by growing numbers, but the effort and expense required to realize any of this promise significantly hindered adoption and further innovation.  Then Hadoop and other infrastructure technologies became available, lessening the effort required to deploy big data applications, while also expanding the pool of engineers capable to get up to speed and deploy functioning applications.

With the rise of Ethereum, the upcoming release of the initial Hyperledger projects, and R3's Corda work, I see that the time is now to begin allocating resources to actually building things using blockchain technology.  The pace of maturation for these and other projects is accelerating, opening up a wealth of infrastructure to enable real application of blockchain technology. It will be fun to watch!