A sneak peak inside ‘What’s Hot in Blockchain & Crypto: Volume 2’

I’m delighted to have contributed to Ash Costello and Kate Baucherel’s exciting new book: What’s Hot In Blockchain & Crypto, available from the 30th March 2021 on Amazon Kindle.

It was great fun working with Kate on my chapter: Smoothing processes with blockchain. It was really interesting for me to revisit our early days in the blockchain space when it really was the digital version of the wild west! Here I’ve included some of my favourite points that we covered in my chapter. For the unabridged version, and access to the other great chapters, make sure to read the book!

So, without further ado, here are my favourite discussion points featured in my chapter:

  • The first few years were intense. We were largely focused on consulting and working across multiple sectors and industries. But speaking to people with vastly different areas of expertise – regulators, law firms, trade bodies, industry-leaders, and governments across dozens of countries – made me realise that regardless of your role, there are some fundamental frustrations that everyone is experiencing. Establishing identity and provenance when you have two versions working in tandem: the real world and the virtual world. This is as true if your business is capital markets or selling organic produce – we are still struggling to prevent fraud and inefficiencies when we have two versions of the truth to uphold: the physical and digital realities. 
  • Transitioning our thinking from a cryptocurrency-first approach to looking at blockchain like any other database technology was a big step. We wanted to serve a modular, intuitive infrastructure that could be tailored for use in any use-case or commercial problem. It’s encouraging to see this thinking permeating many of the global debates around blockchain’s technical architecture nowadays, but five or six years ago, this thinking was considered to be contrarian, if not blasphemous!
  • Unsurprisingly, I’ve mentioned how crucial regulation was in these first few years. Understanding the drivers and frustrations of the law-setters and -enforcers really helped us to establish our position in the market and to deliver better solutions. For more info on this, check out our Regulation and blockchain article!
  • I also discuss our work in the legal space, improving compliance processes for law firms. More on this soon!
  • Would a blockchain by any other name smell as sweet? Do you need to use the word blockchain when it comes weighted with such heavy connotations? This debate rages on in the non-cryptocurrency blockchain space. Our view – don’t let the branding get in the way of delivering a great product. The focus should be on the effectiveness of the solution, not the technical terminology.
  • And, finally, the interoperability issue – how entire sectors can be working from legacy ledgers that are cumbersome, siloed, and don’t enjoy talking to each other. This isn’t a problem which will be solved any time soon, but it’s definitely one that needs to be acknowledged and prioritised by industry leaders and regulators alike. The security risks are one thing, but the untapped savings and improved customer experience that could be unlocked are surely worth pursuing!

Finally, a quick thank you to Kate for her work in pulling this fantastic book together.

Do you have a view on any of these points? Get in touch!



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