Believing the Blockchain Hype.

AuthorO'Rourke, Morgan

For the past few years, the hype around blockchain has been inescapable, sometimes to an unsettling degree. In December 2017, for example, an iced tea company of all things (which also happens to be headquartered in my hometown) changed its name from Long Island Iced Tea Corp. to Long Blockchain Corp., saying that it wanted to focus on blockchain-related opportunities in addition to its beverage business. The company's stock immediately jumped 500%. But this year, as the bottom fell out of the cryptocurrency market, Long Blockchain's share prices also took a nosedive, culminating in the company being delisted by Nasdaq.

The decline of Long Blockchain Corp. has litde to do with viability of blockchain technology itself, but it does illustrate how the hype has created a sort of "emperor's new clothes" dynamic around the topic: Everyone is talking about blockchain, but there seems to be little to show for all the discussion so far.

A report by the Capgemini Research Institute last year found that, while 87% of companies say they have been experimenting with blockchain application concepts, only 3% are currently deploying blockchain applications at scale. Similarly, researchers from McKinsey & Company wrote in January that, "despite billions of dollars of...

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