Outlook 2017: Neil DeSena, SenaHill Advisors

This entry is part 14 in the series Outlook 2017


Neil DeSena is a managing partner at SenaHill Advisors

Neil DeSena, SenaHill Advisors

Neil DeSena, SenaHill Advisors

What are your prediction for distributed ledgers in 2017?

The state of Delaware will lead the way in adoption, showing the financial sector that there is nothing to be afraid of.  The digital registration of corporations is just the beginning.

Who would have thought a state would drive innovation?
Insurance and syndicated loans will begin to redefine themselves using smart contracts

I think most people are optimistic that distributed ledger and smart contracts will find its way into production, but…

I believe, and I am more convinced today as I write this then I was yesterday, that 2017 will separate the ‘have’s from the ‘have-nots’ in blockchain. Most in the industry are reshaping their ledger to become a more accepted adoption while few are staying true to the technology. The promise of the distributed ledger is the fact that it is immutable, decentralized and byzantine fault tolerant. I have read as of late that some of the blockchain companies have pivoted and, as they describe it, have moved to a “fully centralized solution.” That statement makes me pause and ask myself, “Why would you strip out one of the key drivers of the technology?”

  • Is it because your clients/owners aren’t comfortable with the actual adoption of a decentralized system?
  • Is it because the blockchain providers themselves built it wrong from the start?
  • Could it be that the blockchain technology that originally drove Bitcoin now needs to be repurposed for the financial sector and the transformation is so difficult that it’s easier to go with the status quo and strip some pieces out?

Another concerning echo I hear these days is the fear of quantum computing and forward secrecy. However, these problems exist today in the current centralized database format and an argument can be made that a properly constructed and decentralized distributed ledger is safer.

It’s no wonder why we have been hearing for the past three years that blockchain is 10 years away.

The “money grab” has stopped; it’s game time.

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