Diving into a techy discussion strewn with acronyms.
Was having a long discussion about databases yesterday as part of developing my web site. We talked about SQL, NoSQL and then the topic of ACID came up.
NoSQL was created by the big web guys (e.g. Facebook et el) for their DB because SQL databases which are ACID wouldn’t “scale out”. High performance ACID SQL databases require SMP. SMP is expensive. Much cheaper to have simple servers loosely coupled through a IP network.
Most applications don’t required ACID. If my facebook post doesn’t happen, when I notice, I’ll either just ignore it or try again. The only industry that cares about ACID is finance. I wouldn’t be very happy if my stock transaction or ATM deposit was lost.
Blockchain is nothing more than a “scale out” ACID database. Its that simple. ACID is necessary because its recording a financial transaction. It accomplishes the ACID requirements through the distributed register. But given the complexity of meeting the ACID requirements, that causes its performance to be slow. That is exacerbated by the requirement to have a “untrusted” scale out implemention. Ergo the need to have a distributed way to create a hash.
So what’s the point of all this techno garbley gook post? Bottom line, Blockchain is a technology that was created to solve a specific problem. The technology world has a very specific way of talking about that problem and how blockchain addressed it (by piecing together other existing technology). The tech industry loves to take a technology, promote it to foolish VCs, get funding, and try to hit an exit before anyone realizes the charade. Blockchain is another example of the tech industry doing exactly that.
As Steven Jobs said: Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday. Blockchain is yesterday.