Blockchain - Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
If you have a need for any of:
Blockchain Technology and Strategy - Principal Consultancy
Executive Video - bringing your vision to life in the language of customers and investors (subject to regulatory compliance, no ico’s)
Speaking engagements - Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Investor network (no endorsements, promotions or brokerage - if I see a match, I connect you for free)
Development - up to 100 blockchain developers
… then I can help! Email LS@LSfuture.com or Call / WhatsApp / iMessage +46 7220 94273.
Blockchain together with the game theory of mining was one of the greatest innovations of the past decade. The invention brought the ability for two people to digitally transact without a trusted middle-man such as a bank.
For many years, the double spend problem in computer science was “unsolvable”. Then Satoshi Nakamoto definitely solved it in 2008-2009, building upon decades of work spanning all the way back to the early 1980s. Bitcoin’s “overnight success” has so far taken 40 years to realize…
In essence, the technology is simple. It is a ledger (a book) that anyone can write to, distributed in many copies, and updated in such a way that it can’t be faked or retroactively changed. After 10+ years, with billions of dollars at stake, no one has hacked Bitcoin as such. It has stood the test of time.
At the core of DLT, you can basically write anything to the ledger, where money transactions is just one application and the first to gain popularity.
Too big to fail?
No technology is ever “too big to fail”. For blockchain it is still very early days. If plotting people who has ever used blockchain on the same chart as mobile phone users, you cannot even see it.
That also means that no one can say with certainty which blockchain will become the dominant one, but I can say with certainty that a blockchain (distributed ledger) will change our society to as big extent as the mobile phone or the Internet did.
The technology and its associated cryptocurrencies are met with the same mix of excitement, fear and skepticism as the world wide web, when that was new in the mid 1990s. As some of you will remember, we had politicians saying that the Internet is “just for p**rn and criminals” and demanded to “ban it!”, only for it to become intrinsic in all elements of life, work and society.
Technical and Business considerations
For companies looking at DLT technology as an opportunity, there are immediate techno-strategic decisions, such as whether to build logic on an existing public blockchain, or to instantiate a new one.
There are also numerous technical considerations, because as revolutionary as the technology is, it is also the world’s slowest and most expensive database. As someone coming from an industry where we eat millions of TPS (transactions per second) for breakfast, I am moderately impressed by 7 TPS, which is what the most widely used blockchain, Bitcoin, can do on-chain today.
Opinions on the “best” way to scale blockchain diverges greatly and has led to small wars in the blockchain community. Ideas in various stage of realization include both on-chain solutions like radically increased block size and sharding, and off-chain solutions like Lightning Network / State Channels and Sidechains. As most technical problems, they can be solved and they can be solved in multiple ways.
Regulators around the world have been slow to issue clear regulation to the industry. The regulatory debate in the U.S. surrounding Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in July-2019 illustrated this well. Even 10 years after Bitcoin was created, no-one is really sure what to do. The regulators have a dilemma. Conflicting needs are at play.
One one side, politicians want to create an environment for technological innovation. If anything, the past two decades have shown how important that was for any nation’s ability to compete. On the other hand, money is involved, and there is a need to protect people from fraud. Then on a third note, DLT is inherently global, so there is a definite competitive country vs. country aspect. Switzerland realized the an enormous money-making opportunity for the state, already in 2016-17 and started to attract the world’s blockchain companies, who will then pay their company tax in Switzerland... (Libra association is also registered in Switzerland.)
5 out of the world’s 6 biggest companies by valuation in 2019 are US Internet/Tech companies. Will the US really send the next big wave of tech companies out of the US, to another country? Probably not… I would think they will find a middle ground, where sufficient regulatory control still allows a competitive and innovative climate.
Fortunately for me, I am just the tech guy. While I enjoy speculating, it is best to leave these legal matters to qualified legal experts and authorities.
Blockchain technology offers, just like the Internet, global solutions to real-world problems previously only served by local solutions, in sectors ranging from logistics to financial inclusion to gaming and almost everything in-between.
There is work to be done. This sector will need a lot of help to truly make it to scale. If it does, many systems - including financial systems - will become global and same for all. We will see a fairer, more inclusive world, with individual countries being less important (presumably not everyone’s desired outcome).
Technology leadership is necessary, since there might be no runner up, no second best, should blockchain converge to one dominant system similarly to the Internet or the global 2G-3G-4G-5G system.
I am eager to work with other thought leaders in the industry, who have enough perseverance to stick around until real value, to real customers, at scale, is achieved. It is a journey that may take decades.
If you are looking for a social media influencer to help you quickly flip your coin, I am not your guy :-)
Anders Larsson, M.Sc.
Founder LS Future Technology AB