To Blockchain or Not

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1. Do I have one or more assets I want to track?

Is there something I care about that I want to track? This thing can be physical or virtual. Bitcoin, digital music, food products, intellectual property, and usage of a service platform are all valid examples of an asset.

If yes, a shared immutable ledger of events affecting the assets you care about is likely of value.

If no, you’re likely trying to solve a business problem better suited to tools other than blockchain.

2. Do I care about the evolution/lifecycle of an asset?

Is it not enough for me to know the current state of an asset; it is important for me to able to see the history of an asset and how it has evolved over time?

If yes, the permanent append-only ledger providing full version history of all assets and their related properties will likely be of significant value.

If no, a database is likely a suitable data storage component.


3. Is the evolution/lifecycle of an asset governed by rules and well-defined processors?

An asset in my business evolves over time according to rules and well-defined processes.

If yes, Smart Contracts and the ability to automate business processes according to clearly defined rules will likely add significant value.

If no, you’re likely just looking to capture data rather than act on it. Technologies such as IPFS or no-SQL database platforms might provide greater value.


4. Is there more than one voice of truth for questions about an asset?

In most cases, as an asset evolves over time it passes through many hands. This means I am most likely but one of the many custodians of an asset during certain parts of a larger, collectively-shared process.

If yes, a centralized system acting as a single source of truth is likely not an ideal fit. A decentralized authoritative system which is shared and collectively managed by all members of a business network is likely a much better fit.

If no, a database or other centralized authoritative system is likely acceptable as your organization is already the single voice of authority for questions around this particular asset.


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To Blockchain or Not

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