A quick and dirty guide: Is blockchain right for my business?

Euphrates Group
Sep 30, 2018 · 2 min read

I recently gave a presentation at the Milwaukee Blockchain Meetup on the “table napkin” framework I’ve been using to evaluate whether blockchain is a good investment to solve any given problem. By “table napkin,” I refer to a 1-minute analysis, not the more extensive analyses that have been developed (and work really well, see below).

In-depth analysis of blockchain use-case

Anyway, a couple of individuals, justifiably, tested my framework with specific examples. Fortunately, I was saved embarrassment by running their concerns through the framework process.

This made me think, why don’t I open it up to a wider audience and see if they can poke holes? It would be really cool if we could, in 1-minute, get a general idea if blockchain is the right solution for any business problem.

So my challenge to you: can you think of an example of a blockchain use-case that would be a good investment that doesn’t pass all the criteria in this framework? Or conversely, can you think of a use-case that does pass all the criteria but would not be a good investment?

First Principles

We always start with First Principles. What are blockchain’s first principles?

  • Transaction immutability
  • Transparency of transactions to network participants

These principles enable the creation of trust between two or more different parties, without an intermediary.

The Process

Now, do the following.

  1. Define the problem you are solving in terms of dollar cost
  2. Define the current process for creating trust between the different parties
  3. Answer the following questions
  • Does this problem include a transaction of value?
  • Does the problem stem from a lack of trust?
  • Could a blockchain solve the problem less expensively than current solutions?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then you may have a viable use-case. However, this framework works to disqualify use-cases, not qualify them. Therefore, if a use-case passes all three, you should still conduct an extensive analysis.

What did you come up with?

Euphrates Group

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A technology consulting firm focused on helping our clients understand, analyze, and implement emerging technologies