At least one global cryptocurrency will achieve mass-market adoption. That cryptocurrency will either be Bitcoin or a derivative inspired by it. The chance that it will be the former is so strong that in 2014 I invested in Bitcoin startups Xapo and Blockstream. And yet, perhaps surprisingly, when one of the very smart people I know in Silicon Valley recently told me he's a major "Bitcoin sceptic" who has not yet seen "many real use cases" for the technology, I considered it a good sign. Why?
Blockchain has the potential to disrupt a large number of industries and change the lives of many. Its technology could help millions of refugees, by solving some of the most critical problems they face. Here are three issues blockchain could tackle: 1. Documentation When refugees are forced to abandon their homes, many leave behind important documents such as birth certificates, marriage licences, passports and ID cards. These are nearly impossible to retrieve after leaving the country,
Every month, it seems that blockchain's potential to revolutionize the energy sector is proclaimed anew, from Wired Magazine announcing that "microgrids and the blockchain are powering our energy future" to Renewable Energy World claiming that "blockchain could change everything for energy". There's a growing degree of certainty that blockchain will transform the energy system. But the question is how. Blockchain or not, the grid is fast changing from the old system of analog, fossil-fuell
There is a great deal of buzz about blockchains and distributed ledgers at present. This is the second time I have seen such excitement about a new technology. The first was in the mid-1990s with the rise of the worldwide web, and the reasons for the excitement now are similar to those back then: many people can see potential applications and benefits even if they do not yet see how they will be realised. So how best to explain blockchain? I like to compare it with the web. The internet has m
Ignore Bitcoin's challenges. In this interview, Don Tapscott explains why blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, have the potential to revolutionize the world economy. What impact could the technology behind Bitcoin have? According to Tapscott Group CEO Don Tapscott, blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, could revolutionize the world economy. In this interview with McKinsey's Rik Kirkland, Tapscott explains how blockchains—an open-source distribu
Blockchain technology is transforming the way we do business by allowing consumers to cut out the middleman in numerous vital services, reducing costs and boosting efficiency. In this way it has the potential to reduce poverty throughout the developing world. But is it secure? More specifically, can blockchain-based technologies simultaneously offer trust and privacy to ensure private and tamper-free records? This issue should concern those development institutions, businesses and governme
In New York state, neighbors are testing their ability to sell solar energy to one another using blockchain technology. In Austria, the country's largest utility conglomerate, Wien Energie, is taking part in a blockchain trial focused on energy trading with two other utilities. Meanwhile in Germany, the power company Innogy is running a pilot to see if blockchain technology can authenticate and manage the billing process for autonomous electric-vehicle charging stations. Blockchain has grabbe
Blockchain came to mainstream attention in 2017, despite having existed for almost a decade prior. The author explains how this new technology, perhaps best known for its role in enabling cryptocurrencies, works. In his view, blockchain has the potential to change the way the world does business, and its impact is being vastly underestimated by the accounting profession and society at large. Cryptocurrencies have become a prevailing topic of conversation, even among the most novice investors.
Blockchain technology has the potential to do amazing things. It can provide an immutable, digital audit trail of transactions, and can be used to cheaply verify the integrity of data. It can help businesses and individuals agree, on a global scale, about the true state of affairs within a market without relying on a costly intermediary. This is achieved through a clever combination of economic incentives and cryptography, and ensures that at any point in time, digital records reflect the tru
The venture capital industry is beginning to take a good, hard look at a new financial instrument coming out of the bitcoin community — Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs. Also known as "token sales," this new fundraising phenomenon is being fueled by a convergence of blockchain technology, new wealth, clever entrepreneurs, and crypto-investors who are backing blockchain-fueled ideas. ICOs present both benefits and disadvantages, as well as threats and opportunities, to the traditional venture ca
The hype around blockchain is massive. To hear the blockchain hype train tell it, blockchain will now: Solve income inequality Make all data secure forever Make everything much more efficient and trustless Save dying babies What the heck is a blockchain, anyway? And can it really do all these things? Can blockchain bring something amazing to industries as diverse as health care, finance, supply chain management and music rights? And doesn't being for Bitcoin mean that you're pro-blockc
Most of the media headlines on blockchain technology revolve around the outsized investment performance and extreme volatility of cryptocurrency. This trajectory closely resembled a roller coaster as Bitcoin gained 1,390 percent in 2017 (up as much as 1,935 percent when it hit a record high of $19,666 in mid-December) -- and then plummeted to a low of $5,950 in January 2018. By mid-February, it had settled around $8,400. The growing consensus among business leaders and entrepreneurs: The futu
Let's face it. Many people are resistant to technological changes in both their personal lives and at the office. However, what they often lack is the vision to see how the new technology they are resisting will improve their lives in the future. Emerging technologies are exciting and bring innovation and new opportunities across the globe. They change our life by altering the way we think and operate on a daily basis. Technological innovation can impact a lot more than our daily lives. I
Is blockchain -- the network of global online ledgers -- really secure? Its proponents say yes, as it assigns transactions or smart contracts to an immutable ledger, verifiable by multiple parties. However, a recently published paper calls out some vulnerabilities that may subject blockchain entries to inefficiencies, hacking and other criminal activity. The paper, published by Xiaoqi Li, Peng Jiang and Xiapu Luo (all with Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Ting Chen (University of Electronic
You may have heard the term ‘blockchain' and dismissed it as a fad, a buzzword, or even technical jargon. But I believe blockchain is a technological advance that will have wide-reaching implications that will not just transform the financial services but many other businesses and industries. A blockchain is a distributed database, meaning that the storage devices for the database are not all connected to a common processor. It maintains a growing list of ordered records, called blocks. Ea
Bitcoin will eventually be recognized as a platform for building new financial services. Most people are only familiar with (b)itcoin the electronic currency, but more important is (B)itcoin, with a capital B, the underlying protocol, which encapsulates and distributes the functions of contract law. Bitcoin encapsulates four fundamental technologies: Digital Signatures – these can't be forged and allow one party to securely verify a transaction with another. Peer-to-Peer networks, li
Blockchain is an accounting technology. It is concerned with the transfer of ownership of assets, and maintaining a ledger of accurate financial information. The accounting profession is broadly concerned with the measurement and communication of financial information, and the analysis of said information. Much of the profession is concerned with ascertaining or measuring rights and obligations over property, or planning how to best allocate financial resources. For accountants, using blockchain
The Blockchain Technology is said to be one of the most disruptive technology of the decade. It allows mutually mistrusting entities to exchange records on a shared ledger and interact without relying on a trusted third party. A blockchain moreover provides an integrity protected data storage that is much more secure than those stored in centralised servers while at the same time providing for process transparency. These attributes of the Blockchain allow its use in multiple applications in Indu
There's so much more to blockchain than cryptocurrency. Blockchain may eventually reach into every corner of the business, providing online, "smart contracts" that bind and assure any type of transaction, from exchange of goods to services rendered to employee records. The money is beginning to flow in this direction. Worldwide spending on blockchain solutions is forecast to reach $2.1 billion this year, more than double the $945 million spent in 2017, according to estimates from IDC. The con
Globalization has brought the most advanced trading networks the world has seen, with the biggest, fastest vessels, robot-operated ports and vast computer databases tracking cargoes. But it all still relies on millions and millions of paper documents. That last throwback to 19th century trade is about to fall. A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and other container shipping lines have teamed up with technology companies to upgrade the world's most complex logistics network. The prize is a revolution i
A new so-called blockchain company is selling virtual real estate online with prices as high as $120,000 for a 10-meter by 10-meter piece of virtual land. You can buy a plot of virtual land in a virtual city, with certain neighborhoods costing more than others, like in a real city. Except that it isn't a real city. It is all virtual. Somehow this company, Decentraland, managed to raise $26 million in 30 seconds from investors last year. That money isn't "virtual" — it is real. Welc
The terms Bitcoin and blockchain are sometimes used interchangeably, but there's actually some misunderstanding about the innovation. In this opinion piece, Kevin Werbach, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics, explains the differences among the three groups that comprise this technology: cryptocurrency, blockchain and cryptoassets. These days it's hard to avoid pronouncements about how cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could change everything (or at least, create ma
Because I write about technology I am regularly assailed by people who are exercised about so-called "cryptocurrencies" like bitcoin, which most of them regard as a scam. But when I reply that while bitcoin might be newsworthy, the really important story concerns the blockchain technology that underpins it, their eyes glaze over and they start looking for the nearest exit as they conclude that they are in the grip of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. And, in a sense, they are. Blockchain technolog