How to think about Blockchain

October 16, 2020

Linux vs Windows

Many years ago, there was a battle for the desktop. Windows 95 had been the dominate desktop environment and Linux was barely a thing. In 2008, Linux held only 1% of the desktop market share. Today, Linux desktop share isn’t much higher. Therefore we can conclude, Linux must be dead.

But wait. Linux didn’t work for the desktop but it did work for everything else. In 2008, Microsoft said that 60% of servers ran Linux. (Microsoft!) The Android mobile platform is built on Linux. Most Internet of Things devices run Linux. A majority of servers run Linux.

In fact, Linux ate the internet world. It just isn’t front and center of everything we do every day.

Where is blockchain? I don’t see it.

And there in lines the comparison to blockchain. We’ve spent the past 3 to 5 years predicting that blockchain will eat the world. We’ve presented front and center models of everything blockchain can do. Often blockchain is refered to as Web 3.0 invoking the vision that you can see blockchain in action on a website.

Blockchain will eat the world but it will do it from behind the scenes. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services implented HHS Proect with blockchain. But you wouldn’t know it from using the website.

We’ve got to think about blockchain as an enabler of a use case, not the use case.