A few years before I started my career, a computer scientist named E.F. Codd published a paper called "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks" that outlined his ideas for a relational database model. Over the following 20 years or so, his theories of relation databases would revolutionize database management. The relational database has enabled the development of almost all successful data-centric applications, including eCommerce. Though it took awhile for Codd's ideas to take, the world quickly realized that the relational database was a big deal! Without this invention the tech world would not have been the same and large technology behemoths like Oracle and SAP may have never existed. Eventually, almost all databases were of the relational model type, and only with arrival of big data, and its challenges, have other database models started to rise in popularity.

And guess what? This revolution was never a part of pop culture, nor was it widely mentioned in the media, as a matter of fact, nobody outside of the industry had even heard of E.F. Codd. Now fast-forward to today. Blockchain technology is based on a new revolutionary database model in the same way the relational database was nearly 50 years ago. Blockchain is a great technology and will have many useful applications. Even before it has been widely adopted in the real world, blockchain is a focus of pop culture and media attention, and is discussed at dinner tables and bar counters alike. There are at least two reasons for this worldwide chatter:

  • Bitcoin - the first project based on blockchain technology, and
  • Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) - the most popular application of Ethereum so far. Ethereum, by itself, made a major breakthrough in distributed ledger technologies by marrying blockchain with smart contracts.
Both Bitcoin and ICOs have created thousands of new millionaires, often coming from the ranks of techies and crypto enthusiasts who bought or mined some tokens before their price went up a thousand times. People noticed and the subject got red hot.

Even though I have been among early supporters of blockchain, I have no idea if bitcoin in its current form will be around in a few years. While I am sure many of the hot ICOs will not yield any useful products and people investing in them will lose money, I am sure that blockchain technologies will become as important and ubiquitous as the relational database. I am confident that some of the blockchain companies now raising money via ICO will become as successful and valuable as Oracle and SAP.

I also hope that Goldmint, a blockchain company I am advising together with Dmitry Evenko and other wonderful blockchain enthusiasts, will be one of the successful projects launched during current ICO boom. A lot of work still to do but it is also a lot of fun.