That Bitcoin does not play a very useful role if only by a speculative instrument these days. It's true, it's been half a decade since I said it for the first time and it's not quite tried yet, but it's the way to bet. It has long been thought that the blockchain has some uses. A permanent and unalterable record of something or another, with an integrated error control system, yes, we can at least imagine that this can be useful. This is not what the Times seems to think is said:
He was hailed by the ministers as the answer to many of society's most pressing challenges. However, a study of over 40 projects in which the blockchain was supposed to make services more efficient has found a success rate of zero.
Well … yes. Except that's not exactly what the report says:
We have documented 43 cases of blockchain use through Internet searches, most of which have been described with brilliant statements such as "operating costs … reduced by up to 90%" or with the guarantee of "acquisition and archiving of accurate and secure data. " We have seen a proliferation of press releases, white papers and articles written in a persuasive way. However, we did not find any documentation or proof of the results that the blockchain would have stated in these statements. Furthermore, we did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as they are available for other technologies under development. We did not get any better when we contacted several blockchain companies directly, via e-mail, telephone and in person. No one was willing to share data on program outcomes, MERL processes or adaptive management for potential scaling. Despite all the clamor about how the blockchain will bring unprecedented transparency to processes and operations in low confidence environments, the sector itself is opaque. From this, we have determined that the lack of evidence to support the blockchain value declarations in the international development space is a critical gap for potential adopters.
It's not that there has been no success, it is that there is no public proof of success. A different point, as we all know.
This also does not mean that blockchain is dead or has no uses. Even if we accept the version of the Times, all it tells us is that these 40 attempts to apply blockchain did not work. And this leads us straight to the heart of the technological development process.
Start immediately from the beginning. A useful number – not accurate but useful of the right order of magnitude – is that on any day (OK, we specify that it is a day when stores are open) there are a billion objects for sale in Manhattan. Not a billion pieces but a billion different types of pieces. One piece is a 1/2 inch left hand brass screw, one is a 1/2 inch right hand brass screw, one is a 1/2 inch chrome screw to the left and so on, out of a bagel, balloon and fool – because there is always a politician on sale. Take a few handfuls of these objects – hammer, nail, politician, wall – and try to do something useful with them. We have an absolutely horrible number of possible combinations, ehm, 1 billion! or something. Maybe 1 billion! less (1 billion – 4) !? * *
As we all know, technology continues. New things continue to be invented, this number of things we can combine increases over time. We also find new tasks that we would like to perform – what could be the role of 1/2 inch brass screws with left hand threads to reduce emissions from fossil fuel combustion?
All this together is the technological space that we must explore. The only way to do this is a hectic recombination of things to see what works. Of course, we can use a little logic and cunning to do it. The brass and chrome screws will not change much – except, of course, when they do and for this reason people make different types. But we can use logic to exclude certain combinations, politicians and honesty.
Being what is a market economy, the billions of us try new things to see what works. It is the best and fastest way to scroll through the possible combinations.
Which brings us back to the blockchain. First of all, the information we have obtained so far is that 40 of these experiments do not work. Hmm, OK, only a few billion to go then. Yes, of course, we can use logic to create equivalences, if it does not work here, then there will not be and so on. But the proof of not working in a task is by no means proof of uselessness. Secondly, this is indeed the point of this system of market economy. Exactly that we look at a new technology, we try various combinations with existing things and see what works. That is not, well, this is the point. Of course, we would prefer to find something that is useful because we like it useful. But the point of the investigation system is to find out and a null result is still to be discovered.
Will the blockchain ever be useful for something? I do not know and neither do you. But we have this nice system to find out what it's good to have, is not it?
* That corrective probation course looks pretty good right now, there's a Fibonacci in there, is not it? .