We are pleased to announce the release of our new field guide, “Beyond the Buzzword: Navigating the Blockchain Hype,” where we attempt to address the hype cycle of blockchain adoption and how blockchain technology is starting to be integrated into existing systems and business processes.
With all the hype around blockchain, it can be hard to nail down the facts, and the prevailing myths surrounding the technology create misconceptions about its advantages and limitations.
Blockchain first caught the public’s eye in 2008 where it began its journey through the hype cycle, helped by the swell of popularity for Bitcoin. While Bitcoin was only the first application of blockchain, Bitcoin heavily influenced the technology’s rapid ascent to the peak of inflated expectations (see graphic below). There was suddenly a great deal of pressure to use blockchain for the sake of using blockchain for fear of being left behind.
We are now at the stage of the technology hype cycle where we are headed through the trough of disillusionment. Unstructured experimentation of blockchain solutions results in a lack of return on investment, causing the enthusiasm for the technology’s capabilities to stall.
Though a clear recipe for success has not yet emerged, blockchain is the first technology that enables an internet of trust: trust in shared information, trust in identity, trust in digital ownership.
This field guide drives readers to better understand the implications and underlying components of blockchain technology whose limitations and potential are still being determined. We explore how real-world applications can help to inform a company’s strategic approach to blockchain integration.
Given the technology’s nascency, these granular assessments at the use-case level are critical when companies must decide which opportunities to pursue. By looking through a lens of pragmatic skepticism, with as much information as possible, we can begin to identify specific pain points that require novel solutions to problems not currently being solved today with technology.
We hope readers will use this field guide as a tool to facilitate their investigations and research around blockchain feasibility. In it, we address the following:
- Reviewing blockchain’s rise, the speculator’s dilemma, and the promise and potential of the technology’s future
- Deconstructing blockchain as a viable technology
- Examining use cases in various industries to explore the problems best suited for blockchain
To learn more about what we mean when we talk about blockchains and how they can be used, get your copy of the field guide here.
Thanks to my 8th Light colleagues for lending their expertise to author, prepare, and review this piece: Gustin Prudner, Kyle Sparks, Rob Mulholand, Elizabeth Engelman, Kelly Rauwerdink, and Gina Valdez.