The rapid rise of blockchain technology since 2015, followed by a series of ICO and cryptocurrency campaigns, has made the names of blockchain and Bitcoin families. I started studying blockchain and IoT applications in 2015. When I talked to my friends about my blockchain business at the time, some of them might have heard of the term, but actually they knew little about it.
In the period from 2015 to 2016, it seemed rather far-fetched to apply the blockchain to the IoT. People would not have thought about putting the two together. Today, despite the fall of ICO fever and governments that strengthen control or even outlaw the cryptocurrency, most of my friends are struggling or towards the blockchain industry or already well in it. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 80% of my colleagues talk about blockchain. It took only a year for Blockchain to go from being little known to become the center of attention.
I provided "blockchain of IoT" (BIoT) and I participated in BIoT implementations. In 2018, real-world BIoT applications are beginning to take shape in many countries around the world with industry leaders engaging research and development resources in BIoT. What do you think of Taiwan? When considering coin-mining an IoT application, Taiwan has a BIoT application.
Starting this year, many companies and government agencies have turned to my team to learn and explore how to incorporate blockchains into their operations and bring value to their organizations. Some of them did some research before coming to us. In interacting with them, I found something interesting that I would like to share with readers.
I would first like to talk about a common phenomenon: looking at the blockchain in general through the perspectives obtained from a single blockchain technology
In fact, Blockchain is still in its initial development phase according to Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. However, with the cryptocurrency and the ICO bubble attracting the attention of the public, many people began to study blockchain, mostly building their knowledge on the basis of the legendary Bitcoin and Ethereum, which currently has most of the data available for research.
Such attention could be a good thing. However, as the blockchain is still in its infancy, a wide range of technologies are developing, some of which may be booming pending. If users build their own global view on blockchain based on the first blockchain technology with which they began to start blockchain research and look at other blockchain technologies through this global vision, this could lead them in the wrong direction when they try to incorporate blockchain into their operations.
They should go back to the basics before figuring out exactly what problems they are trying to solve using blockchain and then researching the technology, rather than starting with the technology without studying the problem itself. They may end up using the wrong tool for the job. For example, many people like to use a comparison table to list the pros and cons of different blockchain technologies. This may seem like a sensible approach, but people might overlook an essential aspect – if the particular blockchain technology is perfect for the task they are trying to tackle in their field.
For example, I was invited a few weeks ago to a Tucheng company to consult the blockchain. The person in charge of the company's blockchain search started asking me: "Do you have a case of actual use? I did my research …" Then, he went on to talk about some blockchain features, which are actually about a particular blockchain technology and raised every kind of question.
I spent a little time trying to bring it back to the basics. Giving him the fundamental concept and the right attitude, I helped him examine whether his company and industry could benefit from the use of blockchain technologies. I also noted that some news on blockchain use cases may not have presented the whole story and their titles may be too simple and therefore misleading. At this early stage in the development of blockchain when people are not yet clear on the basics, I would say that people should not think they can get a real understanding of the blockchain examples used in other industries by simply reading headlines and embellished stories.
Lman Chu, co-founder and CEO of BiiLabs