At the moment, the financial world is going crazy for blockchains.
Apparently, they are going to revolutionize our world — making any existing record-keeping practice obsolete, whether in the fields of property, insurance, trading, contracts and anything else that requires keeping track of things.
Record-keeping is important — there is no question that inventions fundamental to record-keeping, like writing, math, and double-entry bookkeeping, propelled human civilization forward.
Blockchain is being talked about as if it is as important an innovation as writing, money, or other fundamental social institutions.
So, I am working to figure out just what it is about blockchains that makes them so transformative.
As far as I can tell, a blockchain is, at its most basic level, just a list.
And, the innovation seems to be: we will keep the list together instead of having one person do it. I’ll have a copy, you’ll have a copy, and my friend will have a copy.
And somehow, keeping the list together means that we don’t have to worry about trust anymore.
Even though there are other people involved in keeping the list.
I am probably missing something, but I don’t get it yet.
If you have it all figured out already, I would love to hear from you. If you, like me, are still trying to figure things out, I welcome your incoherent ramblings as well. Perhaps we can sort this out together.
I look forward to it.