Blockchain has become one of the most hyped technologies since the Internet. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Like with any new major technological advancement, there’s typically an early flow of speculative capital to enter the space. ‘Blockchain’ is not an exception, having definitely driven its fair share of capital into new and existing companies. However today most blockchain projects have failed to deliver on their roadmaps and promises, leaving investors and businesses questioning whether the technology is here to stay or they were victims of a fad.
So, what is blockchain technology? Most people have difficulties understanding it, yet explaining its fundamentals to others. There’s an incredible amount of confusion around this technology, one being talked about as being a once in a lifetime technological revolution.
In our opinion, we don’t think people should care too much about trying to understand what blockchain is. Similarly to most people not trying to understand how emails works, even though they send them everyday. Instead of thinking too much about blockchain, people need to instead think about decentralization, and how decentralization is the solution to many trust problems and mis-incentivized behaviours we experience in our everyday lives.
Now you might ask, isn’t the Internet decentralized? The Internet was conceived to become a decentralized network of linked information but it ended up going in a completely different direction.
In the early days of the Internet, companies flooded the markets and raised astronomical sums of capital at outrageous valuations, often with terrible business models. We saw many of these early Internet companies went under during the dot-com bubble but those who understood the value of data were able to create innovative products, service and business models that leveraging it.
Because money is at the core of a capitalist society, the main incentive is always to increase revenues and profits. The way to increase revenues is to sell more products and services. The way to sell more products and services begins with marketing. The more data a company can leverage to personalize marketing strategies, the higher the conversion rates on sales. You get where this is going.. Data has become the most valuable asset in the world and a a short-list of companies have managed to dominate the space and use data generated by people to increase revenues.
Revenue and profit optimization incentives are contributing to the elimination of people’s privacy by using data they generate against them. It’s no surprise that trust sentiments and brand loyalty have both been on the decline.
The internet consumers use today is absolutely centralized. The companies that own most of the routers / connections are money-making entities. The core services, DNS being the most obvious example, are also centralized ideas. It can be shut down, it can be slowed down, it is being controlled.
Are we doomed? Is it too late?
Blockchains enable the creation of decentralized systems with governance and economic incentives baked right into it. No longer is one entity responsible for dictating the rules to play the game. This creates trust and trust in systems creates so much upside in our lives.
In reality, businesses (and our lives) are nothing more than a collection of contracts between parties to facilitate some form of transaction. Now, imagine the value creation opportunities if these contracts could be executed without reliance on someone to facilitate it? This is the potential of true decentralized systems, enabled by blockchain technology.
We believe this revolution is something that happens once in a lifetime and will contribute to MAJOR business and social benefits.
At Northern Block, we are creating trust around physical and digital assets and democratizing their ownership.
We build transparent and tamper proof systems, assuring how data is captured, used and managed.
We design beautiful software solutions that leverage the best blockchain and distributed technologies.
Mathieu Glaude, Founder and CEO