I claim that Blockchain is today where virtualization was around 15 years ago. From this IT topic, which was initially only understood by specialized computer scientists, a company was created with VMware, which is currently at $124 and is worth more than $50 billion. It may well be that by the end of the next decade, a similar blockchain giant will emerge, pushing down established players such as SAP and IBM in this area.
That’s why virtualization and blockchain are comparable
The concept of virtualization is one of the big topics that has shaped computer science in recent years. Among other things, it is about abstracting from underlying technical details in order to be able to flexibly use pooled resources such as processors, memory or applications as required. The multiple uses of virtualization and the blending with other hype topics such as containerization and Software-Defined-X make it difficult even for IT professionals to understand and understand everything.
15 years ago, technology was viewed with skepticism by many observers, as the new approach promised not only benefits, but additional complexity, the need for training, and new system vulnerabilities. Above all, however, VMware recognized the potential at an early stage and not limited to the development of isolated virtualization components, but put together a complete integrated package with comprehensive functionality.
At the same time, Californians invested heavily in marketing to raise awareness and train potential clients, thereby creating a rapidly growing user base. Still, many thought for a long time that VMware would not have the strength to fully assert itself. Finally, there was also the mighty Microsoft, which even then competing solutions had in store and of course had the larger pockets and a much stronger market position. But the specialist was able to hold its own against the Windows group and grew under the wings of EMC and later Dell cheerfully on.
In a situation similar to that of Microsoft in the area of virtualization, today SAP, IBM and Co. are on the subject of blockchain. Like Microsoft with Windows, Walldorf’s business software is present in most of the companies worldwide. If you now want to set the standard for the realization of blockchain-based solutions , then you obviously have a start advantage. Nevertheless, we can expect emerging specialists, who approach the topic in a new way with a comprehensive approach and overtake established players on the right.
But Blockchain is still at the beginning
Occasionally one can currently read comments that question the fundamental benefits of blockchain. Here, too, much is mixed. Blockchain is the same as cryptocurrency or distributed ledger . It is true that each type of blockchain typically has a clearing unit, and it is also true that blockchain is a particular implementation of a distributed database with sophisticated data integrity mechanisms.
But to say that the Blockchain was not such a good idea just because the Bitcoin price is in turmoil is simply nonsense. Bitcoin is a particularly bad example of a sustainable blockchain variant. There, in simplified terms, only account balances can be noted.
At Ethereum things are completely different, where complete algorithms can be stored forgery-proof, so that digital contracts (Smart Contracts) can be realized. On this basis, a large application universe has arisen around this blockchain variant. The State of the Dapps web service currently lists nearly a thousand decentralized Ethereum-based applications called’App. Although much of it is playful or experimental, there are also some interesting projects that show how in the future middlemen and key platforms can be taken out of the game.
However, I do not believe that Ethereum is already the last word in wisdom, especially since I think little of the accounting unit ether . It is likely that new rivals will soon come on the scene, the blockchain in the style of VMware understand even more comprehensively and make a persuading to attract even retiring entrepreneurs for it. But whether, for example, projects and platforms such as the current EOS , NEO or Cardano can live up to their ambitions remains to be seen.
It remains exciting
At the moment, it is hard to see if Blockchain can reach or even surpass the market impact of virtualization. The entire range of possible applications is huge, many questions are still open and the general understanding is low. However, I am sure that eventually Blockchain can be easily integrated into novel intelligent solutions, just as it is today much easier than many years ago to develop dynamic interactive web applications.
Perhaps SAP or another established IT group will manage to make the blockchain accessible to a wide range of users. However, at least as likely I think a new specialized challenger will go the way of VMware.