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Navigating Past Blockchain’s ‘Irrational Exuberance’

Bitcoin is in a massive speculative bubble, with $95 billion in supposed value that belies the cold reality that all that crypto-green is actually not worth the paper it’s printed on – if there even were paper, which there isn’t. As Steve Forbes says, “you don’t even get a tulip for your speculation.”

“You don’t even get a tulip for your speculation.” – Steve Forbes

“You don’t even get a tulip for your speculation.” – Steve Forbes

And then there’s the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market – or as I like to call it, ‘scammers paradise.’ What do you get when you combine the madness of crowds, global criminal enterprise, and a dearth of regulation? More illicit ‘wealth’ than even Pablo Escobar could bury in the mountains of Venezuela, that’s what.

And then there’s blockchain, the technology at the heart of all this craziness – or to be more precise, a family of distributed ledger technologies which may or may not technically be blockchain, depending on how you define it (I’ll use ‘blockchain’ in this article broadly to cover all such efforts).

Given I’m on the record as a blockchain skeptic, you might think I’m equally bearish on this technology. However, you’d be wrong. In spite of all the greater fool froth around Bitcoin and ICOs, blockchain actually has some real promise. I even recently wrote a positive article on a blockchain-based company.

Nevertheless, if you look at all the blockchain startups clamoring for attention, go to all the blockchain conferences springing up like weeds, and talk to any of the ‘blockchain experts’ stampeding through LinkedIn, you may be left with the distinct impression that blockchain is also little more than the product of the same irrational exuberance that will inevitably deflate as quickly as a popped balloon – and you, too, won’t even end up with a tulip for your troubles.

The question of the hour, therefore, for the three main blockchain constituencies – vendors, investors, and customers – is how to tell the viable blockchain efforts from the scammers and pretenders.

Even more critical: once you’ve chosen your favored blockchain horse to ride, how do you keep it from becoming the inevitable collateral damage when Bitcoin takes its nosedive and the Federales shut down ICOs?

Read the entire article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/10/28/navigating-past-blockchains-irrational-exuberance/.

Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Liz West.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.