Blockchain: It’s not About Technology, It Is About Use Cases

Today, the German Federal Government announced its Blockchain Strategy. What might sound as a great thing, falls short, for a number of reasons.

One is that it is late: after the first hype and somewhere in the phase of disillusion. This should have happened much earlier, specifically with the intent of getting or keeping a leading position. And, notably, more important would be to foster innovation by supporting start-ups with simplified regulations and administration for that type of businesses, and a far better ecosystem for venture and growth finance.

A second objection: It is too much about technology, and not enough about use cases. Blockchain technology for itself is not what we should look at. We need to understand the specific benefits, as outlined in our brand-new report “Demystifying the Blockchain”. These are e.g. the need for a distributed (in contrast to central) ledger, immutability, sequenced data, and time-stamped data. Only then, Blockchain technology can deliver benefits by enabling better business solutions. Thus, this should be a strategy for fostering use cases (with some being listed in the document), not a certain technology.

The document also falls short when it comes to Blockchain ID. It focuses only on authentication, does not reflect the current state of Blockchain ID, and ignores the immense potential for fostering data protection and control over individual data, commonly referred to as Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). And honestly: A German-only Blockchain ID stands in stark contrast to the concepts of Blockchain ID.

Talking about a state-powered Blockchain infrastructure appears strange to me. There are many variants of Blockchains and other Distributed Ledgers with different consensus mechanisms and other specifics. One Blockchain doesn’t serve all use cases.

Also, when reading through the appendix and all the actions the German Government intends to take, it is mainly about research, which should have happened some years ago. To summarize, it is good that the Federal Government is funding new technologies, but that is too late, not focused and too technology-oriented. However, the focus should be rather on promoting the economy (and if the blockchain technology helps, that's great), not on endorsing a particular set of technologies.“


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