Researchers Find That Few Blockchain Companies Deliver on Their Promises

AlphaAtlas

[H]ard|Gawd
Staff member
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,713
Even with a major decline in cryptocurrency value, "blockchain" is still a hot buzzword among investors and companies. But MERL Tech followed "43 blockchain use-cases" closely, digging up a variety of positive-sounding press releases, white papers, and promises of large financial gain. However, the research firm found "no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was purported to have achieved in these claims. We also did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as are available for other technologies in development." As it turns out, many blockchain-related promises are vague and hollow, and companies often fail to follow up on them. Thanks to Schtask for the tip.

We fared no better when we reached out directly to several blockchain firms, via email, phone, and in person. Not one was willing to share data on program results, MERL processes, or adaptive management for potential scale-up. Despite all the hype about how blockchain will bring unheralded transparency to processes and operations in low-trust environments, the industry is itself opaque. From this, we determined the lack of evidence supporting value claims of blockchain in the international development space is a critical gap for potential adopters.
 

WhoMe

Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
827
I'm not surprised...when I looked into blockchain it seemed to me it was just based on distributed computing concepts I learned in school back in the early 80's. I see claims like it can used to track e.g. every head of lettuce from seed to store so it would be easy to find the origin of a food poisoning out break. But that's a hell a lot of data that has to be entered. How do you keep things from getting mixed up among other problems? It seems bc has become a buzz word that it not fully understood.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
21,339
Blockchain is just a "pump and dump" scheme. I thought everyone would have learned that by now.
 

fadedlogic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
274
I can see its merits in contracts such as insurance policies; but I have yet to hear anyone adequately explain its use in granular detail. It is ALWAYS explained in sweeping examples of why it is good, and they do sound good; but lacking in detail. But even more importantly, just like autonomous vehicles; there no regulations/guidelines or laws that address it.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
4,595
I can see its merits in contracts such as insurance policies; but I have yet to hear anyone adequately explain its use in granular detail. It is ALWAYS explained in sweeping examples of why it is good, and they do sound good; but lacking in detail. But even more importantly, just like autonomous vehicles; there no regulations/guidelines or laws that address it.
Of course it is sweeping explanations because at this point, nobody really knows what it'll be good for or even if it'll be good for something. It is too early to tell. People have some ideas as to areas it might be useful in, but it will take development and testing to see if any of that pans out.
 

DeathFromBelow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
7,316
I can see its merits in contracts such as insurance policies; but I have yet to hear anyone adequately explain its use in granular detail.
Everyone knows written contracts are a government conspiracy with Big Paper.

Blockchain is marketing technobabble. Banks, IBM, Walmart, etc have all experimented with 'blockchain' tools/products, and everything they've come up with is ultimately reliant on centralized databases.
 

seanreisk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
1,295
Blockchain is a fun idea, but it's only a tool, not a revolution. People who are implementing it don't seem to understand its character.

1. Blockchain doesn't prevent errors or manipulation, but blockchain does a great job of highlighting them. Errors become conflicts that someone has to resolve; brute force resolution doesn't guarantee that the right answer prevails, and correcting an error requires an ultimate owner (bad), or an agreement of the majority (difficult).
2. The original idea of encrypted blocks stated that at some point a block (node) needs to be harvested - the data needs to be frozen, hashed and placed in repository. Before this can happen the node has to prove that it is immaculate - it has to show that it has not passed on any errors to its child nodes. Blockchain doesn't harvest, and it is growing exponentially. In a single year it doubled in size, and is now over 100GB.
3. Blockchain is weakened by a small number of participants, but I keep seeing developers talk about blockchain for personal applications. A single-owner blockchain is just a ledger and serves no purpose.
 

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
4,627
It's nice to know Dr. Obvious is still hammering away at the obvious institute of obviousness to bring us this research.
 

velusip

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
1,577
Blockchain is just a "pump and dump" scheme. I thought everyone would have learned that by now.
Blockchain managed to streamline the VC cycle by shortening the growth phase by removing expenses or work toward another phase of investment. Pump dump pump dump was just too inefficient. ;)
 

idiomatic

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
105
Due to the 51% problem blockchain requires a continuous expenditure of energy that grows with the value of blockchain you need to keep secure. Its a feature not a bug. This means that as it scales it will always become expensive.

If the cost of processing ever comes down then to where a single actor can afford to control half the processing you lose the whole shebang, and you don't even know until its too late.

Local processes should be decentralised, global ones centralized. Blockchain for currency is the worst of all possible worlds.
 

Lakados

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
2,031
I have seen some articles on the concept of using block chain as a form of encryption, but strictly speaking I have not seen many practical applications for it.
 
Top