From their cypherpunk origins in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchains now provide generic distributed ledgers, smart contracts, registration of physical assets and peer-to-peer micropayments. This substantial industry had peak market capitalisation over $800 billion in January 2018 and 1,500 listed coins and tokens in April 2018.
It is not without its controversary, in particular the ethics of recent initial coin offerings (ICOs), high-profile exchange thefts, illegal uses, and the environmental cost of mining digital coins. Yet big names are investing in it, including Andreessen Horowitz, IBM, Microsoft and Sequoia Capital. Ericsson and others even propose its use in the Internet of Things (IoT).
At this event in Cambridge on the evening of Tuesday 5th June, CW will cut through the hype to consider what blockchain is good for, and if it’s any good at all.