Braving the blockchain bandwagon

blockchain-ledgerYou know you need to pay attention to a trend when you start seeing headlines of scammers cashing in on the action.

The excerpt below—sourced from a Medium post—offers an easy-to-understand backgrounder on blockchain:

« After the financial crisis of 2008, an unknown person by the moniker Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin and its original reference implementation. Along with it, they devised the first blockchain database. The Bitcoin cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology allows users to establish trust and transact without the need for a third party through a peer-to-peer protocol.

To put it simply, the blockchain connects millions of computers and servers are across the globe in order to create a global ledger (a massive, connected and decentralized Excel file). This ledger records each time a transaction takes place and digitally posts it across millions of computers using a high level of cryptography.

Once a transaction is posted, it is grouped into a block with other transactions which have occurred in the last 10 minutes and is then sent out to the entire network. Members of the network with high computing power, called Miners, compete to validate the blocks and are rewarded using digital currency (this is how the supply of digital currency changes on the blockchain).

The block is then time stamped and added to a chain in chronological order, creating a chain of blocks that show every transaction ever recorded on that blockchain. All these computers now have a copy of every transaction. If a single computer changes this information, the network will know that this change is inaccurate. »

Thank you Kevin Neilsen Garcia for the concise 411! (Suggest reading the full article for more helpful info). Understanding the basic mechanisms behind blockchain is key to a productive discourse on the topic #obvi

Now that that’s outta the way, let me draw your attention to a recent post from Forbes proposing some implications on how blockchain’s evolution is surfacing benefits for business.

In fact, the post lends itself nicely for us to frame questions around what’s being proposed:

  • Trust – « No one can destroy or alter a blockchain.» This guaranteed state of permanence is viewed as blockchain’s singularly compelling value proposition and, in effect, naturally engenders trust to the extent that it serves to underpin the existence of huge tech innovations like cryptocurrency.

    Q1
    -Apart from being touted as a ‘currency’ of trust, how else can trust be engendered by using blockchain? What other applications would work well?
  • Accuracy and accountability – particularly in digital ad delivery and targeting, the prospects of more precise ROI metrics are astounding «For example, a brand could identify ad deliveries from an ad server and release them to mining machines in the blockchain for analysis and fraud scrubbing.»Q2 – To what extent is blockchain useful in accounting for the effectiveness of tactics and or resources invested by an organization? Will it redefine metrics?
  • Unique engagement – «Information on products, especially in the consumer realm, will be instantly available to prospects who will have access to complete supply chain information as well as the full story about a single product. »Q3 – How realistic is a scenario where a prospect would gain total transparency and “have access to complete supply chain information”? Is this a bit of a stretch?
  • Social responsibility – «blockchain will help those interested easily verify that influencers for the company are true influencers meeting the brand’s criteria»Q4 – Do you agree that the integrity of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives will be strengthened, if not make an organization be directly accountable, due to blockchain?? What would be a realistic example of this?

Spice up Valentine’s day with a deep, mental massage! Hope you can join me as I moderate #smchat on Twitter – SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018 at 1pm EST.

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