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Blockchain: Trust Companies: Every Company Is at Risk of Being Disrupted by a Trusted Version of Itself Hardcover – July 17, 2017
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Richie Etwaru's Blockchain Trust Companies brilliantly analyzes potential opportunities for firms with datasets that are somewhat-trusted. But more importantly the book outlines immediate opportunities for fully-trusted disruptors to be born.
Associate Professor Lee W McKnight, School of Information Systems, Syracuse University
Industrializing trustthrough Blockchain has finally been put into terms that corporations & citizens of all ages can easily understand. Thankfully, not another book on Bitcoin (yawn)!
Milind Kamkolkar, Chief Data Officer, Sanofi
In this intensely engaging book, Richie is able to illustrate complex business processes with analogies in context of daily life, clarifying the theory and practicality of the distributed ledger. This could very well serve as a textbook in academic institutions for today.
Mark J. Stevens, Chief Commercial Officer, Publicis Health
From the Author
Used as Official Textbook at Syracuse University for IST 400/600Blockchain Management class.
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If Richie had been a part of Greek society around the 8th century BC, it’s certain he’d have been talking the ears off the demos about all the different ways they could use the new-fangled thing called an alphabet.
If Richie had been a resident of Europe around 1450, he’d have been ringing a bell in every town square letting people know that this contraption called the printing press was going to turn their world upside down.
And if I had known Richie back in the mid-1990s, I’d have had someone to explain to me the possibilities that the novelty known as the Internet offered, and perhaps I’d have understood it enough to make a modest investment in Amazon or eBay.
You get the picture.
Richie is in the “so what?” business. He has the ability to recognize possibilities. He can synthesize and extrapolate and predict. And once he’s done his synthesizing and extrapolating and predicting, he’s able to reduce those complexities into concepts that even someone as technically challenged as me can grasp. Here’s an example of what I mean: “Anytime you talk about blockchain, people want to know about bitcoin, because it’s well known and the concept is intriguing. I like to say that bitcoin is to blockchain what AOL Chat was to the Internet—it’s interesting, but it’s not at the center of this discussion.”
That sort of observation might be obvious to someone with even moderate technology understanding, but it wasn’t for someone like me. For me, it put blockchain in a whole new perspective, because I’d actually been one of those people who went into AOL early (I can still hear the insanity-inducing buzz waiting for the modem to connect) without understanding the wider significance of the Internet technology nor the possibilities it offered.
The book, however, is far from a Blockchain for Dummies. The Forward is written by Ray Wang, a guy to whom technologists go for help interpreting technology. If Ray Wang thinks enough of the book to contribute his thoughts, you can bet that Richie came up with ideas that not even Ray had considered. Ray concludes the Forward by saying: “If you are faced with the binary choice to lead or to be left out, this is one of the books for you.”
If Ray Wang’s endorsement isn’t enough to convince you of the book’s value, it’s sheer entertainment value will be. Among Richie’s gifts as a writer, his ability to employ perspective may be his greatest. Perspective enhances visibility, and Richie’s ability to put blockchain into a series of comparative historical contexts allows his readers to see clearly how it can be used to solve one of society’s enduring problems – how and whom to trust. He writes: “We learned early on as a species that we have to trust each other to transact with each other, and I believe in the cases where we cannot systematically manufacture or provide evidence of trust, we source this trust from our gut in order to continue to corporate, organize, and govern.”
Trust sourced from one or more of our internal organs may be fine in the realm of interpersonal relationships, but it is not going to cut it as a guarantor of transactional fidelity in a technologically-orchestrated world. What Richie calls The Trust Gap is, in fact, the greatest potential inhibitor of technologically-enabled progress. Distrust (or simply the absence of trust) imposes friction on any transactional system. The greater the friction, the slower the system. Remove the friction and the system is free to develop unfettered. Blockchain, Richie explains, is a friction-removal breakthrough of such potential that it will rank alongside The Commercial, Industrial, and Digital Revolutions. Blockchain, Richie believes, will bring about The Institutional Revolution.
It’s impossible to come away from any interaction with Richie, direct or indirect, without seeing the world differently. He is a synthesizer of ideas who operates at the speed of artificial intelligence. How anyone can absorb, process, and then explain complex ideas as simply and as readily understandable as Richie is beyond me. So I don’t try to explain Richie Etwaru, I just put his ideas to work for me.
One last observation. I make my living interviewing people. Over the years, I have interviewed some fascinating characters. I was so awed by James Lovell (Apollo 13) that I could barely speak. Ross Perot wouldn’t even let me speak. Steve Jobs could barely be bothered to speak. I couldn’t stop Boone Pickens from speaking, and he was positively mute in comparison to Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, onetime Chairman of the House Assassinations Committee. I tell you this because when I say that Richie Etwaru is the most compelling interview I ever did, I am actually talking from a solid comparative base.
And this book is even better than that interview.
Offers a wide explanation of blockchain work. Very good.