Jonathan's Blog

Jonathan's Blog

Mindful Leadership and Technology


Blockchain Distributed Ledger Cryptoshares Technology Incorporation Governance Crypto-governance

Cryptoshares and You

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Want to try a frustrating search? Try looking for companies that can help you incorporate your business on the blockchain or using distributed ledger. What will you search for?

  • incorporate on the blockchain?
  • build company on blockchain?
  • start company on blockchain?

Those are all a bust, because you'll run into a lot of noise about creating blockchain-based products and forming a company around them.

The word you're looking for is 'cryptoshares', but, in all honesty, that won't help you that much either. You just have to google for a while until you come across one of a couple of articles that help get you get oriented in this space.

There's a definite SEO opportunity here.

So, to take some of the pain out of it for you, and to add myself to the list of helpful articles, here are a few companies/projects currently working in this space:

Otonomous offers away to create a distributed ledger-based company, and they can help you incorporate in several different international jurisdictions. It is built on Ethereum.

Counterparty uses the bitcoin blockchain and 'writes in the margins' of bitcoin transactions to build smart contracts. Their software (open source) is the Counterparty protocol, it is Bitcoin-aware and enables these transactions.

CoinOffering uses Ethereum smart contracts to incorporate your business. Their software is also open source, and like the others above, they offer services to help you get set up. Interestingly, they are part of (or somehow related to) Cryptonimica and discuss International Arbitration and Cryptography Centre which is some type of online dispute resolution system. From the outside it appears that the idea is a cryptography-based, online arbitration system or court. Interesting.

OpenAssets is an open source protocol with some reference implementations on github. It doesn't seem to have a service organization around it as the others do. This means you're free to do with it what you want, but you will be figuring it out.

Using the 'judging a book by its cover' system. I've ordered these in level of maturity. Otonomous and Counterparty have actual (non-github) web sites, and Otonomous appears ready to help you incorporate in both the real world and online.

CoinOffering is building up their service, and has incorporated themselves. OpenAssets appears to be just a protocol, for now.

Also interesting is that Delaware seems to be pushing ahead to be the first US jurisdiction to allow this type of online, cryptography-based incorporation.


Blockchain Leadership Technology Distributed Ledger Reading List

Distributed Ledger (aka Blockchain) Reading List

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This list is designed for a technology leader. I'm going to assume that the person who is looking at this is technical enough to know what a database is and roughly how the internet works, but will be less technical than other reading lists that are out there.

So, to begin, the first thing you need is a picture. Words are great and important and you can't understand distributed ledger or blockchain technology without words. But it is also important to have a picture in your mind, so you can refer to it later.

Here is the best picture I have found describing bitcoin specifically:

Here is a good picture for distributed ledger more generally:

Here are some overviews, the first one is expressing the distinction between distributed ledger and blockchain:

This is from IBM and introduces HyperLedger, which is a Linux Foundation Project they are supporting:

How do distributed ledgers fit into the broader world of data storage:

A really good description of the problem distributed ledgers are solving:

Do you need a distributed ledger?

I hope this is helpful. I'm going to keep adding and editing. I may make it a static page at some point.


Leadership Technology Blockchain Blockchaininess


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In discussing blockchain opportunities with clients who are curious about how it might serve them, I've realized a couple of things, I've realized a couple of things.

  1. Not all problems have some type of blockchain answer. The question you should ask yourself is, "Does another type of data storage solve this problem equally well?" Or "Am I just doing this so I can say blockchain?"
  2. You should also ask, "How am I going to generate new revenue or save costs?" Or "What business outcome am I after?"

If the answer to number 2 is "Reinventing My Industry", that will come with some friction.

In looking at this challenge, some of the problem comes from ourselves. We haven't seen enough, done enough, or tried enough things to always understand what it does or how it will change things.

I'm speaking for myself here. If the answers aren't in my head, it isn't the technology's fault, it just means that I don't quite see how to fit it in. Or it's possible that what it will do is so radical that it may require some (additional) visionary ideas to help light the way.

Visionaries, apply here.

So, blockchaininess is a term for an idea that matches what blockchain technology does best. So far these seem to share that they are broad and sweeping in their implications, if they're going to be successful. This doesn't mean it will always be that way, but it isn't an incremental technology, which is why it can be so hard to look at. It isn't like stuff you've done before.

It could also be a term for a way of thinking about problems that inherently sees problems that can be solved well by blockchain.

Some of this will take time. But don't wait. My recommendation is to do some reading and start thinking about it. Start trying things. It is a powerful tool - look no further than Bitcoin for evidence of that.

What it will do for us, in technology and beyond, is still something we can decide and influence.

At least one other person is using the term blockchaininess. There was one other but it appears to have been edited out of their twitter profile. I'll list them for completeness:

EDIT: Not directly saying 'blockchaininess' but linked from the first link and related to what I'm talking about. A good, detailed read: