CityChain17 – Blockchains as coordination databases

CityChain17 was a recent event (co-sponsored by MBN Solutions and IBM) gathering in London to discuss Blockchains. It featured a few important talks by experts and qualified computer scientists. One of those experts was Gideon Greenspan. His talk was an interesting view on what blockchains are, but crucially, what are their advantages and disadvantages.

On the main advantages identified by Dr. Greenspan of note are: disintermediation and multiorganizational robustness. On the disadvantages he points to lack of confidentiality (a bit of surprise here…, zero-knowlege proofs within a permissioned chain to the rescue, I suppose) and low performance due to the need for implementation of costly consensus protocols. He said this after making a point about centralized databases still being much faster than blockchains.

The other important new advancements that Blockchains might bring are mainly about the economical, monetary and financial applications. The instant payments networks that this technology allows will definitely stay around, and most probably improve further. These were nicely sketched by Dr. Gideon Greenspan in this talk. For example the real-time reconciliation is a plus for the blockchain network compared with other solutions. The true nature of a peer-to-peer network isn’t matched by any other technology at the moment, even if the widespread information shared across the network calls for proper confidentiality standards according with Dr. Greespan.

Finally the data ledger characteristics of Blockchains are what truly gives it a real edge. Dr. Gideon Greenspan explains clearly how a time stamped, immutable and agreed upon what data is shared gives Blockchains a real valuable use case. We just need to think about our global supply chain of every kind of data-driven events of our age. In organizations with increased complexity and a need to achieve better coordination of operations.

featured image : Twitter Hashtag #CityChain17

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