In the coming year, a lot of people will find themselves tasked with “getting up to speed on blockchain.” Two recent must-reads offer sober, practical guidance for blockchain technology in an enterprise setting. Harvard Business Review and Boston Consulting Group recently published excellent summaries of the blockchain landscape and a little sober advice on building solutions that are likely to work. TL;DR: Smart contracts are the most transformative application of blockchain technology, and the most likely pathway to success is to build Monax-style.

Patience. Blockchain technology is a singularly promising tool to solve many of the problems we experience in global commerce today due to its unique combination of resilience, security and open-source roots. Availing ourselves of this technology in a meaningful way will require circumspection, due diligence and care.

Vigilance. There is no substitute for knowing the global blockchain landscape with respect to your enterprise, especially in an environment where “radical uncertainty is the norm.” Study up and stay on top of things.

Collaboration. Blockchains, especially permissioned chains, enable non-zero-sum solutions to complex problems, but only if we find incentives for each stakeholder. This is the art of crafting a viable pilot, knowing how to conceive, design and implement a solution with enough “meat on the bones” for all players.

Experimentation. Try multiple, finite solutions rather than attempt to completely dislodge an existing system. A low-risk path is to experiment in-house with managing physical and digital assets, recording internal transactions, and verifying identities. This will enable your organization to take advantage of coming advances in collaborative architecture while acquiring technical competence and ecosystem knowledge.

Users first. To gain traction, tech solutions must deliver functionality as good as traditional ones and must be easy for the ecosystem to absorb and adopt. This is one of the reasons behind Monax dual integration, to meet existing legal standards while pushing the envelope on smart contract technology.

Open source. Open source works as global peer-review that drives interoperability. Part of blockchain value is the ability of users to verify for themselves that the code is forensically accurate, that is, it does what the seller says it does. Proprietary, opaque blockchain solutions are an indication of lack of understanding of this critical value element.

Organization. Permissioned blockchains deliver information to those with standing to view it. Public, open blockchains serve a purpose, but for the most transformative ecosystem applications, permissioned chains are the way to go.

If your organization is ready to explore what blockchain solutions can do for you, please contact us.