In response to an overwhelming number of new products touting the label ‘blockchain,’ its quickly becoming a shibboleth for technology companies- who use it like an incantation promising that their new technology will be revolutionary. Accordingly, many companies are moving from ‘blockchain’ to ‘DLT,’ or distributed-ledger-technology. This follows an older shift in terminology from ‘crypto,’ to ‘blockchain,’ all of which follows an overabundance of players in a field which has yet to produce meaningfully lasting products
For anyone paying attention to developments in the tech sector of late, its hard not to notice an absolute proliferation of blockchain applications. With all the hype around blockchain, its evident that a lot of tech companies are trying to get on board a growing technology without necessarily having a good application, or even totally understanding what blockchain is.
Blockchain fatigue becomes a problem— Colonii (@jointhecolonii) November 6, 2018
in some ways, blockchain is suffering the same type of overhype that virtual reality is. It’s been portrayed as a true game changer. The problem is that so many people still aren’t seeing real world benefits.
In a critique on the exploding blockchain scene, Kai Stinchcombe notes that for most companies trying to deploy blockchain, the blockchain enthusiasm came first, and then the use case was discovered.
While there are laughable cryptocurrencies, which are knowngly frivilous like Banancoin, which tokenizes fruit, there also exist many companies who are trying to find a problem to solve with blockchain, rather than a technology which solves an already extant problem.
We're drifting between topics though:— Tom Eastman (@tveastman) November 3, 2018
- I'm partly interested in serious discussion, and partly trolling.
- I'm partly talking about the hyperbolic overhype of "blockchain", and partly the outright destructiveness of bitcoin.
I think we should stop. Or chat in person over beer.
Jamie Burke, speaking to the Guardian notes that this is a normal part of the way new technology gets adopted in the 21st century, saying ‘it’s never the first generation of a technology that delivers the blockbuster hit. It’s always the second, or the third. This is the reality of how technologies are adopted,’ bringing to mind the dot-com bubble to which blockchain is frequently compared. The fact of the matter is that the early internet offered a lot of promise, but it was not an automatic path towards a profitable product. In the same way, it seems plausible that blockchain overhype will lead to a lot of dead ends, but overall will indeed empower a new generation of technologies.