Thinking about the blockchain

As a retired technical person, I find it unsettling when I feel ignorant about an emerging new technology.

The first time I heard about the blockchain, I was watching the documentary Banking on Bitcoin. And then “blockchain” starting popping up in articles about new IT career paths and directions.

Ever since, I’ve been curious about it.

Perhaps “concerned” describes it better. Bitcoin is practically mainstream in North America—as an investment. Thinking about the people who are throwing their hard-earned dollars into an investment which has no oversight whatsoever by any governing body in the world. Do they understand what makes it reliable? Do they care?

And now blockchain technology is up for wider exploitation. It’s expected to play an even larger role in the world’s engine of commerce and economics.

It’s time to step up and get familiar with this new thing.

That’s why I was grateful to find this article by Erik P.M. Vermeulen. In it, he describes his experience working with lawyers in a supply chain application. Discovering the usefulness of blockchain technology in a situation that’s not about money goes a long way to making it clearer.

You can read it in just seven minutes. It’s enlightening.