A few months ago, at an panel discussion on “Blockchain for Government and Diplomacy,” somebody asked Tori Adams, VP of Consensys Civic (US Government Practice), how to define blockchain to somebody who woke up from a coma after 20 years.
Her answer was quite eye-opening:
Don’t worry about it.
“I think about that a lot, cause I try to explain it to my dad,” Tori said, explaining how she has two ways to look at this. “One is to say to people ‘don’t worry about it’. Do you know how your phone works? I haven’t the faintest idea how my phone works. What we’re talking about — not how the phone works — but about how TCP/IP, how the Internet works. We don’t need to know how it works to know that it works. So, on one hand, don’t worry about it and look at the apps that are built on it and the services it offers. You don’t need to understand how the Internet works to be able to book a flight online. You just need to know that it works.”
Tori, however, goes a bit more into the definition of blockchain, calling it “ a truth preserving machine.” She explains: “If something is true in one point, it is going to be true in another point. And if you don’t trust people, that truth preserving activity is really important thing to do. Conceptually, it is really what it does: it allows you to share information that you’re worried about between people you don’t trust. That’s a pretty good thing!”