As previously discussed, I'm doing the Certified Blockchain Professional course. It is self-directed learning, so I'm going through it at my own pace. In order to consolidate my learning, and help organise my thoughts, I'm blogging about my reflections on each module.
These are mostly notes to myself - but I hope if you find something interesting (or incorrect) that you'll leave a comment.
What industries can be disrupted by Blockchain? Well, what does Blockchain do?
An append-only database solves the "problem" of data disappearing. Non-repudiation might be useful somewhere.
Blockchain also acts as a proof-of-timestamp service. That is, you can prove that a datum was added no-earlier than a specific time.
Decentralisation might also lead to disintermediation. Do you need an insurance agent if you can go direct to the market?
Here's a typical sentence from the book:
The resulting artifacts/collateral of the blockchain garage engagement are envisioned to be instrumental in socialization and in providing a blueprint for a business seeking executive sponsorship and the necessary funding for first project.
Can you translate that into something intelligible? I can't!
There's also a content-free piece of slideware from IBM to browse.
I've written about this before - "In praise of slowness". Could Blockchain help insurance? Maybe - but not as much as getting the basics of technology right. A smart contract may be faster (LOL) but sometimes slowness is a feature, not a bug.
This is one of the few areas where I think Blockchain could be useful. Large institutions with mutual distrust could use a Blockchain to record and reconcile transactions.
It could reduce the need for intermediaries like clearing houses.
KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money-Laundering) are key for preventing crime.
Blockchain can provide a solution to this problem by securely sharing a distributed ledger between all financial institutions that contain verified and true identities of customers.
LOL! So much for a decentralised anonymous currency!
AML - it is possible to trace transactions through a chain. But also possible to obfuscate.
It suggests a blockchain containing a "blacklist" (hateful phrase) of undesireables. But there's no explanation of why a blockchain is necessary - a shared DB would work just as well. Similarly, when a country revokes a passport it could broadcast that it is no longer valid. But lots of countries don't. Adding blockchain to the mix won't suddenly conjure up administrative competence.
I've previously written about the "Usability of Key Distribution in BlockChain Backed Electronic Voting"
Security is provided in the form of integrity and authenticity of votes by using public key cryptography which comes as standard in a blockchain.
OK, but how do you distribute those keys? How easy are they to use?
to prove evidence (such as a video) has not been tampered with by hashing files into a blockchain during the formal intake procedure. etc.
OK, but is this a problem? Does evidence routinely get tampered with? What if it is tampered with before adding it to the chain?
More wishful thinking.
Blockchain can provide a network where digital music is cryptographically guaranteed to be owned only by the consumers who pay for it.
illegal copying of digital music files can be stopped altogether because everything is recorded and owned immutably in a transparent manner on the blockchain.
Again, I've written before about why this is wide-eyed nonsense - NFTs means the future value of art is zero.
In healthcare, major issues such as privacy compromises, data breaches, high costs, and fraud can arise from lack of interoperability, overly complex processes, transparency, auditability, and control.
OK, but Blockchain doesn't solve that. There can be multiple incompatible chains. The cost of the tech is high - and complicated to use. Once data is leaked onto a chain it can never be revoked.
Another burning issue is counterfeit medicines; especially in developing countries, this is a major cause of concern.
No details of how a Blockchain with solve this. Physical certificates can be removed and placed on counterfeit drugs.
Apparently the industry is crying out for people with Blockchain qualifications. The book doesn't list any good ones - but suggests that business knowledge, and legal / regulatory knowledge are key.
Impact on industry
* Visit https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/supply-chain. Understand the benefits that blockchain can provide to supply chain industry.
* Multi-Party disputes might disappear. But only if smart contracts are properly written - and all parties faithfully record correct information onto their chain.
* Labour disputes might disappear because timesheets are on a DLT. But that assumes the employer signs them off.
* Read the report by DHL here https://www.dhl.com/content/dam/dhl/global/core/documents/pdf/glo-core-blockchain-trend-report.pdf. Understand how global movement of freight can be streamlined using blockchain.
* Very wishy-washy. Signing transactions is useful to prevent post-fact manipulation.
* Can it tell you if supplies have been ethically sourced? No - only that they claim to have been.
* Will only work if every one of tens of thousands of organisations all agree to simultaneously use the same chain.
* Smart Contracts could allow for automatic payment but - again - that could happen now. Poor processes don't go away just because they're online.