back to article Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence

Though Blockchain has been touted as the answer to everything, a study of 43 solutions advanced in the international development sector has found exactly no evidence of success. Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge

    And as with the AI hype, tech journalists bear no responsibility whatsoever.

    Well not if they work for El Reg.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gold rush...

    History teaches them nothing - the only people who make money out of a gold rush are people selling shovels.

    1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

      Re: Gold rush...

      Lawyers make money too, never forget the lawyers.

      In this case they will be defending the entrepreneurs (snake oil salesmen) and the customers (the naïve)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gold rush...

      >History teaches them nothing - the only people who make money out of a gold rush are people selling shovels.

      11 million ounces were mined during the Gold Rush. A lot of people have got rich on crypto too - same with South Sea and Tulips - everyone focuses on the multitude who lose but forget that those losses do actually end up in someone's pocket.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Gold rush...

        In any "gold rush" an infinitesimal number of people become very rich, a small number of people become well off or rich, and the vast majority lose money. Most of those having come late to the party, whether it was after tulips or bitcoin had already doubled in value a couple dozen times, or after all the places with gold easily pannable from the stream had been claimed and picked clean.

        How do you know if you are "late to the party"? If you heard about it on the news, you are too late.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Gold rush...

          Years ago my mother-in-law became aware that gold prices were going through the roof. Her immediate response was to say that she wanted to buy some gold. I had to explain, very slowly and carefully to her that this was the time to not buy gold . She was meant to be the businesswoman. Probably explained why she didn't have a business any more.

      2. TCL

        Re: Gold rush...

        Love your comment ...History teaches them nothing - the only people who make money out of a gold rush are people selling shovels.

        magical. ...

    3. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Gold rush...

      My understanding is that the current pResident of the USofA grandfather came to make his money supplying the gold-diggers with stuff. (That's how Levi jeans got started, too.) Some of that stuff were allegedly people skilled in on-hand/whatever massages. The grandson (pResident) seems to like that personal approach, also.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: Gold rush...

        " pResident of the USofA grandfather came to make his money supplying the gold-diggers with stuff. " . Well, he didn't so much sell stuff as he sold sex slaves to loggers and gold miners for a few hours at a time. Then skipped town up to British Columbia once the authorities caught on to what he was doing, then when the Mounties caught on, he fled to Alaska, then got caught again and fled back to Germany where to dodge the draft, at which point he ran back to Queens, New York when the Gendarmes came for him.

    4. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Gold rush... John Sutter regrets.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttGmLC13p7s

      There again, if it hadn't have been Sutter it would have been someone else in due course.

      re Blockchain, at least the Aussies only spent $700,000 looking into it and pretty much ruling it ineffective for anything. Money which does end up in someone's pocket of course, but has pretty much come out of every taxpayers pocket.

  3. Persona

    Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

    ...... for separating fools from their money.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

      My technology is a block on the end of some chain. It's amazing for separating people from their cash. I call myself a blockchain consultant.

      After the block has hit you a few times, you soon let go of your wallet.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

        "My technology is a block on the end of some chain. It's amazing for separating people from their cash. I call myself a blockchain consultant.

        After the block has hit you a few times, you soon let go of your wallet."

        You *imagine* it's like that, but in the real world, you'll build a million dollar cluster....... :-)

        [ Obvious link: https://xkcd.com/538/ ]

        1. ElectricRook

          Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

          The meme a few years ago was ... "imagine a bewolf cluster of those."

          But I didn't know what a bewolf cluster was though.

          1. elDog Silver badge

            Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

            A "bewolf" is a Riding Hood disguised.

            A "beowolf" has several meanings - one of which deals with clusters of processing/data nodes.

            However, I like your image of bewolves lurking in the dark forests....

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

              You must mean this: beowulf-cluster.jpg :-)

            2. HandleAlreadyTaken

              Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

              >A "beowolf" has several meanings - one of which deals with clusters of processing/data nodes.

              You're thinking about a Beowulf cluster. A "beowolf" is a wolf designed by Bang & Olufsen. Very slim and stylish, but at a price above industry average.

              1. Insert sadsack pun here

                Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

                > A "beowolf" is a wolf designed by Bang & Olufsen. Very slim and stylish, but at a price above industry average.

                You're thinking about a beowolf cluster. A "Baiowolf" is a lupine fan of the early 1980s sitcom child star Scott Baio.

        2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Re: Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

          Ah, good old fashioned rubber-hose cryptanalysis.

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Chain, yes, distributed, no

    I quite like the idea of using a blockchain to sign steps in a transaction but the distributed stuff is just a solution looking for a problem. You just need a trusted third party that holds the ledger / provides the service, like a clearing centre but one that is banned from conducting transactions on its own behalf. Where this is being done correctly we're seeing more competition for things like handling of payments. But this is about as newsworthy as introducing a new hashing algorithm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chain, yes, distributed, no

      But that would cost money to implement/reduce profits. If you can distribute the compute on existing hardware and charge twice for doing half the work but plastering a buzzword on... then why not? ;)

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Chain, yes, distributed, no

        If you can distribute the compute on existing hardware and charge twice for doing half the work but plastering a buzzword on... then why not?

        I'm not sure you can due to the work of trying to wrap all the different transactions into a single chain. But maybe it's a cunning plan by the energy industry for more power plants?

        In any case, the idea that a distributed network of computers can guarantee the status of any one object – effectively truth – is a good example of the magical appeal of solutionism. As we're all, to a greater or lesser degree and in varying domains, open to such appeals, you can see that the market for bullshit is effectlvely endless and potentially very lucrative for those with sufficient self-control in front of the mark!

  5. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Joke

    Blockchain

    Will one day cure baldness, feed the hungry and bring about universal peace and harmony...

    ...or so a salesman told me.

    1. Andy Non

      Re: Blockchain

      I'll take 200, your cheque is in the post.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: Blockchain

        "Will one day cure baldness, feed the hungry and bring about universal peace and harmony...

        ...or so a salesman told me."

        "I'll take 200, your cheque is in the post."

        I am a Nigerian prince. Due to the state of civil unrest in my home nation country, I am having trouble getting my blockchain out of the country and in to a Swiss...... er.... blockchain storeage facility. I have been assured that for the small sum of £50,000 they can help me transfer it and release all the wealth within! If you lend me this monies, I will give you half of what I get from it!

    2. Pangasinan Philippines

      Re: Blockchain Snake Oil

      Will one day cure baldness, feed the hungry and bring about universal peace and harmony

      No!

      Those ailments are already covered by Alkaline water.

      https://www.journalreview.org/enagic/

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain

      At this point we have almost cured peace and harmony, and are on track to implement universal baldness and hunger

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Nano nano

    Brexchain ....

    'Nuff said ...

  7. Christian Berger Silver badge

    There's a non filler talk on that topic

    https://ptrace.fefe.de/hype/#0

    Unfortunately it's in German, but Google Translate does an OK job on the slides.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: There's a non filler talk on that topic

      Thanks for the link. Not sure what a non-filler is but the slides are nicely done.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: There's a non filler talk on that topic

        "Not sure what a non-filler is"

        Some sites have lots of articles without any useful content, those I call "filler articles". It seems like there are even whole conferences devoted to nothing but filler material designed to take up space and to make you look innovative even though it's extremely low on content.

        1. Pirate Dave
          Pirate

          Re: There's a non filler talk on that topic

          "It seems like there are even whole conferences devoted to nothing but filler material designed to take up space and to make you look innovative even though it's extremely low on content."

          So... "Management school" then.

        2. Caesarius

          Re: There's a non filler talk on that topic

          I remember the term "content-free" in these cases.

  8. Joseph Lord

    If you think a blockchain can solve your problem

    If you think a blockchain can solve your problem then you understand neither blockchains or your problem.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: If you think a blockchain can solve your problem

      What if your problem is that you need to find a way to separate fools from their money? Blockchains are very good at doing that.

  9. vtcodger Silver badge

    FWIW

    As of 1400Z this morning, the price of probably the best known (and most hyped) blockchain application -- Bitcoin -- was at $3984 -- down a bit from it's peak around $17900 in December of 2017. I'm told that there are those who think the market is seeking the stuff's true value which is very likely $0.

    One thing though. What are all the miscreants who have been devoting their energy to "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources going to switch their efforts to if the cryptocoin markets collapse? My guess would be something neither legal nor beneficial to society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FWIW

      "One thing though. What are all the miscreants who have been devoting their energy to "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources going to switch their efforts to if the cryptocoin markets collapse? My guess would be something neither legal nor beneficial to society."

      As opposed to.....?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: FWIW

        "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources

        They are already doing something that isn't legal or beneficial to society, so what's the difference? Most of them are using highly customized hardware that's only suitable for that purpose, so the fortunate answer is "nothing".

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: FWIW

          If they have access to large quantities of electricity and some big climate-controlled sheds, they could use them to grow cannabis. It is legal in some parts of the world, though probably not the places they are in at the moment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FWIW

      >Bitcoin -- was at $3984 -- down a bit from it's peak around $17900 in December of 2017.

      Possibly a good time to buy then :) - but definitely evidence that 100's of billions in fiat currency has been made by those who understand speculation.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: FWIW

        The latest spiel from bitcoin pushers is a claim that bitcoin has dropped 75% several times in the past, and that was always followed by a more than 10x jump in value. I don't know if that's true or not, but even if it is, it is pretty obvious that you can't depend on something like that to keep happening over and over again.

        1. Trixr Bronze badge

          Re: FWIW

          I don't know what graphs they're looking at, but honestly, you couldn't get a better representation of "downward trend" if you tried. (Check the "All" time period - peak was Dec 11 last year)

          https://www.worldcoinindex.com/coin/bitcoin

        2. Wiltshire

          Re: FWIW

          AKA "Dead Cat Bouncing on a bungee cord"?

    3. nagyeger
      Coat

      Re: FWIW

      I'm told that there are those who think the market is seeking the stuff's true value which is very likely $0.

      I'm looking forward to the time when owning bitcoin is taken as strong evidence of operating some kind of bot-net, selling something illegal or dining on the blood of polar bear cubs (or other global-warming victim), and thus the value in several sectors of society is negative.

      Then I can say 'told you so' as I get my coat.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: FWIW

      "What are all the miscreants who have been devoting their energy to "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources going to switch their efforts to"

      Selling used GPUs on eBay.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FWIW

      You do realize the price of bitcoin has bubbled and then lost 85-90% like 5 times already since bitcoin was introduced right? The vast majority of these "intelligent" (actually, not very) articles and comments are from people who heard about bitcoin within the past year when it was 20 grand, and now they are poo pooing and crying because it's lost 85% of the price since then. THIS IS THE 5TH (or 10th?) TIME THAT HAS HAPPENED. Buy the F dip.

      Sure it's easy to find 100 cryptocurrency "blockchain" get rich quick scams, and say it's entirely worthless and useless for everything, like this article has done, but that is not true. There are valid use cases for "blockchain" as all the idiot bandwagon is calling cryptocurrency these days, it just takes half a brain to figure out what they are. Most of these ideas are stupid and obvious scams, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great ones out there. Cryptocurrency isn't going away. If you believe all this negative news nonsense saying it's going to 0, you're just being played again like all the fools that believed it was going to go up forever and bought at 20 grand. Do the opposite of what you see in the news. Or, continue being a sheep.

    6. yourmom111

      Re: FWIW

      You do realize the price of bitcoin has bubbled and then lost 85-90% like 5 times already since bitcoin was introduced right? The vast majority of these "intelligent" (actually, not very) articles and comments are from people who heard about bitcoin within the past year when it was 20 grand, and now they are poo pooing and crying because it's lost 85% of the price since then. THIS IS THE 5TH (or 10th?) TIME THAT HAS HAPPENED. Buy the F dip.

      Sure it's easy to find 100 cryptocurrency "blockchain" get rich quick scams, and say it's entirely worthless and useless for everything, like this article has done, but that is not true. There are valid use cases for "blockchain" as all the idiot bandwagon is calling cryptocurrency these days, it just takes half a brain to figure out what they are. Most of these ideas are stupid and obvious scams, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great ones out there. Cryptocurrency isn't going away. If you believe all this negative news nonsense saying it's going to 0, you're just being played again like all the fools that believed it was going to go up forever and bought at 20 grand. Do the opposite of what you see in the news. Or, continue being a sheep.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: FWIW

        And there's a perfect example of one of the idiots who thinks because it has dropped and then jumped multiple times in the past it always will (or more likely he's mad at himself for holding onto it too long and needs greater fools to come along and bid the price up so he can dump his)

        There may be a use case for cryptocurrency, but there IS NOT FOR BITCOIN. Bitcoin is useless for transactions due to the high transaction cost, it is only useful for speculation (greater fool theory) and crime.

        Once its usefulness for crime is over, because cops start treating possession of bitcoin similar to possession of large amounts of cash as highly suspicious or simply because criminals move to a different cryptocurrency, then bitcoin's value will drop and keeping dropping until it reaches zero.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: FWIW

        "but that doesn't mean there aren't some great ones out there. Cryptocurrency isn't going away. If you believe all this negative news nonsense saying it's going to 0, you're just being played again like all the fools that believed it was going to go up forever and bought at 20 grand."

        Sure, there may well be use cases for blockchains, but does buying Bitcoin give you exposure to them?

        Anyone can write their own blockchain or fork an existing one, and many people have and the alternatives mostly address some of the problems that bitcoin has in terms of speed and scalability.

        Another thing. Isn't TfL's Oyster Card a cryptocurrency of sorts? It isn't stored on a blockchain obviously, but it has been very successful. If you had bought £5 of Oyster Credit in 2003, how much would it be worth now? The answer is, it would be worth £5. Buying a bitcoin is exactly the same as buying Oyster credit.

    7. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: FWIW

      "What are all the miscreants who have been devoting their energy to "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources going to switch their efforts to if the cryptocoin markets collapse?"

      Maybe NASA should restart the SETI@Home project.

  10. sorry, what?
    Devil

    Academic question

    Just wondering, how you define "technology consultancy and marketing" in a manner that is robust enough to fit a legal usage?

    And talking about "academic", if we had laws that ban folks from working after they have been shown to be peddling hype, that could really shake up the academic world. After all, in academia if you have an idea you want to research you need to "sell it" (probably with plenty of hype) in order to get funding. And that funding may result in no gain other than a negative result. Ergo an academic can no longer work in academia after their first failed research project.

    Now I think about it, perhaps that would be for the better.

  11. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Blockchain is perfect

    "Block" and "chain" both sound solid and reliable. Put them together and it sounds really solid and reliable.

    OK, so it might mean fuck all for all I know. But it sounds, ahem "Strong and stable".

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Blockchain is perfect

      Stable genius.

  12. trevorde

    Flawed study

    Because it did not projects also including artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality. Every entrepreneur knows you need those elements to guarantee success(*).

    (*) getting lots of investor money

  13. Fading Silver badge
    Terminator

    So no buyers...

    For my Artificial block, intelligence-chain that underpins the 52nd Industrial revolution running on WEB 3.1415926536?

    Comes as an entire chain (22 yards) of plastic blocks in the shape of a Möbius strip.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: So no buyers...

      For my Artificial block, intelligence-chain that underpins the 52nd Industrial revolution running on WEB 3.1415926536?

      I'd like a bit of that Pi

      1. bpfh Bronze badge

        Re: So no buyers...

        Raspberry flavoured ?

        I’ll get my coat...

  14. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    "the industry is itself opaque"

    Maybe, for more transparency and trust, they should develop blockchain technology (a meta-blockchain?) to add transparency and trust.

    Sorry couldn't resist. I'll get me coat, it's beer o'clock over here

  15. Compression Artifact

    Blockchain tutorials

    Can anyone provide a link to a tutorial that explains what blockchain is, that doesn't read like a parody of techno-gibberish or marketing hype?

    When I asked this question on another forum a few months ago, I only got one response. The article they referred me to was 95% nonsense. The other 5% was a vague admission that it may have scalability problems.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      "The article they referred me to was 95% nonsense."

      All non-techie articles about blockchain that I've ever seen have been 95% nonsense. The techie articles do better, at around 50% nonsense.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      Try searching for "Merkle Tree". That's what a blockchain is.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Blockchain tutorials

        Oh, so I've been doing blockchain for years. I guess I'd better get on that hype train sharpish!

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      The Wikipedia explanation is full of circular gobbledygook, but at least gives an impression of what it's all about, and links to some of the technologies that underpin it. Including that Merkle tree.Which I may read one day.

    4. Carpet Deal 'em
      Boffin

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      The basic of a block chain is this: you have a start block containing some information(usually of a fixed size); you then add a second block, which includes the hash of the first block's data. A third block gets added, again with the hash of the second block's data(which includes the hash of the first block), and so on and so forth. This means that the value of any block is dependent on the value of the entire chain before it, so it's theoretically impossible to pull a fast one without rewriting the entire chain.

      1. bpfh Bronze badge

        Re: Blockchain tutorials

        A linked tree. Sounds a bit like FAT. You can verify the integrity of the tree... but nothing is stopping you from dropping older segments. They will clearly be corrupt if a scan and calculation of the whole tree is made, but how often would that happen?

        Using the anology of the File Allocations Table, you would only find corruption when you accessed the data and found that pointers to the data were missing or invalid... or when you ran chkdsk, which was not a daily occurrence... now on a distributed file several gig long, I don’t see a sanity check of the entire chain happening on a regular basis either, or have I missed something?

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Blockchain tutorials

          It is more like ZFS than FAT.

    5. Rob Fisher

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      Just Google up the origin Bitcoin white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto. You'll find it is a complete description of the system, dry and hype and jargon free.

      It is easy to understand and once you do, it will be clear that the idea of "blockchain" separate from digital cash doesn't make all that much sense, because the database is only as distributed as people are motivated and able to run nodes.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      here you go

      https://anders.com/blockchain/

    7. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Blockchain tutorials

      No, or at least not in a way that would make you pay for it.

      As far as I can tell (and I could be wrong) it's a way of packaging data so that it can be verified as uncompromised while allowing you to add records to it, a distributed database relying on good encryption and cross checking multiple sources. I haven't been able to think of any use for it that can't be done more easily another way either.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Blockchain tutorials

        Just reading these comments - so maybe not very representative- the only ones that are positive about blockchain are the ones that say you can still make money ( i.e. speculate) with them. So a currency that only exists for speculation or money laundering. A bit like casino chips then.

  16. JohnFen Silver badge

    Of course

    That's expected, because blockchain tech is squarely in the "snake oil" stage right now. New tech often follows a defined path:

    1) Innovative solution to a narrow problem is invented

    2) People into that tech scout around for other uses

    3) Tech get proposed as a magic solution to everything (this is the "snake oil" phase)

    4) The shakeout happens, and the tech goes back to being used mostly for its original purpose.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: the tech goes back to being used mostly for its original purpose

      Which is : allowing criminals to reap the rewards of encrypting clueless user's data.

      Thanks, I think I'll pass.

    2. ducatis'r us

      Re: Of course

      Spot on. I’ve worked in IT since the Dark Ages, OK since1983, and the two leading drivers have always been snake oil and bullshit. The latest big thing is inflated way beyond its actual usefulness or it just doesn’t work. The other major theme is to put new clothes on an old concept and rename it. Still, as long as there is money to be made......

  17. Elephantpm

    Blockchain solves real problems

    Blockchain solves the problem of maintaining a central database when there is no trusted third party. See here,

    https://cryptoindex.guru/2018/05/20/1402-bitcoin-solves-the-double-spending-problem/

    This is ideal for use cases such as development aid. We want to give money to johnny foreigner but we don't want his corrupt government to steal it. Building blockchain applications is hard but give it a few years and they will be ubiquitous.

    1. Rob Fisher

      Re: Blockchain solves real problems

      It solves this problem if *anyone * can run a node and lots of people are motivated to do so. A lot of these so-called blockchains solutions miss this part and are just distributed databases with central control and a lot of bloat.

  18. streaky Silver badge

    No Shit..

    This is all.

    There is no evidence, the people selling it don't understand it and it's actually embarrassing that I work in tech when stuff like blockchain happens. It has uses, they are few and far between, most stuff people are trying to "solve" with blockchain can easily be solved with other existing and well tested and understood processes and technologies.

    1. MGL

      Re: No Shit..

      For there to be any point in a DLT/Blockchain solution you need an appropriate usecase. It is true that valid usecases are few and far between but they definitely do exist, and as more people understand what it is (and what it isn’t ) good for there will be more.

      The major sticking point however is in order for there to be any point in using the tech, you essentially need multiple parties who wish to transact with each other who do not currently have a trust relationship with eachother. Getting enough of those people in a room together to work together to solve a business problem to make the effort worthwhile is a bit of a challenge, but it will, and is happening.

      Finally, Can I interest you in my ico? I have a T-Shirt and everything.....

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        @MGL

        "you essentially need multiple parties who wish to transact with each other who do not currently have a trust relationship with eachother. Getting enough of those people in a room together to work together"

        |I need this spelled out, there is only a point to blockchain if people who don't trust each other (or an intermediary) want to do business AND to get them to use blockchain they need to work together to agree on that? Surely if they're in the same room working on the problem, whoever assembled them can act as trusted intermediary?

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. pcolamar

    This story reminds me about the "Cold Fusion" hipe of the '80s

    Let's archive the blockchain under the same door mat .

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: This story reminds me about the "Cold Fusion" hipe of the '80s

      I'm trying to work out whether your writing "hipe" instead of "hype" was a clever pun that has sadly eluded me completely, or just a spelling error?

      ...but to answer your implied question: The difference, of course, is that cold fusion would have been enormously useful had it been real, whereas blockchain is real, but isn't particularly useful.

  21. Lotarogg

    Wrong end of the blockchain

    The very nature of blockchain is decentralisation. So by definition there are not going to be companies making loads of money (apart from the icos to get them off the ground). Centralisation of profit is what Facebook et al enjoy at your expense. A company is a centralised entity so you are studying the wrong end of the stick as it were. You'd do better to ask end users of say the Brave browser or Dent mobile data exchange about their experience; has it made or saved them money? Of course there are a lot of frauds and fakes about and it might take ten years for the dust to settle and see what works best centralised and what works best decentralised.

  22. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Cunning plan

    Anyone selling blockchain should only be paid in cryptocurrencies

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know what's missing with the blockchain tech? its not used to deliver porn.

    if there was some way the tech could benefit the delivery of porn, then you'll see adoption rates rise.

  24. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Blockchain has only one true application, and that's enabling cryptocurrencies. And cryptocurrencies have only one application, and that's criminal money-collection and laundering. Unless you count 'being a hobby for millennials' as an application.

    The blockchain is a brilliant way to run a database where transactions take up megawatt-hours of energy, and the whole thing isn't centralised. The whole concept is tarnished by the twattishness that surrounds it - from the weird Japanese does-he-doesn't-he exist inventor, to the fact that mainly criminals seem to benefit from it.

    1. BJacob70

      Yes! I guess you know a little bit about bitcoin

  25. Dabooka Silver badge

    It's all Greek to me this

    But other than for digital currency I can't see it having much use in the real world or by now we'd see it out in the wild.

    This article just suggests it is indeed emperor's new clothing as I'm sure any successful applications would've be exploited by the marketing droids behind it.

  26. senan

    Ripple Uses Blockchain

    Dont be prejudice. A corporate blockchain co Ripple successfully implemented remittance solutions across international banks. if you close your eyes doesnt mean the whole world is dark.

  27. havarti

    For the non-believers of blockchain - explain why Bank of America were awarded 52 patents this year directly related to blockchain.

    Please explain why Amazon won a patent in April of this year that enables networks to detect Bitcoin users.

    Why did Visa apply for several patents a couple of months ago - one that speeds up transactions on the Bitcoin network.

    Mastercard also received several patents recently related to cryptocurrency/blockchain.

    Why are automakers beginning to test incorporating blockchain into all future vehicle productions?

    Vechain's blockchain is set to be implemented in all BMW autos by 2020 in which odometer readings and all maintenance performed will be recorded to the blockchain to ensure a true record of a vehicle's history.

    Explain why every bank in the world will soon be using XRP?

    Why is the parent company of the NYSE is opening a cryptocurrency exchange named Bakkt on January 24th, 2019 that caters to institution investors?

    Do some research fellas - blockchain is more revelutionary than the internet. It's impact will propel technology to heights unbeknown.

  28. Mr.Burg

    Please read the original blog to learn the truth

    My name is John Burg and as one of the three authors of the MERL Tech blog (link pasted at the bottom of this comment) about blockchain and learning agendas I am greatly dismayed that our message has been so drastically distorted. Our purpose was to share one of several approaches to mitigating knowledge gaps during the design phase of development efforts, specifically related to monitoring and evaluation, which was technology neutral. It just so happens that interest in blockchain among our peers pointed us to look at that particular technology. We did not debunk anything, nor was our goal to debunk anything. And, this blog is not affiliated to any organization, and was simply our experiences as we sought to learn more and share our learning in our personal time.

    I would encourage everyone to go read the entire blog for themselves, including the string of comments where I have attempted to set the record straight on the purpose and message of the blog.

    Thank you,

    John

    http://merltech.org/blockchain-for-international-development-using-a-learning-agenda-to-address-knowledge-gaps/

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