Over the last couple of weeks I have been spending more time understanding blockchains and researching various alt-coins. I purchased a hardware wallet and transferred my existing investments into it.
In an effort to really grasp the concepts I implemented a simple block chain application. It is at it’s core a very simple idea. A blob of data with a hash calculated on it and then put that hash into the next block creating a chain which prevents tampering.
Adding to that simple idea is some distributed systems logic to do discovery and consensus. Bam, that’s the start of a verifiable block chain application.
Now that this idea is out there and is relatively easy to understand there are plenty of people trying to apply it to solve different problems. Applying blockchains to every industry is an interesting thought experiment and will surely find some winning applications.
Alternative blockchains have been exploding onto the scene. Most have some sort of wallet application which you can securely hold a balance of coins/tokens. Exchanges have popped up to help trade different currency pairs. Businesses have started to accept them as a form of payment.
There is a lesson I learned after missing out on investments in the Google IPO, Netflix and Amazon. When looking at these stocks I evaluated them on traditional metrics of revenue, and Earnings Per Share. In retrospect it was the wrong thing to look at for these high growth stocks. The better question to attempt to evaluate is “will this company be more relevant in 5-10 years?”
Blockchains are something that I think has shown some resiliance since bitcoin first was released nearly a decade ago. They are starting to be taken seriously by governments, investors and businesses. It seems to me that they are here to stay and that they will become more relevant in the coming years as they become easier to use, regulated and useful. It’s an investment that I hope to get into before it goes mainstream.