the state of distributed ledger technology

Gabriele Rigo
Oct 31, 2017 · 4 min read

Nowadays blockchain has become a synonym of the “new internet”.

From the perspective blockchain geeks, distributed ledgers are more like the modern version of hardware, where applications are built on top of blockchain protocols. In a broader sense, merkle-tree applications will be the new servers (take these terms with a grain of salt, this is our vision).

This seems too complicated, let’s get speak about something simpler

The Internet is a standard protocol for exchanging information: navigating through web pages and accessing external servers seamlessly.

Today, in blockchain, we are still awaiting the “internet of blockchains”. While distributed money transfer technology has reached some outstanding targets, we are still looking for easy ways of interacting with this new way of transacting.

Just a small fraction of users today has access to blockchain, but just because some minimum level of knowledge is required to use it. Therefore, very few people have hands in the business and that’s why it is so difficult to find information about the topic.

We want to get to Zero-knowledge protocols

Think about how you operate on a blockchain in a decentralized way: you now have to run a node of the blockchain you want to operate in. Some distributed ledgers are faster than others, some have so-called “light clients”.

We must get to a point where a user can interact with distributed ledgers smoothly, without even realizing what is happening in the background.

The big challenge today is that each blockchain is different, and for each different blockchain a different software has to be run, even if it is produced by the same software house.

Is this not familiar to you? Does it not remind you of floppy-disks?

Your answer here must be straightforward: what the heck is a floppy-disk?

We also accept comparisons with the early days of the internet before standard protocols had emerged.

But there is a thing which very much resembles floppy disks: limited block size, which prevents big software be build on blockchain, or at least requires smart techniques like writing code in a modular way. A second one is the need for a different software for each blockchain, one at a time. Just like old fashioned floppy disks.

Blockchains today can handle a limited amount of transactions and smart contracts cannot be too-big. They are not well suited to store big amounts of data by design. And they are somehow becoming more difficult to utilize in a decentralized way by the average consumer.

Recent innovations are already transforming the industry in a way the original inventors probably didn’t anticipate.

This is very encouraging for us on the prospects of the sector, and takes us to a prediction (take it with a grain of salt): the internet of blockchains will be a protocol which will be adopted by web browsers and will allow browsing to different applications on different blockchains seamlessly.

Your Reaction: this is way too elementary..what’s the big deal?

In fact not many have any idea in which form this will happen. We are working hard to figure out how there applications are going to be used by the commercial users.

How will the “digital hard-drives” look like?

We believe eventually blockchains are going to be embedded behind the modern internet, so that internet users will be able to swap between different blockchains seamlessly.

Maybe we will not use https://*my_domain* to connect to a website, just something similar. Maybe the difference will be in the https..

Wouldn’t it be cool if the biggest industrial revolution meant just a change of a prefix at a consumer level? So much work in the background, users not realizing, and free movements of money around the world, with a bank in every device? That is our vision for the future.

Blockchain, a bit like the microprocessor, is one of the greatest inventions of our times, and is eventually going to be embedded almost everywhere, in one form or another. It will be a basic pillar of web 2.0, and, just like has already happened in the past, people will use it without the need of knowing what it means and maybe even without realizing, even though it is remarkable the mainstream interest in understanding what is “blockchain”.

When will the “Internet of Blockchains“ be revealed? A few weeks from now, months or years?

Maybe a few weeks from now, probably a few more months, possibly a year, Blockchain startups are already at work, and for sure it is an ambitious and demanding task. The answer is yet unknown.

We at RigoBlock build applications on top of public distributed ledgers and you can have a look at our work on our website


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Gabriele Rigo

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