Ben Dickson is a software engineer and freelance writer. He writes regularly on business, technology and politics.
Since its advent in 2009, bitcoin’s decentralized, broker-less and secure mechanism to send money across the world has steadily risen in popularity and adoption. Of equal — if not greater — importance is the blockchain, the technology that supports the cryptocurrency, the distributed ledger which enables trustless, peer-to-peer exchange of data.
Every day, new companies and organizations, including big names such as Microsoft and Tesla, take strides toward or show interest in using cryptocurrency and blockchain to support their business.
But the fame of blockchain has also given rise to two new challenges, namely that of interoperability and flexibility.
There are now more than a score of blockchain-based currencies, each optimized for different purposes, with different exchange rates, verification and consensus mechanisms, performance, distribution function, block size limit and degree of anonymity. And none of these currencies are compatible with others, making it hard for users to transfer money between them.
Also, there is now a general inclination to use blockchain