While headlines on blockchain tech are often focused on the volatile price fluctuations in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, behind the scenes in the blockchain world, attention is turning to what networks like Ethereum can do for business and governments looking to streamline operations with the distributed ledgers, decentralized computing, and digital currencies that blockchain enables.
In this regard, the leading light in the still-nascent industry is Brooklyn-based ConsenSys. Founder Joe Lubin–also a Co-Founder of Ethereum–is the ringleader of a 500-strong formation of far-flung entrepreneurs and technologists building apps and solutions that take on big challenges like supply chain, governance, and banking. ConsenSys already counts on the Emirate of Dubai, Microsoft, and the World Wildlife Foundation as partners, and its Enterprise Ethereum Alliance represents a worldwide formation of enterprise giants like Intel, JP Morgan, and BBVA, who have all committed to applying solutions built on Ethereum.
Lubin appeared on The Business Debate recently, remarking that the appeal of blockchain for businesses all comes down to trust.
“Blockchain is the trust machine,” he stated. “The big vision is that it will be the decentralized world wide web.”
“Business are engaged in different kinds of transactions using money, identity, agreements, etc,” Lubin continued. “All these elements in their current form have clearing and settlement that drags out. There’s friction in the system. Blockchain and tokenization enable clearing and settlement to shrink to the instant of a transaction. When you can remove the delays in the system, you can create value more quickly.”
Lubin laid out an example of how trust on the blockchain is built via ConsenSys’ partnership with multinational resources giant BHP Billiton. For BHP,
“Blockchain is better than other systems because all the different actors can be certain that they’re seeing accurate data in realtime. BHP itself at the home office, the rig, the transportation company, the custodial company, and the government can all be on the same system, seeing things in real-time.”
Lubin sees mainstream adoption of blockchain technology developing similarly to the internet, spread over a decade and preceded by intranets for business, while solving many of the key flaws of the now-aged Internet protocol.
“The blockchain will be far more secure than the internet,” claimed Lubin.
“The internet was formed in a naive time, so it didn’t have the same safeguards built into it from the foundation. Adding money, adding credit cards, was an afterthought. For blockchain, it’s based on strong cryptography. Right from the foundation, every layer built upon that has strong cryptographic authentication for every transaction.”
ConsenSys incubates over 50 projects, including decentralized apps across a range of industries, from supply chain to health records, digital identity, and music distribution. ConsenSys Academy recently graduated its first 120 blockchain developers, and this past fall, ConsenSys formed The Brooklyn Project, an industry-wide legal and regulatory thinktank committed to fostering responsible and transparent token-powered economies.