Blockchain predictions: What it means to you — from by Minda Zetlin
How can you prepare for tomorrow’s blockchain world? TCS blockchain expert Andreas Freund shares perspective


Blockchain technology will be as revolutionary as the internet, or maybe even the steam engine, predicts Andreas Freund, Ph.D., a senior manager for Tata Consultancy Services‘ blockchain advisory. It’s a bold claim. But in the first part of our two-part interview, Freund makes a strong case that blockchain technology will, at the very least, change our marketplaces and our enterprises in ways that are hard to imagine right now.

Blockchain protocols (best known for enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether) create a distributed ledger in which many nodes on a network each have a record of every transaction that has taken place. (See our recent story, Blockchain: 3 big implications for your company.)

“To really understand and appreciate the value blockchain can bring, you need to understand why it’s a paradigm shift,” Freund says. “You need to look at human beings. What defines us is our physical strength, our intelligence, and our trust relationships. The most fundamental shifts occur when these functions become automated and exponentiated.”

When we’re interacting through the blockchain, not only as human beings but as things as well, I can trust the transaction will be executed properly every single time. There’s no chance of tampering or censorship. From a human perspective, I can now trust you without trusting you.”

Right now, people who want to transact with strangers must use a trusted intermediary, as people do when they buy and sell items on the Amazon Marketplace, or buy and sell shares on an exchange, or, say, summon an Uber ride.



It’s more important to understand how blockchain will change many common practices than it is to understand the precise technology behind it, Freund notes. “In the end, how the technology works doesn’t matter,” he says. “TCP/IP enables the internet, although nobody really knows how it works. Without it, we’d still have the walled gardens of the AOL era.”

When it comes to blockchain, he says, “We are still in the AOL era. We have these walled gardens, with many companies experimenting and many public blockchains, but eventually there will be something equivalent to that moment when TCP/IP broke down those walls.”




From DSC:
What happens with blockchain-based technologies and systems could easily impact higher education in the future, especially in the area of credentials and competencies (i.e., did someone really take that class/module/certificate program/etc.?). Blockchain-based techs are likely a part of our future learning ecosystems and next generation learning platforms, and may significantly impact and better support lifelong learning.