As the decade draws to an end and we approach the 2020’s, a popular social media trend called “the decade challenge” emerged. People are encouraged to post a photo of themselves from 2009 next to a recent photo of themselves now in 2019 to show how much they changed in a ten-year span. While I have refrained from willingly subjecting myself to that level of embarrassment—“styles change,” I tell myself—it is hard not to wonder what things will look like when people participate in the next decade challenge (2029). What will the technological innovations be that define the 2020’s? While it is difficult to predict, experts guarantee that blockchain technology will surely be one of them.
Few technologies have been more polarizing over the past ten years than blockchain technology. Blockchain technology can be intimidating, but when broken down, it can be conceptually understood by most everyone, and its unquestioned growth in popularity is paralleled only by the “Big Bang” itself. First, there was nothing. Then, on Halloween night in 2008, an anonymously published white paper laid out how blockchain’s tamper-proof verification technology could enable trustless digital currency transactions. Since then, blockchain’s popularity has exploded onto our media, commerce, and daily life. While blockchain enthusiasts tout blockchain as a sort of “cure-all” for some of the world’s biggest problems, skeptics are hesitant to invest heavily into the technology when the benefits of mass-adoption are far from clear. These conflicting outlooks on blockchain technology have left many people and businesses confused. But, the fact remains that 2019 found large-scale enterprise blockchain applications moving forward when the technology lent itself to the required functionalities and use cases.
Husch Blackwell will begin publishing regular insights about blockchain technology. The most important focus of these blogs will be to ensure people and businesses have the necessary information to make educated decisions regarding blockchain technology and the business and legal implications thereof. We see blockchain reaching main-street status in the coming years, and the blockchain group of Husch Blackwell endeavors to help you navigate your understanding and use of blockchain in the next decade and beyond.