Blockchain In 2016

Nick Tomaino has started a new publication called The Control to provide “high brow” (my word not his) reporting on the Blockchain sector. If Coindesk is the TechCrunch of the blockchain sector, Nick wants The Control to be The Economist of the sector. Here is how Nick describes his ambitions for The Control.

The Control will be a largely free site so that the content can be consumed broadly on Reddit (very important for the blockchain sector), Twitter, and Facebook. But you can become a member of The Control. And you can even become a patron of The Control for $5/month. I wish that I could support The Control for 0.005BTC a month instead of $5/month. So does Nick. Maybe that will happen someday but using Medium as his publishing platform limits what Nick can do in that regard.

Anyway, all of this is context for my recommendation of Nick’s 2016 Blockchain In Review. I generally agree with all of it.

Here are the three big takeaways for the blockchain sector in 2016:

  1. Bitcoin is becoming like digital gold, or the reserve currency of the blockchain sector. We had a gold standard for a long time while confidence in fiat currency developed so this relationship makes sense to me. The conservatism of the Bitcoin core developers (good or bad depending on where your views lie) has caused much of the blockchain sector innovation to move to other Blockchains. But this conservatism builds confidence and that was rewarded by a return of the BTC/USD to the highs last seen three years ago.
  2. Ethereum had a tough year in 2016 but has emerged as the platform of choice for the development and deployment of blockchain tokens. If there is a second blockchain to bet on, I think it is Ethereum.
  3. There are some new blockchains emerging that appear interesting like Zcash and Steem. There are plenty of others that are vying to become interesting. Many/most of these blockchains are funding the development of the technology using tokens and crowdsales. This activity became quite common in 2016.

2017 is looking to be a quite interesting year for new blockchains, tokens, and blockchain based applications. I expect we will see a lot of all of that in 2017. I am most excited to see if proof of stake emerges as a viable alternative to proof of work in 2017. That would be huge for the sector.

Here are a few forward looking posts for Blockchain 2017:

From William Mougayar on Coindesk

From Andrew Keys of Consensys

I will write more about this in my twin posts at year end on looking back and looking forward. They are coming over the weekend.