Blockchain promises to redefine trust. On one hand, it lets us build decentralized systems where we do not need to trust the owners or operators of the system. On the other hand, blockchain lets previously untrusted parties establish trust quickly and efficiently. This enables developers to build novel applications that can work in untrusted environments. At the same time, it is not readily apparent where blockchain use cases both are feasible and can deliver clear value. Therefore, my colleagues and I recently took a systematic approach to analyze blockchain using the Emerging Technology Analysis Canvas (ETAC), which takes a broad view of emerging technology by probing impact, feasibility, risks and future timelines.

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