INTRODUCTION

IF THE BLOCKCHAIN has not shocked you yet, I guarantee it will shake you soon.

I have not seen anything like this since the start of the Internet, in terms of capturing the imagination of people, a small number first, but then spreading rapidly.

Welcome to the new world of the blockchain and blockchains.

At its core, the blockchain is a technology that permanently records transactions in a way that cannot be later erased but can only be sequentially updated, in essence keeping a never-ending historical trail. This seemingly simple functional description has gargantuan implications. It is making us rethink the old ways of creating transactions, storing data, and moving assets, and that's only the beginning.

The blockchain cannot be described just as a revolution. It is a marching phenomenon, slowly advancing like a tsunami, and gradually enveloping everything along its way by the force of its progression. Plainly, it is the second significant overlay on top of the Internet, just as the Web was that first layer back in 1990. That new layer is mostly about trust, so we could call it the trust layer.

Blockchains are enormous catalysts for change that hit at governance, ways of life, traditional corporate models, society and global institutions. Blockchain infiltration will be met with resistance, because it is an extreme change.

Blockchains defy old ideas that are locked in our minds for decades, if not centuries. Blockchains will challenge governance and centrally ...

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