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Building products on

Blockchain

"BLOCKCHAIN." There, I said it.

In 2011 if you had asked people about Blockchain, they would have said “Block what????” But today, on May 10th 2021, most people are familiar with blockchain. Well, at least they think they are. I am not going to get into the details of the blockchain technology in this article. Rather I’ll talk about what kind of products can be built using this technology. Let me start with the two most popular products out there.

Cryptocurrencies

Yes cryptocurrency is a product. It’s not blockchain. It’s a product on the blockchain. Just like digital currency or cash currency. And Bitcoin or Dogecoin are one of the many cryptocurrencies out there. Did you know, Dogecoin price increased 21889.47% in last 1 year?

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Non Fungible Tokens

Non fungible token or NFT is another product on blockchain. It is basically a digital certificate of ownership (of art, gifs, photographs, tweets, video spots) that is maintained on a blockchain ledger. The same ownership can be transferred just like with cryptocurrencies. Some call NFTs crypto art. Did you know Twitter founder Jack Dorsey converted his first tweet into an NFT and sold it for whopping $2.9 millions.

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If you have read the news lately you should know how popular these products have become. But what does this mean for Blockchain technology? And you as a product manager?

Well, blockchain has made a strong headway where-

  • there is a need for recordkeeping of any type of data like currencies and transactions; assets and ownerships.
  • there is a need for creating an audit trail for future inspection and scrutiny

The nature of the technology has made blockchain ledgers unalterable, secure and hence trusted. Experts are calling it the internet of value. But as a product manager you need to understand if Blockchain does indeed create value for you or not. And not be carried away by the hype.

Here are my 3 points on how you should approach blockchain.

01
You can use a blockchain to prove what information existed and at which point of time. This only makes sense where recordkeeping of data is involved, And where auditing and a lot of proof is required.
02
If the information / data is of sensitive nature, you need to use permissioned or private blockchains. They are less secure than public blockchains.
03
Maintaining a blockchain requires a lot of computational power. That means a lot of computers using a lot of electricity. Hence huge costs. Blockchain makes sense if cost doesn’t outweigh the value.

Having said that, Blockchain is rapidly evolving as a technology. A lot of interesting possibilities are coming up. Don’t turn away from it if it doesn’t make sense now. As a first step, read and learn about it as much as possible. And when something interesting comes around, you can have a competitive advantage by being an early adopter.

Until Next Time.

Author
AuthorJoydeep Sil

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