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Beyond Bitcoin: Seize the Rise of Blockchain

Ricky Lau
February 1, 2018
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

I am a data scientist. I have been working with machine learning and AI for more than a decade. In recent years, enterprises have approached me looking for ways to monetize data. Big data and IoT are sneaking into everyone’s life. My experience in machine learning can be the bridge between the enterprises for boosting and transforming a traditional business to become a data driven company by adopting new technologies. Though there may be many business hurdles to overcome, they would not be a problem riding on the newest technologies. In fact, many of these businesses spoke to me regarding Blockchain. They all are excited about the potentials of Blockchain.

I am aware that there is some skepticism about Blockchain and doubt that it is a mature enough technology for enterprises to consider. I like to use this analogy for predicting the future of Blockchain in broad use. Imagine you have a use case of predicting when autumn will come. You don’t need a model to tell you which months of the year are autumn; however, machine learning is able to tell you when autumn is coming by identifying early symptoms. In Chinese idioms “一葉知秋”. This is also a primitive intelligence. It means as far as we see a leaf shedding, we know autumn is coming. In this case, the shedding leaf is the early signal of autumn as well as the early adopters of Blockchain for Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrencies are the early symptoms of a much larger adoption that is coming.

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I won’t recommend that every enterprise initiates their own blockchain application project. My sincere advice is to educate yourself and then consider whether the cutting edge of blockchain technology is fit for your use case. You may consider starting with centralized network, and use blockchain as a database.

There are several special features that come with the adoption of blockchain to store transactional data. Indeed, what makes blockchain unique as compared to more traditional database solutions includes:

  1. Audibility- the balance of the account is proven always correct
  2. Integrity - the balance cannot be changed unnoticeably
  3. Robustness - the state of the ledger cannot be deleted
  4. Non-repudiation - all transactions are proven

As you may have already concluded from these features, a key attraction to blockchain is about security. These features are completely native, as opposed to a traditional RDBMS. You can create a centralized application that implements a security layer on a traditional RDBMS. But this implies you are reinventing a blockchain security mechanism on RDBMS, and you may or may not get it right and really have the level of security you need.

On the contrary why not use blockchain directly? You may start with developing a private blockchain application within your company and later extend it to trusted partners. Once you have worked out all the features and are comfortable with the technology, you can deploy the blockchain as a Decentralized Application (DAPP) that is ready to deploy to the public. This is how blockchain adoption will expand and change the world.

As it might be seen that the price of Bitcoin jaw-droppingly soars, its value has risen more than 20-fold last year. The speed for some to become a millionaire or even billionaire may be faster than if you held any other asset in human history. Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. You may, like me, have missed the early investment opportunity with Bitcoin. However, you can still seize the rise of blockchain technology. I don’t need a complex model to predict this next technology wave.

You might say “winter is coming” and it is time to prepare.

Invest yourself in this revolution of technology at the early stages. The hype is real and a rising trend in the next decade. The future is absolutely at your fingertips.

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