Internet is not email and blockchain is not bitcoin

The entry barrier to blockchain world was very high due to the technical complexity of building individual blockchain networks for each use case but Ethereum democratized creating applications on blockchain and made blockchain a platform for a variety of use cases.

Internet is not email

When Internet was invented and email because the most widely developed use case on internet. More users had email than website on the internet in early days. This made some people to think that the internet economy will just be a little greater than the fax machine economy. One quote attributed to Paul Krugman also echoed the same theme. It is ok for people to be wrong about something during its formative years and change opinion based on facts.

The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in ‘Metcalfe’s law’—which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants—becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s. – Paul Krugman 1998

Blockchain is not bitcoin

Similarly with the invention and launch of bitcoin most people thought that the underlying technology cannot be used for any other areas other than cryptocurrencies. The bitcoin clones launch soon after bitcoin gained traction got people to think that blockchain is bitcoin. People even started to develop their own blockchain platforms for each use case. One notable example was NameCoin which was developed to be a decentralized domain name system. This puzzled the tech community and gave an illusion that we need to build our own blockchain for our uses cases and this created a barrier to entry into the blockchain world. 

Enter Ethereum

In 2013 a teenager Vitalik Buterin submitted a paper to build a general purpose blockchain which will help developers build decentralized applications that can run on blockchain was a turning point. With more than 2 years of work Etherum was launched as a public blockchain that gained traction and lot of new ideas around decentralization were implemented using Ethereum. Today Ethereum is the most widely used public blockchain platform for developing not just crypto based application. Ethereum is used to develop Web3 applications, NFT market places, DeFi market place etc. For most of the B2C use cases Ethereum is now the most preferred choice.

Enter Private Blockchains

Around the same time Ethereum was launched, the big blue (IBM), Intel and others decided to launch an open source version of blockchain for private network use and thus Hyperledger was born. The Hyperledger is built under Linux Foundation and had rapid adoption for digitizing various goods. Companies started to use this framework in their B2B areas of interaction. Corda is a Distributed Ledger Technology software that does not use blocks was developed as a consoritum of banks came together to faciliate and keep track of transactions between them. The rise of private blockchain provided new opportunities for companies in B2B domain.

H.Thirukkumaran

Founder & CEO

He is an expert in emerging technologies like cloud, big data and analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence. He is the author of the book Learning Google BigQuery. He recently completed his Masters in Blockchain from Zigurat Innovation & Technology Business School, Barcelona, Spain which is affliated to University of Barcelona, Spain. He lived in USA for 13 years and moved back to India in 2018 to start his own company. He lives in Chennai with his family.