Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. Once in the marketplace, they seem to acquire a life of their own. Lest we forget, the Internet started out as a DARPA sponsored project aimed at developing a robust, fault-tolerant computer network. ARPANET was launched in 1969, and by the mid-1980s, it had grown and evolved into NSFNET, a network widely used in the academic and research communities. And, the World Wide Web was first developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in the late 1980s to facilitate the sharing of information among researchers around the world. They’ve both gone on to change the world, - to say the least.
The blockchain first came to light around 2008 as the architecture underpinning bitcoin, the best known and most widely held digital currency. But, as with the Internet, the Web and other major technologies, the blockchain has now transcended its original objective. It has the potential to revolutionize the finance industry and transform many aspects of the digital economy.
Two press announcements released in mid-December are serious milestones in its evolution. Let me explain.