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The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology

ISBN: 978-1-119-30031-1
208 pages
May 2016
The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology (1119300312) cover image

Description

The definitive pioneering blueprint covering the what, why and how of the blockchain. 

Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate. Metaphorically, blockchains are the ultimate non-stop computers. Once launched, they never go down, and offer an incredible amount of resiliency, making them dependable and attractive for running a new generation of decentralized services and software applications. 

The Business Blockchain charts new territory in advancing our understanding of the blockchain by unpacking its elements like no other before. William Mougayar anticipates a future that consists of thousands, if not millions of blockchains that will enable not only frictionless value exchange, but also a new flow of value, redefining roles, relationships, power and governance. In this book, Mougayar makes two other strategic assertions. First, the blockchain has polymorphic characteristics; its application will result in a multiplicity of effects. Second, we shouldn’t ask ourselves what problems the blockchain solves, because that gives us a narrow view on its potential. Rather, we should imagine new opportunities, and tackle even more ambitious problems that cross organizational, regulatory and mental boundaries. 

Drawing on 34 years of technology industry experience as an executive, analyst, consultant, entrepreneur, startup mentor, author, blogger, educator, thought leader and investor, William Mougayar describes a future that is influenced by fundamental shifts brought by blockchain technology as the catalyst for change. William Mougayar has been described as the most sophisticated blockchain business thinker. He is a blockchain industry insider whose work has already shaped and influenced the understanding of blockchain for people around the world, via his generous blogging and rigorous research insights. He is a direct participant in the crypto-technology market, working alongside startups, entrepreneurs, pioneers, leaders, innovators, creators, enterprise executives and practitioners; in addition to being an investor, advisor, and board member in some of the leading organizations in this space, such as the Ethereum Foundation, OpenBazaar and Coin Center.

Just as the Internet created new possibilities that we didn’t foresee in its early years, the blockchain will give rise to new business models and ideas that may still be invisible. Following an engaging Foreword by Vitalik Buterin, this book is organized along these 7 chapters:

1. What is the Blockchain?

2. How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates

3. Obstacles, Challenges & Mental Blocks

4. Blockchain in Financial Services

5. Lighthouse Industries & New Intermediaries

6. Implementing Blockchain Technology

7. Decentralization as the Way Forward

The Business Blockchain is an invitation for technologists to better understand the business potential of the blockchain, and for business minded people to grasp the many facets of blockchain technology. This book teaches you how to think about the blockchain.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vitalik buterin ix

Acknowledgments xiv

A Personal Preface xvi

Introduction xxi

1 What is the Blockchain? 1

2 How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates 29

3 Obstacles, Challenges, & Mental Blocks 61

4 Blockchain in Financial Services 85

5 Lighthouse Industries & New Intermediaries 109

6 Implementing Blockchain Technology 124

7 Decentralization as the Way Forward 147

Epilogue 167

Selected Bibliography 171

Index 173

Additional Resources 177

About the Author 179

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Author Information

WILLIAM MOUGAYAR is general partner at Virtual Capital Ventures, an early stage tech fund. He is on the board of directors of OB1, the OpenBazaar open source protocol that is pioneering decentralized peer-to-peer commerce; a special advisor to the Ethereum Foundation; a member of OMERS Ventures board of advisors; an advisory board member to the Coin Center; and founder of Startup Management.

William Mougayar has been described as the most sophisticated blockchain business thinker. He is a blockchain industry insider whose work has already shaped and influenced the understanding of blockchain for people around the world, via his generous blogging and rigorous research insights.

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Reviews

"When it comes to the blockchain, William Mougayar's vision and insights are unparalleled. He takes us on a discovery journey with clarity and authority. This is a fundamental book if business leaders want to survive the blockchain’s upcoming whiplash."
Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group; best-selling author of Venture Deals

"Mougayar has written a highly authoritative book, charting new territory in our understanding of the blockchain. I strongly recommend it to executives who are leading their organizations into with the future."
John Ruffolo, CEO, OMERS Ventures

"Anyone who's been at all close to the blockchain realizes just how profoundly this innovation could affect almost every industry. The Business Blockchain is an important book that offers practical advice and prescriptions for getting on with creating and realizing your own blockchain vision."
Chris Owen, Vice President, Enterprise Shared Platforms - Blockchain, TD Bank Group

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Press Release

May 05, 2016
The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology

In his new book The Business Blockchain with a foreword by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s inventor, long time industry insider William Mougayar charts new territory in advancing our understanding of the blockchain by unpacking its elements like no other before.

Mougayar makes two strategic assertions in this book. First, the blockchain has polymorphic characteristics; its application will result in a multiplicity of effects. Second, we shouldn’t ask ourselves what problems the blockchain solves, because that gives us a narrow view on its potential. Rather, we should imagine new opportunities, and tackle even more ambitious problems that cross organizational, regulatory and mental boundaries.

Mougayar explains, “Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate.”

Just as the Internet created new possibilities that we didn’t foresee in its early years, the blockchain will give rise to new business models and ideas that may still be invisible. Mougayar anticipates a future that consists of thousands, if not millions of blockchains that will enable not only frictionless value exchange, but also a new flow of value, redefining roles, relationships, power and governance.

“The blockchain disrupts the traditional boundaries of value and its exchange methods. Blockchains will become invisible, and we’ll talk more about what they enable,” Mougayar adds. “Blockchains will allow us to perform the equivalent of “googling” to prove the existence or authenticity of records, identities, ownerships, rights, work done, titles, contracts and almost any process, service or product.”

In this book, Mougayar explains in non-technical terms, the key concepts behind the blockchain: distributed consensus, state machines, smart contracts, smart property, oracles, scalability, decentralized applications, distributed autonomous organizations, and the resulting impact on our privacy, security, online identity, financial services, healthcare, energy, government and governance models.

Some highlights from the book include:

  • How to think holistically about the blockchain as a meta technology, a business model disruptor, and legal/regulatory policies challenger.
  • The 10 properties exhibited by the blockchain (beyond its most popular one, as a distributed ledger)
  • Blockchains as a new Internet layer, comprised of the new breed of decentralized applications.
  • The unbundling of trust and how a new form of trust inserts itself between peer-to-peer relationships, and brings a new level of transparency, trust and truth.
  • The rise of New Intermediaries. Just as the Internet replaced some intermediaries, now the blockchain is replacing other intermediaries, while simultaneously creating new ones.
  • Industry cases in healthcare, energy and government, including an in-depth review of financial services.
  • Practical recommendations for implementing the blockchain within the enterprise.
  • The blockchain as the operating system that enables decentralization, and its technological, political and societal implications.
  • The birth of a crypto economy that creates its own wealth via new business models, and peer-to-peer transactional relationships between producers and consumers.
  • A new flow of value, with the blockchain acting as the digital leveler that moves value across a new variety of markets.
  • 47 blockchain predictions about a not-so-distant future, when blockchain technology permeates our world and creates new companies and new services.

The Business Blockchain is an invitation for technologists to better understand the business potential of the blockchain, and for business minded people to grasp the many facets of blockchain technology. For more information, please visit the book’s website, or order the book on Amazon.

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