So, what’s going on?

DLT or Blockchain

In August 2017, I wrote about DLT or Blockchain as the next big thing after Cloud Computing.

By that time, ICO Mania had broken out, and the Ether price was about US$330. By January 2018, the Ether price was about US$1,200, then it crashed to US$70, and has been bouncing around at a much lower level than its peak ever since. As I write this, it is currently about US$144.

This is an excellent illustration of the irrationality of markets, as is the fact that they remain obsessed with Bitcoin, even though it remains useless and deserves to be consigned to a museum, rather than being taken seriously.

Despite the collapse of attention to it, Ethereum continues to develop, pretty much in accordance with its development roadmap. If it succeeds in moving from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, and in becoming seriously scalable, it is on track to become the backbone of the next generation of key elements of the global financial system. These challenges will probably be overcome by the end of 2021, by which time Ethereum ought to be host to a number of “killer apps”.

In case Ethereum fails to overcome its challenges, it is worth considering what else might supplant it. My research suggests that Polkadot is a serious contender. Gavin Wood is a co-founder of the Web3 Foundation, which oversees the development of Polkadot. As one of the co-founders and CTO of Ethereum, he brings a lot of experience to this project.

Polkadot is designed to allow different blockchains to communicate, in recognition of the fact that there will be many blockchain platforms co-existing, with a mix of public and private blockchains, and they will need to talk to each other. Polkadot also includes Substrate, a rapid method for developing blockchains that will easily integrate with Polkadot. Substrate blockchains can be set up with a range of validation methods, including Proof of Stake. Developers can choose what programming language to write in, but the preferred language is Rust, which is rapidly becoming accepted as the 21st century language that will supercede C, which was used to develop the Unix operating system in the 1970s, and has been the favourite system programming language ever since (along with its successors, such as C++ and C#).

The Holo Project

My colleague David Atkinson organised an ICO for Holo and raised US$20 million for them in the spring of 2018. He is now their commercial director, and the project progresses.

Holoport+I suggested David get involved with this project back in 2017 because I believed it would be “the blockchain after the blockchain” in a few years’ time. The thinking behind it, compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, is like the world of Einsteinian relativity compared to the world of nineteenth century Newtonian physics. I still think this is so.

I look forward to receiving my Holoport+ soon!

Cloud Computing

I attended the second Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas in 2013. There were 9,000 attendees, mostly male nerds who stared at their screens when they were not attending bootcamps and technical sessions. The only advantage I could see in attending was if you were a woman, in which case there was no queue for the washrooms (to use a US euphemism).

But I’ll admit the party on the Thursday night was pretty good fun, too:

Ever since, I watch the annual keynote speeches live in the comfort of my office instead. This year’s re:Invent took place from 30th November to 4th December. You can find out more here.

If I hated attending a conference with 9,000 people, this year there were 65,000, and they still managed to fit them in one room for the keynote speeches!

In summary, AWS continues to out-innovate everyone else in this field, which they invented in 2006, and continue to dominate. Gartner Group estimates that AWS has over 47% of the market for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service. Their nearest competitor is Microsoft Azure, with about 15%. Nobody else has more than 5% of the market.

Frankly, if you are serious about Cloud Computing, there is no point in using anything else, unless you are forced to. Everyone else is just struggling to keep up by fighting the “checklist wars”, instead of genuinely innovating to match AWS.

If you need help understanding what this world of DLT, ICOs, Ethereum and Cloud Computing has to do with your future, please contact us.