Blockchain technology is going to change everything: the shipping industry, the financial system, government … in fact, what won’t it change? But enthusiasm for it mainly stems from a lack of knowledge and understanding. The blockchain is a solution in search of a problem.
There’s only one good use-case I can imagine for blockchain:
Hospitals sharing data.
At least in Canada, your allergies, sensitivities, or any information about you is only at a single hospital unless you visit another and give them that info yourself. This obviously isn’t ideal, because if you’re in another city and are in a position where you cannot communicate that info when you go to the hospital, things could end up poorly.
What would be really great is if the hospitals could be on their own private blockchain, with each facility acting as a node on the chain. The redundancy of the information and constant sync across all nodes actually makes sense here, and the hospitals would all be updated with the latest information that they receive from one another.
Here in Brazil, this system exists, but without a blockchain, and it works very well. It tracks vaccinations, surgeries, when you went to a hospital or a basic health unit (it’s like a mini hospital for check-ups, vaccination and less severe stuff), etc.
I went to a doctor recently (that I never went before) and he started asking things like “so you broke your arm on 2003? Interesting”.
So I would say that blockchain might not help in that area either haha.
Nothing and no one is ever infallible. What I say is that the web as we know it is broken in that it has become a walled garden controllled by a few companies. And, yes, a lot of web3 doesn’t appear to change that, it’s just old wine in new bottles. We needed to discuss alternatives to different use case (payment and currency systems, how we monetize apps and other products, data hosting and sharing,. …). Energy efficiency and affordability are important issues, but I want to have choice and don’t want to become dependent on 5 or so companies in whatever I do. If that means that I have to pay, I’d be fine with that.
Yes, it doesn’t have any method for distributed global consensus. Instead, everyone gets to decide what they think the “tip” should be. Signed commits can give you insight into what others think it should be, though.
If I fork bitcoin and and replace proof-of-work with signed blocks, I would argue that its still a blockchain, just not decentralized. This would still be useful because others could see if I tried to re-write history.
I think of a blockchain, simply as a chain of blocks where each block contains a hash of its contents + the previous blocks hash. So, their primary feature is being an append-only tamper-evident database.
Does blockchain solve the double-spending problem? Can crypto currencies help devs (and possibly other creators) to monetize apps and other products?
I agree that blockchain is a solution to only a few problems, but can’t this be said about all technologies?
The author seems to implicitly suggest to keep up the status quo and ignores the potential of a new tech (yes, there is also much empty hype around). Blockchain may or may not live up its potential, but this depends on the decision we as humans make rather than on the technology imho.
I don’t know what to do with this article. It’s just a sequence os simplified examples. But that’s just my two cents.
Databases solve nearly every storage problem, there isn’t many problems in computer science where they don’t apply.
Blockchains solve only one tiny problem: the double spend problem, or when you need data to show an ownership history, and you specifically don’t want to rely on a central authority. Its a strange edge case that doesn’t even exist for most money, credit, or transactions today.
I agree; but what @email@example.com says still holds true I think. Most transaction should probably use layer 2 solutions such as lightning network and only fall back to the blockchain in cases for dispute or settlement which should be a rather infrequent event compared to transacting.