03/28/18 - Blockchain West Coast Conference
Hi All,

Just returned from the "BlockChain West Summit and Trade Show" (https://blockchainwest.com/san-francisco-2018/) . Lot's of discussion from Military, Government, Initial Public Offerings, to an ATM that provided the ability to buy crypto-currency.

Lot's of Hype to be honest but it was nice to see IBM with a completely functional BlockChain product in production and being used by a Foreign Currency Trading Platform KlickEx. Most of the participants were "about to use" or "looking to implement" a blockchain of some kind.

HyperLedger (https://www.hyperledger.org/) looks to be the largest open source Enterprise based open source platform. Most of the conference participants fell into three groups: 1). pushing a new "app" that involved blockchain/cryptocurrency (most were a completely unrealistic). 2). Very Technical and Theory based discussions on the feasibility of "poc's" (proof of concepts) or 3). Curious to how the blockchain technology might impact their particular sector/industry.

I think crypto currencies gloss over why a stable central authority has existed with standard currencies in the past. I prefer not to call the US Dollar "Fiat" currency but this was the description of money held or backed by a national government. Probably most insightful was Bob Tapscott's observation that Bretton Woods (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system) while old, is a fundamental part of current day commerce and trading. Illicit activities seem to be why a lot of people use crypto currencies and this was also sort of ignored. Blockchain has now been around since 2009 so I would also argue with most of the speakers who tout the technology as "cutting edge" or in "first generation".

I think we will see a downhill slide for the vast majority of crypto currencies while only a few will remain. What is left will also not be largely adopted because most people either do not care or are not interested in the volatility and future unknowns surrounding said currency. Unless of course a person/group is looking to do something illicit or in secret.

Finally, I think the value is in small private blockchains that may have expiration. Some data does not need to be saved forever, this goes against the everything for ever mantra of the internet but Business is not always interested in "forever" ledgers.

-A