Why Most View a Blockchain Future Through the Rear View Mirror

Blind spots must be considered with blockchain.

When a new technology like blockchain comes around, it’s easy to overlook the impact it can have far beyond its intended use. Much of this is the result of our tendency to perceive the future too much through the lens of the past, a hallmark of skeuomorphic design.

For example, the first internal combustion engine was constructed as a colossal piece of machinery. The first application of the internal combustion engine was designed for a steam ship, because that was the most popular form of transportation at the time. It took decades before engineers decided to decentralize the technology and use internal combustion to enable personal transportation, creating the automobile.

Then, once again, it took 30 years after the invention of the automobile before the modern steering wheel was created. In the beginning, drivers held two leather straps, or reins, to steer the vehicle which they viewed as a motorized wagon. Andreas Antonopolous describes this phenomenon well in a fascinating talk about Bitcoin. Once again, the future was perceived through past constructs before the real value of the innovation was realized.

The same is true today with Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Sure, we all are excited about a “bitcoin” future in which we freely function as our own bank. Moreover, governments, financial institutions and companies all around the world are intrigued and experimenting with blockchain technology to largely replicate existing processes and systems.

At Atonomi, we envision a future where commerce will be performed substantially less by humans and increasingly more so by machines. Sure, humans will obviously still be involved, but instead of a future with more clever crypto payment apps, we believe a major underestimated blind spot is the machine. We foresee humans evolving to a governance role of their respective autonomous devices, with bots and machines doing all the economic legwork. For instance, your smart refrigerator will soon sense low inventory levels and automatically negotiate and purchase milk all based on autonomous smart contracts securely processed by the Atonomi Network.

The full value of blockchain is still playing itself out. We are still in early days. At Atonomi we are harvesting the power of blockchain as we work to solve the cybersecurity challenges of protecting the Internet of Things.

We are using blockchain technology to gain a number of benefits, including:

  • Immutable ledger. Blockchain provides an immutable ledger, which we are using to ensure trust through identity and reputation for billions of IoT devices. IoT devices register, activate, validate identity/reputation and conduct commerce transactions all based on a distributed ledger powered by the Atonomi token.

  • Decentralization. The decentralized architecture of blockchain—based on a peer-to-peer network where there is no issuing authority and no central point of control—provides natural protection from traditional single attack vectors against centralized data stores.

  • Incentivized ecosystem. Atonomi ecosystem participants that validate transactions and add entries to the blockchain can be rewarded with tokens further strengthening security on the Atonomi Network.

In summary, the impact of blockchain technology will reverberate for years to come. At Atonomi, we are harnessing the power of blockchain to bring much needed security to the mission critical realm of the Internet of Things.

Thanks for reading,

David