The current state of play sees banks experimenting with the technology, but not adopting it on a wide scale. It’s being used for singular processes, such as loans in the case of BBVA or cross-border currency movement like Santander is testing. But there are a number of other use cases and even industries that blockchain can touch. Insurance, health care and government agencies just to name a few.
The dot-com bubble of the 1990s is popularly viewed as a period of crazy excess that ended with hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth being destroyed. What’s less often discussed is how all the cheap capital of the boom years helped fund the infrastructure upon which the most important internet innovations would be built after the bubble burst. It paid for the rollout of fiber-optic cable, R&D in 3G networks, and the buildout of giant server farms. All of this would make possible the technologies that are now the bedrock of the world’s most powerful companies: algorithmic search, social media, mobile computing, cloud services, big-data analytics, AI, and more.
If a message is encrypted with a specific public key, only the owner of the paired private key can decrypt and read the message. The reverse is also true: If you encrypt a message with your private key, only the paired public key can decrypt it. When David wants to send bitcoins, he needs to broadcast a message encrypted with the private key of his wallet. As David is the only one who knows the private key necessary to unlock his wallet, he is the only one who can spend his bitcoins. Each node in the network can cross-check that the transaction request is coming from David by decrypting the message with the public key of his wallet.

Located in Brooklyn, Consensys is one of the foremost companies globally that is developing a range of applications for Ethereum. One project they are partnering on is Transactive Grid, working with the distributed energy outfit, LO3. A prototype project currently up and running uses Ethereum smart contracts to automate the monitoring and redistribution of microgrid energy. This so-called “intelligent grid” is an early example of IoT functionality.
"I had already thought to myself about how someone might create a decentralized version of PayPal. When Elon [Musk] and Peter Thiel and the other founders created PayPal, they had this vision of a global ledger that could easily and cheaply add entries between users like a database entry. That vision met reality with banking laws and cross-border friction, with legal hurdles and regulations not only in the U.S. but around the world. It made that kind of decentralized global currency impossible, or so we thought.

Once the recording of a transaction is on the Blockchain and the Blockchain has been updated, then the alteration of the records of this transaction is impossible. This is due to that particular transaction record being linked to the record of every preceding one. Blockchain records are permanent, they are ordered chronologically, and they are available to all the other nodes. The diagram shows an extract from the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Payments, clearance and settlement in the financial services industry - including stock markets - is rife with inefficiencies because each organization in the process maintains its own data and must communicate with the others through electronic messaging about where it is in the process. As a result, settlements typically take two days. Those delays in settlements force banks to set aside money that could otherwise be invested.
In simple terms, a blockchain can be described as an append-only transaction ledger. What that means is that the ledger can be written onto with new information, but the previous information, stored in blocks, cannot be edited, adjusted or changed. This is accomplished by using cryptography to link the contents of the newly added block with each block before it, such that any change to the contents of a previous block in the chain would invalidate the data in all blocks after it.
However, not all modern technologies are high technologies. They have to be used as such, function as such, and be embedded in their requisite TSNs. They have to empower the individual because only through the individual can they empower knowledge. Not all information technologies have integrative effects. Some information systems are still designed to improve the traditional hierarchy of command and thus preserve and entrench the existing TSN. The administrative model of management, for instance, further aggravates the division of task and labor, further specializes knowledge, separates management from workers, and concentrates information and knowledge in centers.
Blockchain technologies are disrupting a lot of industries, chief among them being financial services. Take transaction banking, where blockchain technology is lowering costs and fees, according to a Bain & Co. study. So, banks piling into this space may be in for a rude awakening as downward fee pressure potentially turns an attractive, profitable business into a low-fee, commoditized business in a matter of a few years.

Managing the development of new technology is tightly linked to a company’s investment processes. Most strategic proposals—to add capacity or to develop new products or processes—take shape at the lower levels of organizations in engineering groups or project teams. Companies then use analytical planning and budgeting systems to select from among the candidates competing for funds. Proposals to create new businesses in emerging markets are particularly challenging to assess because they depend on notoriously unreliable estimates of market size. Because managers are evaluated on their ability to place the right bets, it is not surprising that in well-managed companies, mid-and top-level managers back projects in which the market seems assured. By staying close to lead customers, as they have been trained to do, managers focus resources on fulfilling the requirements of those reliable customers that can be served profitably. Risk is reduced—and careers are safeguarded—by giving known customers what they want.
Not all innovations are disruptive, even if they are revolutionary. For example, the first automobiles in the late 19th century were not a disruptive innovation, because early automobiles were expensive luxury items that did not disrupt the market for horse-drawn vehicles. The market for transportation essentially remained intact until the debut of the lower-priced Ford Model T in 1908.[5] The mass-produced automobile was a disruptive innovation, because it changed the transportation market, whereas the first thirty years of automobiles did not.
One of the futures envisioned in Blockchain Revolution is a "second era of democracy": one in which blockchain technology can create the conditions for fair, secure, and convenient digital voting that galvanizes the citizenry by removing so many of the systemic voting roadblocks plaguing our current system. Putting democracy on a blockchain is complicated, but startups including Follow My Vote and Settlemint are already laying out frameworks centered around blockchain-based tokens serving as votes, dropped in digital wallets for each candidate.
Trading cryptocurrencies occurs on dedicated exchanges. Larger exchanges like GDAX, Kraken, Bitfinex, and Gemini typically offer solid volume to trade cryptocurrencies through bank transfers or credit cards. Coinbase is also an option that is growing in popularity thanks to its ease of use and a built-in wallet. But the trade off here is comparatively higher fees.
Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what's known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.
Hey Alison! thanks for taking the time to check out the post! I specifically outlined the post so it would follow a specific structure. This is so readers know what to expect and it helps with the flow of the piece. I’ve actually just finished up a (shortened) PDF version of the post that includes a bonus idea not mentioned here. I’ll be adding this to the post shortly! You’re right on the ebook suggestion — could easily have been made into one. I noticed that you linked to it from the millionaire blog post, thank you so much. Kimberly and I really appreciate the mention.
But here’s the thing: the open-source nature of blockchain technology, the excitement it has generated, and the rising value of the underlying tokens have encouraged a global pool of intelligent, impassioned, and financially motivated computer scientists to work on overcoming these limitations. It’s reasonable to assume they will constantly improve the tech. Just as we’ve seen with internet software, open, extensible protocols such as these can become powerful platforms for innovation. Blockchain technology is moving way too fast for us to think later versions won’t improve upon the present, whether it’s in Bitcoin’s cryptocurrency-based protocol, Ethereum’s smart-contract-focused blockchain, or some as-yet-undiscovered platform.
One exciting project Forde pointed to is MedRec, an MIT initiative creating a blockchain to serve as a digital family history of medical records.Think about sitting down in a doctor's office and being asked your family medical history for a certain illness. You might, off the top of your head, have no idea of the answer. But with MedRec blockchain, families and medical providers can create a shared medical history that can be passed from generation to generation.
To avoid allowing small, pioneering companies to dominate new markets, executives must personally monitor the available intelligence on the progress of pioneering companies through monthly meetings with technologists, academics, venture capitalists, and other nontraditional sources of information. They cannot rely on the company’s traditional channels for gauging markets because those channels were not designed for that purpose.
Long the darling of a certain breed of tech devotee, Linux is disruptive on a couple of levels. From its humble beginnings as a fairly unwieldy operating system, there are now countless free Linux desktop OSes available that make handling day-to-day tasks like email and office suite work (making docs, decks, spreadsheets, etc.) just as simple as on Windows and Mac machines. Linux also pioneered their own version of the app store phenomenon by having all downloadable products in one spot. This way of adding new functions to a Linux system has also helped keep it free of much of the malware that plagues PCs.
Convergence, collaboration and the open source movement have all contributed to the encouragement of cross sector innovation. Companies are looking to businesses in other industries for insights and expertise that can enhance their own products and services. AgriTech and FinTech, for instance, are developing alongside each other to tackle financial issues within farming. As cross sector innovation becomes the norm, we will see the greater application of successful strategies and business models from one industry to another.
A recent experiment at MIT highlights the challenges ahead for digital currency systems. In 2014 the MIT Bitcoin Club provided each of MIT’s 4,494 undergraduates with $100 in bitcoin. Interestingly, 30% of the students did not even sign up for the free money, and 20% of the sign-ups converted the bitcoin to cash within a few weeks. Even the technically savvy had a tough time understanding how or where to use bitcoin.
In fact, the processes and incentives that companies use to keep focused on their main customers work so well that they blind those companies to important new technologies in emerging markets. Many companies have learned the hard way the perils of ignoring new technologies that do not initially meet the needs of mainstream customers. For example, although personal computers did not meet the requirements of mainstream minicomputer users in the early 1980s, the computing power of the desktop machines improved at a much faster rate than minicomputer users’ demands for computing power did. As a result, personal computers caught up with the computing needs of many of the customers of Wang, Prime, Nixdorf, Data General, and Digital Equipment. Today they are performance-competitive with minicomputers in many applications. For the minicomputer makers, keeping close to mainstream customers and ignoring what were initially low-performance desktop technologies used by seemingly insignificant customers in emerging markets was a rational decision—but one that proved disastrous.
The key to prospering at points of disruptive change is not simply to take more risks, invest for the long term, or fight bureaucracy. The key is to manage strategically important disruptive technologies in an organizational context where small orders create energy, where fast low-cost forays into ill-defined markets are possible, and where overhead is low enough to permit profit even in emerging markets.
People within the industry talk a lot about public versus private blockchains. On a basic level, public blockchains are cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, enabling peer-to-peer transactions and, therefore, a revolution in seamless global payments. Interacting with public blockchains fundamentally requires tokens, and comes with its own rules of engagement, agreed upon by the P2P network. Private blockchains (those being built by distributed ledger consortium R3, for example) use blockchain-based application development platforms such as Ethereum or blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms such as those offered by Microsoft and IBM, running on private cloud infrastructure.
Emerging technologies guru Paul Armstrong offers a clear guide to the key disruptive technologies and a toolbox of frameworks, checklists, and activities to evaluate their possibilities. Disruptive Technologies enables forecasting of potential scenarios, implementation of plans, alternative strategies and the ability to handle change more effectively within an organization. The essential tool for all professionals who need to get to grips with emerging technologies fast and strategically.
However, there are experiments of producing databases with Blockchain technology, with BigchainDB being the first major company in the field. The creators took an enterprise-class distributed database and built their technology on top of it, while adding the three key attributes of the Blockchain: decentralization, immutability and the ability to register and transfer assets. Whether what they have created is useful remains to be determined.

TCP/IP burst into broad public use with the advent of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. New technology companies quickly emerged to provide the “plumbing”—the hardware, software, and services needed to connect to the now-public network and exchange information. Netscape commercialized browsers, web servers, and other tools and components that aided the development and adoption of internet services and applications. Sun drove the development of Java, the application-programming language. As information on the web grew exponentially, Infoseek, Excite, AltaVista, and Yahoo were born to guide users around it.

Blockchain isn't a household buzzword, like the cloud or the Internet of Things. It's not an in-your-face innovation you can see and touch as easily as a smartphone or a package from Amazon. But in a world where anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, blockchain is the answer to a question we've been asking since the dawn of the internet age: How can we collectively trust what happens online?
“Blockchain can affect nearly the entire value chain. That’s why we, as a leading automaker, want to play an active role in the global blockchain community and help shape the cross-sector blockchain standards. We want to do this in all the areas of application that are important to us: customer relations, sales and marketing, supplier management, digital services, and financial services.”
Other manifestations of the cost of trust are felt not in what we do but in what we can’t do. Two billion people are denied bank accounts, which locks them out of the global economy because banks don’t trust the records of their assets and identities. Meanwhile, the internet of things, which it’s hoped will have billions of interacting autonomous devices forging new efficiencies, won’t be possible if gadget-to-gadget microtransactions require the prohibitively expensive intermediation of centrally controlled ledgers. There are many other examples of how this problem limits innovation.
However, investing in a cryptocurrency is different than investing in a regular stock. When you invest in a company, you're buying shares of that company and essentially own an extremely small percentage of it. When you invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum, you receive digital tokens that serve different purposes. With Bitcoin, you get decentralized currency that also happens to be partially anonymous. With Ethereum, you get a piece of the power that runs decentralized apps and smart contracts.

In simple terms, a blockchain can be described as an append-only transaction ledger. What that means is that the ledger can be written onto with new information, but the previous information, stored in blocks, cannot be edited, adjusted or changed. This is accomplished by using cryptography to link the contents of the newly added block with each block before it, such that any change to the contents of a previous block in the chain would invalidate the data in all blocks after it.

Prior to the advent of the blockchain, there was no way to secure and validate ownership in a digital asset or verify a transaction in a trustless, public manner. Take, for example, the act of utilizing a software license to gain access to a program like Microsoft Word. To enforce the right to use the software, it must check a centralized server operated by Microsoft. If Microsoft wanted, it could deny access to the software or transfer those permissions to another user. While we consider Microsoft a trusted entity, the risk of illicit behavior increases when an untrusted party is introduced.
Engineers at Seagate were the second in the industry to develop working prototypes of 3.5-inch drives. By early 1985, they had made more than 80 such models with a low level of company funding. The engineers forwarded the new models to key marketing executives, and the trade press reported that Seagate was actively developing 3.5-inch drives. But Seagate’s principal customers—IBM and other manufacturers of AT-class personal computers—showed no interest in the new drives. They wanted to incorporate 40-MB and 60-MB drives in their next-generation models, and Seagate’s early 3.5-inch prototypes packed only 10 MB. In response, Seagate’s marketing executives lowered their sales forecasts for the new disk drives.
Because disruptive technology is new, it has certain advantages, enhancements and functionalities over competitors. For example, cloud computing serves as a disruptive technology for in-house servers and software solutions. It has slowly been adopted by organizations and individuals with the main objective of completely removing traditional computing.
In the practical world, the popularization of personal computers illustrates how knowledge contributes to the ongoing technology innovation. The original centralized concept (one computer, many persons) is a knowledge-defying idea of the prehistory of computing, and its inadequacies and failures have become clearly apparent. The era of personal computing brought powerful computers "on every desk" (one person, one computer). This short transitional period was necessary for getting used to the new computing environment, but was inadequate from the vantage point of producing knowledge. Adequate knowledge creation and management come mainly from networking and distributed computing (one person, many computers). Each person's computer must form an access point to the entire computing landscape or ecology through the Internet of other computers, databases, and mainframes, as well as production, distribution, and retailing facilities, and the like. For the first time, technology empowers individuals rather than external hierarchies. It transfers influence and power where it optimally belongs: at the loci of the useful knowledge. Even though hierarchies and bureaucracies do not innovate, free and empowered individuals do; knowledge, innovation, spontaneity, and self-reliance are becoming increasingly valued and promoted.[31]
Option #3: You can take action now. You can do it right now with the free course I created called Build Your Own Brand. I built it specifically for beginning entrepreneurs—like you—to make it easy to figure out what your brand is going to be and how to build a website. It’s all in a lesson-by-lesson, easy-to-follow (even if you’re scared of technology), on-demand course. It’s free to access right now, and it’ll show you just how easy getting started is, compared to what you may expect.
"You've got Fitbit, Apple Watch, all this consumer tech collecting data on your blood pressure, heart rate, etc," said Forde. "Then you go to the hospital or your doctor and they have their own system. You see the allergist and they've got their own system, and none of it is connected. If there's no interoperability between any of these systems, how are you going to get the best possible care?"

Transformative applications are still far away. But it makes sense to evaluate their possibilities now and invest in developing technology that can enable them. They will be most powerful when tied to a new business model in which the logic of value creation and capture departs from existing approaches. Such business models are hard to adopt but can unlock future growth for companies.


Virtualization offers users increased flexibility by untethering the software that can be run on a machine from its physical hardware. Though in use since the 60s, virtualization is another technology that has recently become even more disruptive. The company VMWare was originally founded to bring virtualization to PCs, then servers, finally launching VMWare Server for full server virtualization in 2006. These programs and others like them allow IT departments the freedom to run more apps and environments on fewer machines.
Trying to explain the future possibilities of the internet in the early 90s is like explaining the future possibilities of blockchain today. A recent IBM commercial about how food safety is improved when food can be tracked on the blockchain does little to educate anyone on what that technology is, or does, or why something similar doesn't exist already. But it does show blue-chip companies developing blockchain for future business.
The effects of high technology always breaks the direct comparability by changing the system itself, therefore requiring new measures and new assessments of its productivity. High technology cannot be compared and evaluated with the existing technology purely on the basis of cost, net present value or return on investment. Only within an unchanging and relatively stable TSN would such direct financial comparability be meaningful. For example, you can directly compare a manual typewriter with an electric typewriter, but not a typewriter with a word processor. Therein lies the management challenge of high technology.[30]
"On the private and permissioned side, it's very much a question of who the referees are. I use that term specifically because what blockchains really provide is a neutral, level playing field for the execution of rules," said Garzik. "Those rules are applied to transactions that the actors create from that network. For Bitcoin, it's rules like the monetary supply; the number of transactions that can fit into a block. All of that forms the economic incentives and ultimately consensus rules that everyone in the network complies with and cross-checks to create this system of checks and balances.
Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher value can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[22] Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Because blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and because there are incentives to work only on extending with new blocks rather than overwriting old blocks, the probability of an entry becoming superseded goes down exponentially[23] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][24]:ch. 08[25] For example, in a blockchain using the proof-of-work system, the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is always considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[26]
Because it takes a long time for a typical computer to solve a block (about one year on average), nodes band together in groups that divide up the number of guesses to solve the next block. Working as a group speeds up the process of guessing the right number and getting the reward, which is then shared among group members. These groups are called mining pools.
The modern technological revolution is built on the backs of lithium ion batteries. Consumers are awash in digital devices of all shapes and sizes and they all need power: from laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, tablets, and smart watches all the way up to Tesla cars and at-home energy storage systems. Lithium ion batteries were disruptive because they enabled the spread of high-power usage devices that could be recharged. Successive improvements in the technology have increased their storage capacity and decreased their costs, leading to innovations in electric vehicles and solar energy systems.
The generation of energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind is certainly disruptive, particularly when compared with traditional energy sources. According to experts, renewable energy will globally minimise climate change and pollution. Renewable energy includes technological inventions such as wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, concentrated solar power, geothermal energy, ocean wave power among others. This is another great example of disruptive technology which will accelerate sustainable development.

There are some interesting plays with blockchain that lean more on the technology than currency. Right now we hear a lot about pharma, finance, real estate, food sourcing, basically anything that needs to be tracked diligently and openly in massive quantities. But I don’t think the killer use case is out there just yet. The good news is it’s early, but not too early, so the winners aren’t even close to shaking out.

Cameras for classic photography are stand-alone devices. In the same manner, high-resolution digital video recording has replaced film stock, except for high-budget motion pictures and fine art.[citation needed] The rise of digital cameras led Eastman Kodak, one of the largest camera companies for decades, to declare bankruptcy in 2012. Despite inventing one of the first digital cameras in 1975, Kodak remained invested in traditional film until much later.[41]
Advanced robotics—that is, increasingly capable robots or robotic tools, with enhanced "senses," dexterity, and intelligence—can take on tasks once thought too delicate or uneconomical to automate. These technologies can also generate significant societal benefits, including robotic surgical systems that make procedures less invasive, as well as robotic prosthetics and "exoskeletons" that restore functions of amputees and the elderly.
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