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Cohesive Networks 2018 Predictions: Blockchain will be to Cryptography what TCP/IP was to Ethernet

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Patrick Kerpan, co-founder and CEO, Cohesive Networks

Blockchain will be to Cryptography what TCP/IP was to Ethernet

Blockchain is the thing that takes cryptography from being something that is specialized and on the edge - and puts it everywhere and in everything.

The constant hype about currency and bitcoin is completely overshadowing other possibilities and use cases for the rest of blockchain technology. Beyond the hype about bitcoin and finance, there are two core views - blockchain will either completely change everything, or it will only apply to business in a very specific commercial way.

I'm in the utopian camp. I believe blockchain can not only simplify security and validation- it will change everything about cryptography. What will this look like? I believe it will change in the same way that TCP/IP revolutionized ethernet and everything networked.

For over 20 years, I have had a saying about the emergence of the "IP" world: "if you can make toast with TCP/IP, you will make money."

Ethernet came first and was difficult. It required physical connections and a complex way to connect devices. Once we were connected through ethernet, TCP/IP was the networking protocol that let our devices interact with each other.  TCP/ IP became successful because it was abstracted and open. Once the hype wore off it became a boring, easy, and integral part of almost all technologies. TCP/IP makes "magical" things happen like Uber, email, global banking, and more.

For example, Uber is really just a taxi hailing service. The revolutionary part of it is that you can put in where you're going, estimate a price, contact your driver, and pay for the ride all from you connected device. Uber didn't change anything about driving, phones, or payments. They just made it wildly convenient for everyone.

So how can you make toast with blockchain?

Blockchain can simplify and distribute cryptography, and that is huge. Managing RSA, SSL, encryption keys and all the "magic" of cryptography is very difficult:  it's the "ethernet" of the TCP/IP analogy. Adding blockchain could free cryptography from the specialized "magic" and make it easier for businesses, people, and governments to manage identities, secrets, encryption keys and so on.

While it took nearly 30 years to get from connected cables of ethernet to Uber, I do not think it will take 30 years to simplify the magic of cryptography. We're already speeding along at a faster clip. It might take a decade. Definitely years. The technologies will probably run in parallel for a while too, just like how ethernet and TCP/IP did. What we have now is an interesting new technology and an existing data federation and compute problem with cryptography. Let's see how soon they'll meet in the middle.


About the Author

Patrick Kerpan 

Patrick Kerpan, CEO and co-founder of Cohesive Networks, has the ability to sense what businesses need to solve complex technology challenges. Prior to founding Cohesive Networks, Patrick was the CTO of Borland Software Corp. He joined Borland in 2000 through the acquisition of his company, Bedouin, Inc. He was also the VP and General Manager of the Developer Services Platform group at Borland. Before founding Bedouin, Inc., Kerpan worked as the managing director for derivatives technology at several global investment banks. 

Published Thursday, January 04, 2018 7:21 AM by David Marshall
Patrick Kerpan featured in VMBlog 2018 | Cohesive Networks - (Author's Link) - January 5, 2018 9:04 AM
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