By Umair Khan and Santeri Tuovila
The evolution of trust has gone through two phases and now embarking on a third one. These phases are local, institutional and, now, distributed.
In the beginning trust mostly had a local scope, like people in a village trusted the local goldsmith. Then it became institutional which resulted in the formation of governments and banks. The third phase, called the era of distributed trust, has just started and the first thing it has disrupted is currency.
The reason couldn’t be more obvious; for ages people have been wanting to pry control of money from the clutches of central authorities. Now we are experiencing the dawn of the age of cryptocurrencies.
To put things in perspective, the current market cap of the most sought after cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is over 100 billion USD which is more than the market cap of Goldman Sachs, one of the largest U.S. investment banks. Interestingly the agent of disruption is not cryptocurrency itself but the underlying technology, blockchain.
Couple of weeks ago BitBang organized one of its first blockchain events in collaboration with Tribe Tampere. The event featured talks from Kimmo Rouhiainen, CEO of Chainforg and Otto Liuhonen from Wone. Both of them have been developing blockchain technology in their companies and after the event there has been growing interest to launch Tribes´ own cryptocurrency.
Why we want to try our own blockchain technology?
Because our community does lot that it is hard to keep up what is happening in Tribe Tampere. Giving Karma to people for acting in the community and making the transaction public, would help people wanting to participate in what is going on. It also helps the community to see who has the most Karma. Want to be part of building Karma? Send us a message.
Our first speaker was Kimmo Rouhiainen and his talk was about Chainfrog’s product Blockbinder, his talk was a well rounded by first creating an introduction to blockchain and how it actually came into being as the foundation of the most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
He then went on to explain the distributed nature of blockchain as well as its high-level functioning, the verticals it is most likely to disrupt in near future (including insurance, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, education, construction, legal, real estate, etc.).
The second part of Kimmos´ talk highlighted Chainfrog’s product Blockbinder. In the talk Blockbinder was described as a tool for synchronizing different databases irrespective of their types. It is auditable, distributed, collaborative, encrypted, and independent. Again, this part of the talk was colored with facts and figures such as “Poor data across businesses and government costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion a year”.
However, the question of what specific problems can blockchain solve that other conventional technologies can not remains unanswered. At the end, Chainfrog’s message is to find a big enough and empty ”blockchain” space and just do it!
The second talk was titled How We Failed with Blockchain. Otto Liuhonen started the talk with his background and how the company was started with the idea of a digital currency wallet. Wone chose blockchain because of it is theoretically not taxable, instant settlement, its transparency, and it not being dependent on trust.
Most of the talk was rather technical, however, he did a nifty job keeping people interested by drawing a contrast between the two competing cryptocurrencies, namely, Bitcoin and Ripple. He ended his presentation accentuating the impediments Wone faced which eventually led to the abandonment of blockchain altogether. These impediments included lack of regulations, intricacies of system integration (banking and PoS), and banking licenses.
Blockchain is almost at the apex of Gartner’s hype chart and blockchain researchers are betting big on its disruptive potential, but there are only a handful to people who actually understand the core technology compared to the masses who are believers of the technology.
There are critics who still think blockchain isn’t the silver bullet and most blockchain companies are just an attempt to jump on the bandwagon. But only time shall tell, how successfully blockchain penetrates today’s technology infrastructure.