Blockchain Byte - Week 1 : Introduction

Blockchain Byte -  Week 1 : Introduction
Photo by Hitesh Choudhary / Unsplash

Why another blog?

There are tons of resources about blockchain by way of whitepapers, blogs, you-tube videos, courses, medium articles, twitter feeds, reddit posts etc. The amount of time and effort put in by each and every contributor to share their knowledge and learning is commendable and I would like to thank each and every of them for their effort and time to educate others of which I am a recipient myself. The amount of knowledge out there is vast and unlimited.

Why am I starting another blog on a topic which everyone is already talking & writing about? The reason is I am on a journey - a journey of learning, exploring and understanding this new paradigm and technology. And I want to share my journey with others. It is said that

One of the best ways to learn a concept really well is to try to explain it to someone else. Not only explain it but explain it in simple language.

Also, valuable feedback from others will help to correct my understanding and add more value.

Why blockchain?

In trying to understand blockchain, I have to

  1. Refresh topics from my learning days as well as deep dive into many aspects of financial services which I know or may be aware of but do not interact with on a daily basis like economics and learn entirely new topics like programming, database etc.
  2. Learning about Blockchain forced me to

a. History & Economics of Money

b. How Central Banks manage economies

c. Behavioral Economics

d. Programming

e. Compliance & Governance

f. Cryptography, among others.

I am not aware of any other subject where there is a confluence of multiple disciplines. This is because Blockchains can be economies within themselves, having it's own payment ecosystem, tokens to reward members, decentralized governance etc. It's all about trusting the mathematics & algorithms behind the scenes.

Photo by Morthy Jameson / Unsplash

Down the hype curve

Working in financial services over the last 20 years has given me a perspective on where I can see this technology

  1. Changing the way current processes are done. E.g., payments, financing etc
  2. Introducing new paradigms - Decentralization, Immutability, Trust-less, zero-knowledge proofs etc (and more!!)

But there are times when a new technology goes up the hype curve & then suddenly comes down. Now Blockchain is down the hype curve while AI is in the buzz now. The thing about AI is it is already permeating our daily lives through various applications. The top tech companies are already releasing AI applications or incorporating AI into it's existing applications.

Is there a future for Blockchain?

Blockchain still has not reached that level of application where it is used in our day to day life & I am not sure whether it will or not. Only time will tell. But neither did anyone believe internet had any useful applications other than reading news in it's initial days. I believe it will take time for Blockchains to find their place in our daily lives but it will. As I mentioned above, it is about trusting the mathematics & not some person(s) whose decisions may be subject to emotions & biases.

The potential of this technology is still a moving target. But the pace of change in this space is so rapid & the underlying concepts remain the same as with any technology - It is all about money (value), improving efficiency and inclusive development.

Another fascinating aspect is it questions the requirements of various "Institutions" we take for granted today which I will get into later.

My objective is to try to cut out the noise & hype around this paradigm and explain the concept in as simple terms as possible.