Look at the other side of the Blockchain
Blockchain is not a single technology. After being conceived by the creator of Bitcoin – Satoshi Nakamoto, the world discovered the first known representation of this abstract concept through Bitcoin. Since then, hundreds of implementations have been explored. This is also called Distributed Ledger Technology.
Looking back, the concept of blockchain is quite simple: it proposes an innovative information system architecture to process the exchange of values in open ecosystems. On traditional webs, information can be damaged. The Blockchain aims to secure the exchange of high sensitive data to keep them from mistakes.
From this perspective, this innovation seems relatively accessible. But as a fundamental technology layer, there are many other implications. To really understand the scope of this application, we also need to consider its upgrade capacity. As a profound technology, there are several characteristics, parameters, and features that need to be considered as changes.
This includes the size of the targeted ecosystem, how to manage the right to write and read, the level of security awaited, the performance needed, as well as other parameters such as the ability to reverse or compatibility of technology with existing infrastructure. All these characteristics are intrinsically related, and compromises must be found so that technological standards emerge, usually related to the specified use case. In this way, it seems almost impossible to produce a single standard regarding the variety of applications imaginable.
- Blockchain Technology: Clash of different ideological trends
- From Bitcoiners to Ethereists: Pure confrontation
All stories begin in January 2009 with the birth of Bitcoin. At the moment, the blockchain is not really theorized and is only used to maintain the Bitcoin network, which was originally designed to propose a new digital monetary network. Until 2015, the concept of blockchain remained silent while Bitcoin gave birth to several other cryptocurrency trying to improve its original protocol. Blockchain’s research efforts began to be funded thanks to the increase in the value of the first Bitcoin.
In 2015, a new birth took place in the blockchain ecosystem with the Ethereum project. This is the first to define the concept of smart contracts, and thus enhance the theory used by blockchain technology. Before this, the blockchain was basically a cyberpunk dream for alternative financial networks – except for Ripple, born in 2012, who targeted the banking sector.
The Ethereum platform also introduces the concept of tokens, with the ERC20 standard famous for generating a fixed supply of newborn digital assets and for managing related financial transactions. Coupled with a smart contract for distribution, he has opened an ICO Pandora box, with thousands of projects using this mechanism and surfing in the sensation of fast-growing blockchain collecting large amounts of money, using the promise of financial benefits in their utility tokens.
In everything that has happened since then, most of the blockchain community debates remain about Bitcoin and Ethereum. On the one hand, Bitcoiners believe that the blockchain is only suitable for cryptocurrency. For them, the blockchain is not efficient enough to support the smart contract feature. On the other hand, Ethereists imagine the great opportunities associated with using utility tokens. They promote the economic system of post-capitalism using tokens, enabling project crowdfunding and value-added distribution thanks to their token-based business model. This promise is interesting first but does not consider enough speculative problems around the secondary market. This makes the bubble pump and break.
The good part of this speculative bubble is to fund a variety of large infrastructure projects, amid debris, trying to improve the underlying Ethereum protocol for similar value proposals. These are projects such as Cardano, IOTA, NEO, Tezos or Vechain, to name a few.
With Ripple and EOS: Unsuitable experiments
In the midst of this, some projects do not fit the blockchain ideal. Ripples and EOS are the most controversial. They are like the dark side of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both are often regarded as non-blockchain platforms because of the low decentralized architecture with some backward features on their network.
Even to be very controversial, these projects hold some interesting promises for traditional actors: to reproduce the blockchain network architecture with better performance and the ability to maintain network management in a few hands.
As said earlier, there is no one solution for blockchain network architecture. Assembling such features can discuss certain uses, for example those related to the fixation of fiat currencies. If the government wants to reduce its own fiat currency.
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