What do we need for the blockchain? Why is there such hype around the 40-year-old technology? What are the problems? Answers to these questions were given on this website through a number of articles on blockchain. Yes, blockchain has already exceeded the hype, but that does not mean that the technology is no longer attractive. We are now on the plateau of productivity and we have understood what the blockchain can and cannot do. Despite all the enthusiasm, we should never forget to just ask what we can do with technology, and always keep an eye on its benefits – what can technology do for us?
Blockchain is a team sport. We should warn ourselves against using blockchain only for the sake of technology, if we start a project that already implies blockchain as a technical solution, it will not scale. We should strongly question whether the problem to be addressed can only be solved with a blockchain or whether other approaches – such as confidential computing – are more productive. It should be considered that the blockchain in the enterprise area is a complementary technology that is added to existing IT system landscapes as a kind of trust layer. The blockchain does not replace any databases or other technologies, it has to be seen as complementary.
Confidential computing, according to IBM “is a cloud computing technology that isolates sensitive data in a protected CPU enclave during processing. The contents of the enclave – the data being processed, and the techniques used to process it – are accessible only to authorized programming code, and invisible and unknowable to anything or anyone else, including the cloud provider.”
But what is the blockchain used for and is the technology ready? The considerations of the banks prove that the blockchain has already outgrown its infancy and is already mature: they want to use the blockchain to implement digital central bank money – a solution that has a high-risk assessment and must scale. In the foreseeable future, this will only be possible with a digital proof of identity linked to vaccination confirmations or negative test results – realized through a combination of blockchain and biometrics.
Where is the blockchain journey going? The technology fan can well imagine that the blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies will develop into a kind of protocol – a trust protocol or an Internet of trust. In the best-case scenario, as users and citizens, we would not even notice the use of these technologies, but at the same time, we would regain sovereignty over our data because we would know who is doing what with it. The blockchain debate will get a boost with the topic of digital central bank money, the introduction of programmable money. And last but not least, as a possible convergence of the three areas of financial services (digital money), digital identity and supply chain.