Blockchain has come a long way since its 2008 debut as the ingenious technology underlying Bitcoin. Today companies and governments the world over are exploring new applications in which blockchains track, not the flow of digital currency, but things and events in the real world. But this tether to reality is enterprise blockchain’s Achilles heel.
To see why, let’s go back to where it all began. When bitcoin first appeared, a common reaction was: Why would anyone exchange their hard-earned dollars for that? The answer, it’s become clear, is that bitcoin is valuable, and that is a good reason to own some – or, better put, to hold some. How much bitcoin you and everyone else holds is recorded in the Bitcoin blockchain.
Martin Glazier is a philosopher at the University of Hamburg, where he focuses on metaphysics, science, logic and language.
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