I have just finished David Gerard​ 's new book "Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain".

I have just finished David Gerard​ 's new book "Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain".

And what a ride. Entertainingly written, and thoroughly researched, it is a sceptical look at the Bitcoin bubble, and blockchain technologies in general.

David does not hide his agenda, and presents it in a clear and well referenced manner, albeit with a very large dose of snark.

My main take away from it (aside from reinforcing my desire to stay well away from the whole mess) is that blockchain technologies are very much a solution in search of a problem, and the problems that keep getting them applied to are the wrong problems. A bit like using a laser to cook a pancake.

9.5/10 and DAS covering Gilbert & Sullivan as directed by Tim Minchin on the Sid and Nancy scale.


  1. Love that title xD

    The "immutability" thing (or as I keep thinking, immutable up to the point the blockchain goes up in smoke?) would actually be pretty useful for authorship things. And probably some other stuff but my understanding of it is fairly limited.

    And either way it's not stopping me from playing around on steemit :D

  2. One of the problems is the validating of things you put on the 'immutable' chain in the first place. Once you put false or inaccurate data in, you cannot get rid of it.

    It might be perhaps useful in providing a sort of digital chain of evidence for (say) a security camera feed, but the computational load would be prohibitive.

  3. It's less of an issue when you can edit and you're just stuck with having left an edit trail which everyone can read (to either laugh at your idiot mistakes or call you out when you've changed your narrative partway through a conversation to cast yourself in a more favourable light say XD). I find not being able to actually delete (it's stuck in that bloody blockchain forever or til the blockchain dies and the best you can do is edit it to say "deleted" on the front end but someone can still go and read the previous version if they really want to) really annoying but other people consider it a feature.

    There's only some cases where people will want to go through your edit history but still.

    I am also just talking about steemit as that's the main one I'm playing with, I don't know much about any of the other ones aside from they exist!

  4. The problem is that audit logs are a well understood problem, for which there are much more efficient solutions - provided you are not obsessed with making it distributed.

  5. yeah. You get the good stuff just putting stuff into Git. So far my prediction (that anything that's "Blockchain(tm)" that's useful will be just the transaction ledger with hashes, not the other stuff) is holding out.


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