This article originally appeared in Forbes (link)
In the past year, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin transformed from geeky passion projects on Reddit into a speculative boom that has leading experts scrambling to get up to speed. Just last week, finance luminaries Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon contradicted each other, with Dimon saying he regretted calling Bitcoin a fraud and Buffet warning that cryptocurrencies would end badly.
[Disclosure: The author invests in several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and IOTA and consults on ICO launches. Investing in any cryptocurrency is very risky --you can lose your entire investment.]
For the most part, everyone I talk to (who is not an engineer) doesn’t really get what blockchain is and how it can actually be used (besides as a currency). To those of you who are unaware that there is any other purpose for blockchain, it is important to note that while the press has focused on the 1300% increase in Bitcoin’s value, most of the actual work being done is in creating applications for blockchain that have little to do with currency -- or at least currency is only a component of the applications’ larger purpose.
Ethereum, for example, is the platform on which several new applications are being developed, from universally-accessible (but private) medical records to distributed cloud storage (think Airbnb for extra hard-drive space) to licensing royalty management apps. What these future applications have in common is that humans have been removed as the middlemen who are too costly or inefficient to allow these applications to currently exist. With blockchain technology, the machines transact among themselves, so a patient’s full health history is recorded automatically, you can earn money storing a stranger’s stuff on unused hard drives and you don’t need an agent to protect your photo copyrights.
All of this sounds great, of course, but what does any of it have to do with marketing? (read more)