Skeptics needing further reassurance that the Blockchain is truly reaching a tipping point can rest easier with the recent publication of Don Tapscott’s Blockchain Revolution, co-written with his son Alex. Don, whom I’ve long known, has a knack for identifying what The Next Big Thing will likely be, and shortly thereafter writing a book to explain it to everybody else. The Digital Economy, written in the mid 1990s, anticipated the unbundling of vertically integrated companies into business webs, giving rise to the open networked enterprise. His 2006 Wikinomics predicted the rise of mass collaboration in what became known a few years later as the On Demand Economy. Blockchain Revolution, his 16th book, now explains “How The Blockchain Will Transform Everything From Banking To Government To Our Identities.”
The book is organized into three main sections. The first explains the blockchain from two complementary points of view: as a major next step in the evolution of the Internet; and as the architecture underpinning bitcoin, the best known and most widely held digital currency. The second and longest section describes how blockchain could potentially transform financial services, companies, government, the Internet of Things, and other key areas. The last section summarizes the major challenges that must be overcome as well as the governance required to fulfill the promise of blockchain.
“It appears that once again, the technological genie has been unleashed from its bottle,” write the authors in their opening paragraph. “Summoned by an unknown person or persons with unclear motives, at an uncertain time in history, the genie is now at our service for another kick of the can - to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs for the better. If we will it.”