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The Blockchain’s Utility: Through the Noise

November 12, 2018


A significant amount of the Blockchain’s supposed use cases are not as they seem.


Today, Coindesk publicized the existence of an IBM patent that claims to have discovered another new way of using the Blockchain.


Here, by new, we mean use case beyond Satoshi’s original vision for the Bitcoin network. Therefore, in any situation like this, we could eliminate the possibility of this news being related to the Blockchain’s simplest usage as a ledger.


The question is: should we?


Based on IBM’s latest announcement and others, what seems to be the most logical answer is no. More specifically, with anything in any emergent industry, each person should be consistently doing a deep level of his or her own research in the space before believing anything. That includes not only fact checking what industry teams claim but of course, what the media claims as well, even when the source you are using is supposed to be a trusted outlet.


In other words, at least verify everything from other sources before you take it as true.


If we use the example of what IBM announced, it is fairly easy to see why. Late last week, their patent application was published, which concretely says that they have determined how the Blockchain can be used as “a tamper resistant log of scientific research.” In Coindesk’s article on the subject, they seem to suggest that this might revolutionize the way that scientists conduct and publish their research.


With only a basic understanding of what the Blockchain is, however, we can see why this is not likely to be exactly as they say. If you remember Satoshi’s white paper, the popularization of the Blockchain through the Bitcoin network began with its existence as an immutable ledger of events. While in Bitcoin’s case, these events are transactions, the Blockchain functions as a tamper-proof record of just about anything because of its code. That is its primary use case.


In circling back to the recent news from IBM, a strong, yet simple argument can be made for why their conclusion is not as unique as it seems. Creating a tamper resistant log of scientific research is a precise example of what the Blockchain’s foundational usage should be. There is no difference here between such a log and an immutable, decentralized ledger.


Both increase trust in data in an indisputable fashion.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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