In general when someone compares Git to a blockchain they are missing the while point. Merkle trees have been around and understood for a long time. The think that what makes Bitcoin technologically interesting is that it provides a proven solution for byzantine distributed consensus (within some parameters and very inefficiently).
Now this is also why it is a hype. We have seen very few actual use cases for byzantine distributed consensus and very likely banks don’t need it. They achieve concenses in simpler ways and have their own root of trust.
That being said I think Bitcoin was a technological breakthrough and I hope that people do keep experimenting with this type of technology (particularly reducing the costs). I see it as a very early prototype that needs way more research to be market-ready. In the meantime I would appreciate if the hype died down a lot and people stopped signing up for scams and ponzi schemes which would hopefully drop the resource consumption to a much lower level.
Well it’s been 10 years and nobody uses bitcoin as a currency…
If anything, people’s behaviour in response to the technology is way more interesting than the technology itself.
El Salvador does?
I keep seeing people propose to use blockchain for things that can be easily solvable with plain old boring cryptography. Sometimes it’s intentionally insincere to pump whatever coin they’ve bought, but I think it’s often due to mixing up what blockchain projects use as their components with what they actually provide.
Immutability, identity/pseudonymity/anonymity, zero-knowledge proofs, proofs of authorization or ownership, controlled sharing of secrets, verifiable voting among pre-defined participants, etc. They’re all applications of typical cryptography. There are tons of clever things that can be done in a decentralized, strongly verifiable way, which don’t depend on double-spend protection.
Surprised that QLDB (https://aws.amazon.com/qldb/) wasn’t mentioned. It’s a cryptographically-verifiable ledger (if that’s what you need) without any of the blockchain nonsense (which you certainly don’t need).
Being a commercial product instead of an open offering does somewhat break the mold of “stuff you can run yourself” in the post.
CCF is open source and is also the basis for some commercial products. It provides a verifiable ledger (‘blockchain’) and a key-value store with Byzantine fault tolerance consensus protocol.