At last week’s Quarterly Event we learned how Blockchain is no longer a hype but quickly becoming a technology platform across many companies. I want to thank Peter Wokwicz for educating us on the topic Blockchain for Business. I would also like to thank Expedia Group for hosting our event. Not many, if anyone in the room was currently using blockchain, so Peter led us in a discussion on the many way’s companies are looking into and currently using blockchain.

What is Blockchain?  “A blockchain is a digital and distributed ledger of transactions or decentralized database that keeps continuously updated digital records in real-time across a network of computers. Every transaction must be cryptographically validated before being permanently added to the ledger. Blockchain technology doesn’t require a central authority to approve a transaction.” – David Schatsky, managing director at Deloitte

Peter, then, touched on the 4 key features on Blockchain; Consensus, an agreement to the same rules; Provenance, the history of asset is traceable; Immutability, once recorded on a ledger it can’t be changed; and Finality is one ledger for the whole network.  We then went on to learn about the 6 simple steps of a Blockchain.

  1. New transactions are broadcast to all nodes.
  2. Each node collects new data into a block.
  3. Each node works on finding a difficult proof-of-work for its block.
  4. When a node finds a proof-of-work, it broadcasts the block to all nodes.
  5. Nodes accept the block only if transactions in it are valid and not already spent.
  6. Nodes express their acceptance of the block by working on creating the next block in the chain, using the hash of the accepting block as the previous hash.

Within 3 years we will be using dozens of Blockchains every day without even realizing it.  You may have already used it while signing a contract or through a civic account. IBM, Microsoft, Deloitte, and SAP, to name a few, have multiple live and successful projects using blockchain. Unfortunately, the resource demand far outweighs the supply.  There’s still little success in the B2B space and it’s said to be slow.  But this is improving every month due to new protocols, internal enterprise implementations and growing knowledge on how Blockchain works and helps your current platform.  We are excited to see what the future holds for Blockchain for Business.

Thank you to those that attended the meeting and we hope to see you at the next Think IT meeting. Please be sure to take a look at the slide deck that was used during our discussion.