Blockchain Snake Oil

Before the FDA came along, shills could go about selling all sorts of crap promising to cure anything from dyspepsia to gangrene. Customers bought in because they had no understanding of human physiology, let alone what went into these products.


Coca-Cola was great at this. Since Coke tastes like shit no matter what, the inventor mixed in a bunch of random ingredients that purported to have medicinal properties: Cassia, sarsaparilla, ginger, phosphate, cocaine… the cutting edge of 19th century medicine.

Then he invested in marketing:


The total number of ailments solved by sugary sodas is zero. Well, maybe Coca-Cola solved the problem of childhood consumption, but it might have overshot the solution on that one.

Now blockchains are supposed to revolutionize everything from healthcare to finance to self-driving cars. It’s like a miracle drug for the world’s computing systems. We have banks dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into these things because… what the hell is a blockchain??

Does a blockchain need blocks, meaning Hyperledger is not a blockchain? Does it need Proof-of-Work, meaning Ethereum will soon be not-a-blockchain? When a word doesn’t mean anything, all claims are unfalsifiable!

And that’s how you end up with nonsense like this:

CMW blockchain session

See Also:
Maybe Blockchain Really Does Have Magical Powers –Bloomberg

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