Blockchain Revolution Without the Blockchain

Communications of the ACM, July 2018, Vol. 61 No. 7, Pages 27-29

11 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018 Last revised: 7 Apr 2019

See all articles by Hanna Halaburda

Hanna Halaburda

Bank of Canada; New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: March 2, 2018

Abstract

The technology behind blockchain has attracted a lot of attention. However, this technology is for the most part not well understood. There is no consensus on what benefits it may bring or on how it may fail. A careful look into the technology finds that most of the proposed benefits of so called blockchain technologies do not really come from elements unique to blockchain. Instead, they come from more conventional elements such as encryption and smart contracts. Moreover, even those applications that would benefit from a distributed system may benefit more from a distributed database designed differently than blockchain.

Keywords: Bitcoin, digital currencies, blockchain, smart contracts, encryption

JEL Classification: D8, G2, O3, O33

Suggested Citation

Halaburda, Hanna, Blockchain Revolution Without the Blockchain (March 2, 2018). Communications of the ACM, July 2018, Vol. 61 No. 7, Pages 27-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3133313 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3133313

Hanna Halaburda (Contact Author)

Bank of Canada ( email )

234 Wellington Street
Ontario, Ottawa K1A 0G9
Canada

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Munich
Germany

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