Everything you should know about blockchains

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Thierry RAYNA

Professeur de management de l’innovation à l’École polytechnique, chercheur au laboratoire i3-CRG (UMR CNRS 9217)

Seminar Digital and entrepreneurial transformations | Monday May 13, 2019 - 17h30 - 19h30

What are blockchains, these forms of so-called ‘evilness’, concocted by a certain Dr. Nakamoto whose very existence has been called into question, which have aroused great enthusiasm among the ‘cognoscenti’? As far as the layperson is concerned, blockchains remain shrouded in mystery. What is this demiurgic technology which people say will destroy the banking system, revolutionise commerce and change social relations? Now that they have had their initial moment of glory, it is time to stop dramatizing blockchains. The bitcoin system (whose transactions are recorded in a blockchain) has not lived up to the promises it made when it was introduced, and instead has revealed its weaknesses, exorbitant cost and complexity, all of which have hampered its usefulness (apart from in specific cases). Blockchains merit neither the honours lavished on them when they first appeared, nor the level of disdain and mockery they received by those who despise them. Instead, we need to understand their principles so that we can identify their limits better and master the challenges and risks they present.

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This session was published in issue n°140 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Effondrement des certitudes.

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