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Where is Blockchain Really Used? Nowhere! Study Shows 0% Success Rate

Summary:
Other than cryptocurrencies, where is blockchain used? A study cannot find anyplace, only tests, proof of concept, etc. Though Blockchain has been touted as the answer to everything, a study of 43 solutions advanced in the international development sector has found exactly no evidence of success. Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at instances of the distributed crypto ledger being used in a wide range of situations by NGOs, contractors and agencies. But they drew a complete blank. "We found a proliferation of press releases, white papers, and persuasively written articles," Burg et al wrote on Thursday. "However, we found no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was

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Other than cryptocurrencies, where is blockchain used? A study cannot find anyplace, only tests, proof of concept, etc.

Though Blockchain has been touted as the answer to everything, a study of 43 solutions advanced in the international development sector has found exactly no evidence of success.

Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at instances of the distributed crypto ledger being used in a wide range of situations by NGOs, contractors and agencies. But they drew a complete blank.

"We found a proliferation of press releases, white papers, and persuasively written articles," Burg et al wrote on Thursday. "However, we found no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was purported to have achieved in these claims. We also did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as are available for other technologies in development."

Blockchain vendors were keen to puff the merits of the technology, but when the three asked for proof of success in the field, it all went very quiet.

"We fared no better when we reached out directly to several blockchain firms, via email, phone, and in person. Not one was willing to share data on program results, MERL [monitoring, evaluation, research and learning] processes, or adaptive management for potential scale-up. Despite all the hype about how blockchain will bring unheralded transparency to processes and operations in low-trust environments, the industry is itself opaque."

Quick Check

The search turns up pages and pages of links but not a one of them had an answer. A few click-bait articles had promise but were all hype and no reality.

  1. Motley Fool: 20 Real-World Uses for Blockchain Technology The article gave real world potential uses, many of them I agree with. However, there is nothing used in the real world today other than crypto-related.
  2. CoinIndex: What is Blockchain Technology and Where is it Used Right Now? The article announced "Blockchain technology is silently revolutionizing the world." It was all hype, no reality.
  3. ComputerWorldUK: Real-world uses of the blockchain today, from supply chain to equity Once again, the article hyped up things companies are working on. They were all pilots, proof-of-concept tests, or theories. The article is nearly impossible to read. It seems to have some sort of automated scrolling that keeps a video pinned at the top. Eventually, I gave up. The idea was to slowly feed you one idea at a time while you had to suffer through many ad displays waiting for the next failed use that isn't quite there yet. One item seemed close, an airline rewards program. Then again, blockchain is hardly a requirement for a rewards program. Even if that use does get off the ground, I see little added benefit.

My simple test agrees with the study. At the moment, blockchain is all hype and no reality.

That said, I do believe blockchain has a future. It seems perfect for low-volume, high-value transactions such as mortgages, deeds, loan agreements, etc.

The future value is in blockchain, not cryptos.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Mike Shedlock
Mike Shedlock (Mish) is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management (http://www.sitkapacific.com/). Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

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