The debate has been running for a while but the past month has seen a serious uptick. The question being asked is:
Is there any value in a blockchain without a cryptocurrency? And can these “tokenless shared ledgers” be called blockchains at all?
So I’ve read Bailey’s article, watched Tim’s video, read this Nasdaq post, followed Richard’s every word, and even had my own good-spirited debate (see comments) with the Counterparty foundation’s Chris DeRose. So much hot air.
One thing Chris does well is boil it down to the question: is the blockchain an economic or a computer science innovation? The implication is that if blockchains are a purely economic innovation, there is no point to blockchains without cryptocurrencies. So let me state my position at the start:
The bitcoin blockchain was both an economic and a computer science innovation.