Pitfalls of the Blockchain Hype

Blockchain has become a buzzword, unfortunately. Blockchain has been touted as the silver bullet that will solve problems in almost every industry. This is problematic, because, when a new technology gets this kind of hype, people will start to apply the technology in ways that don't necessarily take advantage of its core strengths, leading to disappointment when the results aren't as great as hoped. And then the technology gets blamed and people use it as an opportunity to point out how the technology isn't ready or isn't as great as everyone says. Startups will pop up and fail, leading to more speculation about the technology not being ready or as good as hoped. Startups that have real, good solutions, will suffer from the mistakes others make.

Jon Evans published an interesting perspective on this in May 2017 in an article titled "Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet." He makes an interesting argument for thinking about this more rationally. Brief excerpt from article that shows what I mean -
Some people argue that the technology is so amazing, so revolutionary, that if enough money is invested, the killer apps and protocols will come. That could hardly be more backwards. I’m not opposed to token sales, but they should follow “If you build something good enough, investors will flock to you,” not “If enough investors flock to us, we will build something good enough.”
I don't think he's too pessimistic, and I'm hoping that, for the energy applications at least, we can clearly identify how and why blockchain can provide value to the space. When thinking about applying blockchain to the grid and energy use cases, it's critical that we understand and explain why current solutions or other solutions that aren't blockchain can't be used to solve the problems being tackled. I keep seeing statements from people trying to apply blockchain to energy to solve problems that already appear to be adequately solved. We at least need to be able to clearly articulate why other solutions aren't as good. It's also critical to be able to weigh the pros and cons of blockchain vs. other solutions to gain credibility in an industry that has operated with more or less the same technology for over a century. It's not easy to overturn the status quo in the energy industry.