A Safer More Secure...Everything

Illustration: Julian Bassermann  

Blockchain, an open database technology with a unique structure to ensure security, has already begun to disrupt how we think about transactions. A vital aspect of the digital currency Bitcoin, blockchain safeguards information and replaces the authorization steps traditionally required from centralized institutions—such as banks for, say, money transfers—with strong verification through massive consensus. Digital data is encrypted through a distributed database called a ledger. If anyone wants to add a record in the form of a data block to that ledger or chain, it must be validated across a network of millions of computers worldwide. Given this transparent structure, blockchain provides everyone simultaneous access to a unified, global version of information truth and has the potential to make financial institutions, smart contracts, and product development for the Internet of Things incredibly secure. Here is a snapshot from the world’s thought leaders on blockchain’s promise.


Alex Tapscott Coauthor of Blockchain Revolution Talks at Goldman Sachs, July 2016


“[The blockchain is] where not just information—what we think of PDFs or emails or websites or voice-over IPs—but anything of value: money, stocks, bonds, titles, deeds, intellectual property with specific licensing requirements, even votes in an election—can be moved, stored, and managed securely and privately, and where trust is not established by a third party but rather through mass collaboration and some clever code.”



Stuart Popejoy Founder of Kadena LLC Forbes, November 2016


“Business workflows can be enacted and captured as a fully auditable and self-settling series of transactions. For instance, a price can be offered and negotiated, terms negotiated, delivery confirmed, and payment schedules produced and serviced within the same system, guarded by business rules and permanently stored.”



Roberto Capodieci Founder of OTDocs.com IoT Asia, March 2016


“There are a couple of more interesting aspects of blockchain for IoT. A device can sell information. So all other devices or people that want to read, for example, the level of pollution in the air can actually pay a small token that would help support the device.… Another aspect would be to create like a diary of ownership data. If this is attached to something that is sold person to person, you can track the past ownership or damages or repairs, etc., because giving digital identity to the device also [makes it possible] to record the history of the device.”



Don Tapscott CEO of the Tapscott Group World Economic Forum, January 2016


“Blockchain solves that [fraudulent] double-payment problem by the network achieving consensus that I have made that payment to you. If I try and transfer that same [payment] file to [you], what happens is I would have to do that in light of the most powerful computing resource in the world. People estimate that the computing power behind blockchain—all of the Google servers in the world—would be 5% of that…. Consensus is achieved every 10 minutes about ‘Here’s what’s occurred.’ That block is linked to the previous block, so I would have to hack the previous block and I’d have to hack the entire history of commerce across millions of computers.”



Blythe Masters CEO of Digital Asset Holdings Singularity University’s Exponential Finance, June 2015


“On a distributed ledger and a token that is part of that ledger, you are able to embed the information that represents or evidences title to, for example, a financial instrument like an equity or a bond or even a loan. The list goes on. This means the entire life cycle of a trade—including its execution, the netting of multiple trades against each other, the reconciliation of who did what with whom and whether they agree—can occur at the trade entry level.… How seriously should you take this? I would take it about as seriously as you should have taken the concept of the internet in the early 1990s.”