back to article Big Tech leapt on the blockchain bandwagon but its applications are stuck in cryptocurrency

Huge expectations for blockchain have been created by large suppliers such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and SAP, institutions such as The World Economic Forum, some government officials and many market research companies. In March 2017, Gartner predicted a market of $176bn by 2025 and $3.1tn by 2030 – truly large numbers. More …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Descriptions for 16 of these 100 mention the word blockchain at least once, often in association with other technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things."

    Of course they do. And very like synergy, leveraging and a good deal more besides. Buzzwords aren't limited to naming technologies.

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  3. BlueTemplar

    Git ?

    Git is technically a blockchain. (Yes, I know, this is arguable.)

    But it means that it out-competes to insignificance a whole class of use-cases for "bitcoin-derived" blockchains.

  4. Richard 1

    Why do they call them cryptocurrencies when it's nigh on impossible to actually spend them on anything? What use is a currency that you can't spend in the real world? Shouldn't they be called cryptocommodity?

    1. c1ue

      Cryptocurrencies are the computer nerd equivalent of art.

      Every coin is a Mona Lisa.

      In this sense, store of value and energy cost to create are irrelevant.

      Describing cryptocurrencies as art also points to the propensity to store them as oppose to use them; in theory, you can use a Mona Lisa to buy food but it (extremely, extremely) rarely happens.

      1. PyLETS

        A bit like a penny black but cancerous

        A penny black is a stamp collectors wet dream. It's a human created information artefact created as a limited edition - no more will be made and every stamp collector wants one and many stamp collectors are willing to trade them for other items of value.

        Bitcoins have similar attributes, with one additional feature. They can be used for collecting digital ransom demands relatively anonymously compared to sending a penny black through the post. Demand for Bitcoins and the price of these can therefore be raised by infecting more computers with malware which encrypts valuable data stored on them, storing the keys offsite and forcing outsiders to the Bitcoin economy to choose between losing their data forever or buying into this malignant cancer.

  5. Borg.King

    Coffee chain

    I heard this morning that Starbucks are using Blockchain tech, in a joint venture with MSFT to track the coffee bean from the tree to your cup.

    1. missingegg

      Re: Coffee chain

      What exactly would be the benefit of a blockchain in such a system, compared to a traditional centralized tracking system? I'm guessing there's no real benefit, just substantial costs.

      1. Mike007

        Re: Coffee chain

        "just substantial costs"

        Which are classified in the outgoings column, which when combined with the cost of buying GPUs and the obvious electricity bills are all tax deductable.

        You clearly have no experience in counting coffee beans... or creating brochures for shareholders.

        1. BlueTemplar

          Re: Coffee chain

          Yeah, and they can use those GPU's to roast the beans !

      2. Kernel Silver badge

        Re: Coffee chain

        "What exactly would be the benefit of a blockchain in such a system, compared to a traditional centralized tracking system? I'm guessing there's no real benefit, just substantial costs."

        More importantly, if the bean is going to end up at Starbucks why would anyone worry about its adventures before it got there - what happens to it after they've got their greasy little paws on it is sufficiently horrific that anything that happened to it before then pales into insignificance - no, since you ask, I don't consume Starbucks' made up coffees, even with a double shot of triple distilled unicorn pee.

        1. James Anderson

          Re: Coffee chain

          Block chain is a solution to recording events in an environment where there is no trust between the parties.

          So if you have no trust in governments, central banks and your fellow (con)man the block chain is the way to go.

          However in most business situations you have some level of trust between the parties, or, at least some trust in the legal system to enforce contracts.

          In the Starbucks case I could have a coffee beans origin, transport and roasting recorded for all time in several copies of a cryptographically secure block chain. It would not prevent me from swapping a pedigree Jamaican blue mountain bean for a cheap robusta anywhere along the supply chain.

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