Blockchain, Because 2018
Bemoaning gratuitous appropriation of blockchain isn’t anything new; this publication, and many others, have been bemoaning its brand-jacking for months. Since PR companies don’t seem to have taken the hint, it behoves us to name and shame some of the more egregious cases, in the hope that others take the hint. We’ll start with Our Music Festival. The event, scheduled for San Francisco on October 20, will be “the first-ever blockchain powered festival.” Its organizers have been “exploring the potential synergies between blockchain technology and the festival business.” Having done some cursory exploring ourselves, we failed to detect any. Sorry, OMF, but we’ll pass.
What else has reached the news.Bitcoin.com inbox lately from the world of blockchain? In “Half Of All Millennials Heart Coupons: How Blockchain Will Take Discounting To The Next Level” we learn that “Blockchain technology allows for the greatest degree of customization instead of that one-size fits all coupon on Groupon. The digital ledger allows companies to look at what a customer buys often and offer deeper discounts on those products. So basically, consumers get the discounts they actually want, not ones that just make them shrug their shoulders.”
Finally (or we’d be here all day), we have an email simply titled “Can Blockchain help farmer?” If “farmer” is planning to build a censorship-resistant distributed ledger to facilitate P2P payment of cryptocurrency, yes. Otherwise, we think not.
Replace ‘Blockchain’ with ‘Distributed Database’
A simple means of telling whether a product needs blockchain is to replace the word with ‘distributed database’. For example, “Hashed PKI certificates stored on a distributed database” works. “Distributed database-powered festival,” on the other hand, does not. If any good comes of the enduring bear market, it will hopefully be the loss of blockchain as a superfluous prefix for products. If it takes another 12 months of bleeding crypto markets to weed out the blockchain impostors, we’ll take it. We welcome news tips, especially stories of real-world cryptocurrency adoption. But please, no more superfluous blockchain. We just can’t take it.