This week, I attended the MIT Legal Forum on AI and Blockchain. I was excited to go to this one because I had a bundle of unanswered question about blockchain, and I really wanted to learn from the experts. I will admit that I spent a fair amount of time mired in FOMO for missing the Legal Design Summit in Helsinki, but in the end I was glad I went.
I met a lot of great people who know a lot more than me about blockchain technology. I learned a lot, but after the first day of the conference it hit me — all of the questions I arrived with are the “known unknowns,” even to the experts. And there seem to be a number of critical unknowns, (regulatory issues, volatility, etc.) which is appropriate for the early stage of this technology. But given the amount of hype around blockchain technology, it’s notable how many things we have yet to learn (and probably a lot of things that we don’t yet know that we don’t know). It was refreshing to hear experts admit the things we don’t yet know instead of pretending to have all the answers.
So, good news. If you pay attention to technology and feel like you don’t know enough about blockchain, crypto currencies, etc., don’t fear. There may very well be no answers to your questions yet.
One thing to note: I spent a bit of time fan-girling on twitter about a talk by Christian Smith, a hacker at MIT, that did a phenomenal job of laying down where we are with blockchain, wading through the BS, and highlighting all the right questions we should be asking right now. You can view the talk here, at around the 30 min mark.
Here are some of the primo slides from the talk: