(Why) You don’t need to understand Blockchain – Papa Bitcoin (BTC)

(Why) You don’t need to understand Blockchain – Papa Bitcoin (BTC)

Everybody wants to understand how Blockchain technology works. If you aren’t a programmer you should ask a different question.

When talking about the state of blockchain adoption many experts, including myself, often use the comparison with the internet. Phrases like “the current state of blockchain is like the one of the internet in the late 90s” or “we could only send mails with the internet and see what we can do now, it will be same with blockchain in 10 years”. There is nothing wrong about this comparison since there are in fact many similarities between blockchain and the internet in the early days such as lack of standards, the development of new business ecosystem and bubbles (dot-com bubble vs crypto bubble).

However, there is a major difference between the internet and blockchain. Today billions of people use the internet multiple times a day. It has undoubtedly changed our lives and how we interact, created new industry sectors and revenue models. Nevertheless, if you would ask an average person to explain how the internet works the probability is around 99.999% that the person is not able to explain the basic concepts. Just ask yourself do you know how the internet works? You are using it to read this text and without it, your smartphone that you probably use too much would be half as useful. Still there is no need for you and everybody else to understand the technology.

This is the big difference to blockchain technology. In the context of blockchain, everybody (including my grandmother) wants to understand how it works but not many people are using it (at the moment).Which is ironically the opposite of the internet which everybody uses but nearly nobody understands.

Why is there this requirement to understand blockchain before wanting to use it but not with the internet?

I recently visited several blockchain summits in Switzerland where I asked this question every time. The most common answer is that it is due to the first application of blockchain namely cryptocurrencies. While the first application of the internet was email it was digital money with blockchain. The difference in the first use case explains why so many people want to understand blockchain because it is about money.

For people like me who are more interested in blockchain technology and less about crypto this is very annoying. When it is about money, people are way more curious how it works before they are using it. Which is logic and the right thing to do but from the perspective of implementing blockchain into our daily lives it is a setback in my opinion.

At the end, blockchain should be something in the back end, which the user should not see when he uses a product or services that runs on a blockchain. He should not care how it works only that it works similar to the internet. So the question you should ask yourself is not how does blockchain work rather what can I improve/create with a blockchain?

Of course, these two questions are linked to each other but in my experience people get to confused and technical by trying to understand blockchain and loose the big picture what you can do with it. So if you are a business trying to implement blockchain primarily look what the use cases are, the benefits to your business model and secondly how it exactly works on a technical side.

Published at Sun, 12 Jan 2020 22:44:10 +0000


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