Blockchain: Hype or Hope?

connects cybersecurity knowledge 

NCSRA-III objectives:  1 , 2 
Time: 13:30 – 14:45
Room: Glow
Language: English
Chaired by Prof.dr. Bart Jacobs, Radboud University


De-hyping blockchain Egbert Jan Sol (TNO)

Crypto currencies as Bitcoin, Ether follow a hype curve, resembling a tulip mania, as their value explode (and shrink) on daily basis. The underlining blockchain technologies, or better phrased distributed ledger technologies,  are seen to follow this hype. Nevertheless, the basics for blockchain technologies and similar protocols as asymmetric encryption and fault tolerant systems technologies are already two decades old (or young) whereas bitcoin and ether are only 10-5 years old.

Despite the bitcoin hype, we start to understand the value of these technologies that will enable digital values transfer, similar to Internet technologies that enable digital information transfer. Internet brought us in 20 years email, www, personalized TV, whatsapp, etc. and changed society. Digital trust might ultimate society again with yet unknown applications.

The current insight is that we need to create reliable digital identities, not only for people, also for legal entities and ultimately to all kind of objects. This is a kind of paradox as bitcoin is seen as very anonymous, the reality is that for value transfer you need a very strict digital identity. Creating billions and billion unique digital identities with different levels of security is a infrastructural type of challenge, but once solved/realized the promises of blockchain/distributed ledger technologies to follow a similar evolution path as Internet can start. But is will take years, if not decades of challenging research and development. Blockchain is no hype, but a coming paradigm shift.