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Irving Wladawsky-Berger

About Me

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a Guest Columnist at WSJ CIO Journal, is Research Affiliate at MIT Sloan School of Management, Adjunct Professor at Imperial College, London, and Chairman Advisory Board at r4 Technologies.

Blockchain Marks the Next Step in the Internet’s Evolution

While the open, decentralized internet is alive and well in the InternetOne layer, the InternetTwo layer has become highly centralized, dominated by a few huge companies. Blockchain technologies have the potential to address these serious internet problems by enabling the exchange of the critical data required to validate identities in a secure, decentralized manner without the need for a central platform or other intermediaries. Over time, blockchain-based applications could be used to coordinate the self-organizing activities of large numbers of individuals and institutions in a secure and decentralized manner, as was the case with the internet’s early objectives.

Blockchain Beyond the Hype

Is there too much hype surrounding blockchain?  Absolutely,… but not surprising.  All potentially transformative technologies are oversold in their early stages.  Remember the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.  Blockchain is still in its early phases of experimentation and adoption.  Much work remains to be done on standards, platforms, interoperability, applications and governance.  But, does blockchain have the potential to become a truly transformative technology over time?  Yes, said McKinsey in a recent article on the strategic value of blockchain beyond the hype. 

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