I quoted the opening line of the article. I think the author clearly includes Bitcoin millionaires, and NFTs, as "currency speculation."
Inventory and logistics tracking is, as you say, not widely used enough to count. It certainly doesn't seem like it's been seriously adopted outside of pilot programs, or financial transaction/speculation.
Blockchain is older than Kubernetes. Tonnes of large corporations successfully use kubernetes in production; basically no-one uses blockchain outside of smaller programs.
I have seen it used successfully in some cases (indigenous elections), but you have to admit it still seems like a nascent industry trying to get it's footing outside of the fields the author specified.
7 banks and 4 telecom companies are nodes on the network. They provide the identity details of a person.
Very interesting use case. Take a look
You have an identity entity off-chain (say a government body) that you get some kind of cryptographically signed piece of information that doesn't relay any of your personal information on-chain but allows entities on-chain to know that you are in good standing with the off-chain identity service? Couldn't it even be a one-time use type of thing?
Why use blockchain? Why not just have the entity provide a database? Note that the standing may change over time.
> Couldn't it even be a one-time use type of thing?
I'm not sure what this means. Why use an immutable database for one use?
The, "Why not use X?" argument seems to be repeated often here.
This is a really silly argument if you are using it to discount blockchain.
When email was added to phones some people said it was silly - their argument was why would anyone want to type emails on their phones when they have laptops already?
No one is saying that blockchain is the only possible way to achieve something.
If you think crypto currency was created to buy hamburgers, or make your energy bill more efficient to pay, as the saying goes " you can't see the forest for the trees". When was the last time you used bond certificate to pay for dinner?
The fact that people are making money and lots of it in crypto using traditional financial instruments is all the proof you need to know that it has a use case.
It's happening therefore it must work? That's a dangerous attitude, especially in financial markets. People have done that with tulips and lots of other things; those really weren't use cases in a meaningful sense.
Payments and transactions are not the value, fintech automation with Defi is where the money is.
Yes exactly, use cases are not important. This is how wall street works, giving the same features to citizens instead of large financial firms is an important distinction, and the reason why, unlike tulips, it will not fade away.
I never said that.
Emotions, morals, and use cases have no place when you look logically at what blockchain is, at it's very heart it's pure math. People certainly make money using math, but that not the point.
No matter how much people try to add their own bullshit on top of blockchain, it's human nature to measure value and use economic agents. Both math and blockchain have to same primary function, ascertaining truth, which is the most important factor in economics.
I know it's trite on HN, but: isn't this literally just version control? Particular integrity choices aside, Git has all of the properties you state above.
Is it distributed, or are you hosting the whole instance yourself?
Does it use any other academic component of the bitcoin suite besides linked logs? https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=3136559 I ask because a hashed merkle tree probably isnt what comes to everyone's mind when they hear blockchain, even if it is the literal definition. The author of the article is using it to be a distributed ledger between untrusted parties. If your product isnt that, its sort of an apples to oranges comparison to say you have a use case for something different than what he is dismissing.
The entire tech is open source and can be used on-premise, in the cloud, or in any kind of hybrid. Today, we are offering Nebula which is an integrated engine and viewer with no outside dependencies, but everything is there for anyone to deploy it on a server and separate the parts. It's designed for that.
Coming very shortly are MSL Notebook and MSL.js which are UI components and a Typescript library for working with MSL and adding it to your own apps, wherever they live. We also have a "headless" MSL engine that lives in the cloud which will soon be public so you can play with it through MSL Notebook or use it to test and develop your own apps.
We are not using Bitcoin or any component of it. Our idea is based on the old skool meaning of "blockchain" in that it is a chain of records whose order can be proved by hashing. That is the only component of the blockchain concept that applies here. We use it to hash individual edits within a document, as opposed to hashing entire documents.
In a simple scenario, every edit you make to a document is recorded individually and hashed with the hash of the previous edit. This forms the chain. The chain itself can be stored anywhere. It's useless if you don't have the document. But if you do have the document or any fragment, you can instantly tell what version you have and if it has any differences from the original -- without seeing the original.
What is the use case for this system? How will this actually benefit me? What problem is this solving?
The TL;DR is documents are wrong and often out of date. People rely on incorrect information and that screws up the work and the workflow. We are fixing this with a language designed to track and correct text as facts change.
Here's our new pitch deck with the 10,000 ft overview: http://invest.mimix.io
You've just described a degenerate Merkle tree.
> The chain itself can be stored anywhere.
Then it's not a blockchain. A blockchain involves combining a Merkle tree with a distributed, trustless consensus algorithm.
Otherwise Git would be described as a blockchain and I don't think anyone refers to it that way. At least, not with a straight face.
In this scenario, however, we're going for the Wikipedia or original meaning of blockchain:
"A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked together using cryptography."
The only use we have for this technology is the growing list of records linked by cryptographic hashes. We are not interested in consensus algorithms and they don't form part of our system.
The blockchain aspect of our product isn't any pixie dust. It isn't even necessary. Think of it like power windows. We don't sell the car because it has power windows.
Many users of our software (the powerful, pixie dust part being our MSL language) won't give a whit about blockchain and we don't sell or emphasize it on our website.
So I see where you're coming from, but in this case, we're coming from a little bit different place.
If you read past the summary to the actual meat of the article you'll find that:
> A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger consisting of records called blocks that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved block cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.
You've just admitted your solution is neither decentralized nor distributed. By no common definition does it meet the description of a "blockchain" and I genuinely wonder why you persist in using the term, as it's at best misleading.
It sure appears to be in service of pure marketing. Which, hey, marketing is necessary! I get that.
But, in the context of this conversation, citing your project as proof that blockchains have practical applications when it doesn't appear to use a blockchain in any meaningful sense strikes me as pretty disingenuous.
Caveat emptor, for sure. Like I said, the proof is always in the product itself much more than in anything I say.
The Wikipedia article goes on to (incorrectly) attribute the blockchain to Nakamoto when the idea was well known in comp sci before Bitcoin showed up.
Our use is, indeed, both decentralized and distributed. I mentioned earlier that the record of hashes is often kept offsite and can be used by a non-trusted third party (who doesn't have access to the documents) to perform the kind of document verification I'm talking about.
Apparently, misquoting Twain is popular itself. I only mentioned it in humor so I hope this wasn't taken as a slam in any way. Twain is an ancestor of mine and was famous for pithiness.
What does this even mean? Are you Disrupting™ the Text Editing Industry? In what substantial way is it different - and better - than existing version control?
These are just a few of the aspects of the language and the tools we've built to implement it. If anyone is interested in this stuff, there's a ton at our website! http://nebula.mimix.io And I'm always open for questions and feedback.
I believe you're wrong, git commits are diffs, not snapshots.
(I don't necessarily agree with the article's messaging around "Haha you were only confused by git because you thought commits are diffs now that you know they're actually snapshots you have no more confusion", because, as the article itself admits, most of the commands like cherry-pick do work on dynamically-computed diffs anyway.)
Whether it's represeented as a diff internally seems completely irrelevant to me, even to understand the examples in the article. I would like to be able to "de-serialize" a real commit's data to see exactly what's stored, but this article doesn't seem to show how to do that... do you have a suggestion on how to do that?
It makes the virtual world actually a lot more like the physical world: no one person can alter the laws of physics, just as no one person can alter the laws of Bitcoin (or similar). This property makes me think that describing blockchain as a metaverse is actually pretty accurate.
It's intriguing to think that with fully homomorphic encryption, we can have distributed computation that's not only outside anyone's control, but outside anyone's understanding! You can literally imagine an A.I. agent that no one controls - and no one understands.
In the idealized little crypto world no one person has control, sure, but we have one country with the majority of the raw compute power on the earth and a government that has no problem seizing control over that compute power when it suits them.
One of the many reasons I am bearish on crypto and have been since 2014.
That’s pretty resilient if you ask me.
Would love to see how BTC's price holds up to a state sponsored hijacking of the network using raw compute power.
Clearly this shows there is real potential for networks outside anyone's control...
This is one of the things that concerns me most about Bitcoin, or as the headline addresses: blockchain.
The fact that people misunderstand its technology.
Blockchain is inequivalent to physics. It is a mathematical model, and so, unlike physics, we understand its machinations precisely.
So precisely in fact, we wrote them!
And we wrote them utilising other mathematical models that are only effective in the goals of blockchains contingent on the fact that they are, similar to our current ability regarding physics, outside our ability to fabricate.
But where the fabrication of laws of physics would require the development of both the mathematics and devices which render the mathematics physically, the fabrication of blockchain would only require the mathematics as it itself is a mathematical model.
A proof of an algorithm that can freely manipulate a blockchain will render it useless.
You will likely hear from those who support using unproved mathematics in these types of systems that these conjectures have elluded proof for so long it is time to disregard rigor for a more meta analysis of the probability that a proof is likely in order to promote the technology.
But the possibility is always present that mathematically there will be a way that 'one person can alter the laws of Bitcoin' until proven otherwise.
I think we're into hyperbole if we're comparing it with physics. It's literally true that "no one person can alter the laws of physics", but it's not the truth.
The funny thing about most them is that they are always, always written by someone "talking their book." In other words, the old guard defending their turf from a new way of doing things. This 2017 article is written by a person who runs a financial services company for elders. A FinServices company, by the way, which is aimed at a market which will never uses crypto or the blockchain. So his opinion is worthless and pointless.
The rest of us, those of us whom the banking and finance industries have left behind and ignored, now have the ability to create currency, terms and trade amongst ourselves or anyone who agrees to our terms without being summarily denied, lied to or cheated.
Native Americans now have the opportunity to build on their own land by setting up a separate SOR from the one the Government forces them to use and they can document ownership to the farthest point and have it all be maintained digitally. Instead of the old oil and gas software they modified to use to split royalty payments, they can now do it all digitally and those records can be held wherever they want them to be.
I could cite new possibilities all day long....but if Bank Of America has enough sense to commission a report about the changes crypto is making in emerging markets, I should not have to...
Crypto is NOT for everyone, but neither are credit cards. For some of us the ability to be our own bank and insurance etc is far better than constantly being ignored/denied/fleeced or whatever else wall street and the tech world comes up with next. The simple fact is this: if you don't see the potential, then don't participate. Leave it for those of us who do. Your "but what about" systems whatever they are didn't work for us....but these might if they can be left alone long enough for us to build what we need from the parts we were given.
My main worry is that all of you "but-in skis" will cause the powers that be to pay attention to your ridiculous whining and regulate far too heavily and ruin our first real chance to be apart of the global financial system on terms that don't penalize us heavily. As all the others do.
This is the only reasonable use of the tech I have seen.
Also, a (2017) wouldn't go amiss. This article is about three and a half years old, and for a concept that's supposedly so bereft of use cases, it's managed to be pretty enduring.
I think the subtext that is implied with the no use case statement is really: "that couldn't be done with an existing technology (such as a database)".
Do please spare me the whole "it's boiling the oceans" and "only hackers and druggies are using it" spiel though as they're both  untrue .
Here is a quick MIT Tech Review article on it from 2019: https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/07/11/693/this-blockch...
For example it is completely tied to etherium. Bet $10 that their backend just maintains the rarities but doesn't assign a real blockchain value to ensure security and ownership.
The protocol will enable confidential and complex collaboration between enterprises without moving any sensitive data from traditional systems of record.“
Note: It is a protocol - not a company or commercial software.
You can watch a number of videos of the protocol in action - maintaining state across enterprises of say an SAP installation and Google Sheets.
So, I didn't bother clicking the click-bait link to read the article.
Bitcoin's rapid price rise has allowed many people to make money.
This has created a number of evangelists with almost feverish pitch of excitement with claims that Bitcoin and Blockchain will change the world.
With this, it has also created a backlash of people who are against Bitcoin and Blockchain and refuse to believe there is any value whatsoever.
I've seen people on HN embrace all sorts of technology - a lots with very little utility or use cases or actual real-world users. Yet with Bitcoin/Blockchain they argue there is no value whatsoever.
The truth is that if Blockchain didn't come with Bitcoin or the potential to make money (or if Bitcoin was more stable around $1) there wouldn't be this backlash.
People in tech can become cynical easily and a bit mistrustful of new technology claims. This can be a good thing. But this knee jerk reaction to Blockchain and Bitcoin is highly disappointing to see on HN.
where you use those keys to identify yourself remains a private matter between you and the entity you authenticate yourself to.
1) the sso provider has full visibility into where you use their service.
2) sso provider operations are opaque.
3) other internet services don't trust them. (i can't sign into my bank with Google yet)
maybe we need an iana for authentication, but a decentralized database may be an easier sell.
or maybe with more time more adoption will take place of the big sso providers.
it still seems to be a problem to me and i favor an open solution over more reliance on large internet companies.
But none of that requires distributing the block chain.
For example: a bank uses a public ledger to store all transactions. If a mistake is made, they can correct it, but not by removing/changing the past transaction, only by adding another transaction to the chain which corrects it. Everything is transparent to observers, but obviously I can’t mutate my own account balance without transfering money to my account.
The major drawback of these write-only ledgers is the same as in git: if you accidentally write a secret to the chain, it’s there forever.
You can use as a ledger to track transactions and make your transaction trackable. Do we though, do we apply this to digital exchange of actual currencies... nope.
distributed blockchain = database in cloud
did databases in cloud "change the world"?
did they change EVERYTHING?
depends who you ask! :D
A very expensive database in the cloud
Who wants to help me build it?
"Blockchain", on the other hand, just means whatever anybody who wants to ride on hype wants it to mean. For example, some simply take it to mean a series of blocks where each block references its parent block by its hash. To others, that definition makes no sense because that concept existed long before Bitcoin (eg. git).
Git is only one of those three, well two if you count the byzantines.
Most of you were too young or not born yet
Google cipher punks and you may get a glimse