This article from Wired resurfaced recently on The Twitters. I was ready to go into it with a grain of salt the size of a skeptical journalist, until I saw it was by Bruce Schneier. He’s more than earned all our trust and respect, and he wears the same flat caps I do.
He didn’t pull any punches on the tech’s necessity, emphasis added:
Do you need a public blockchain? The answer is almost certainly no. A blockchain probably doesn’t solve the security problems you think it solves. The security problems it solves are probably not the ones you have. (Manipulating audit data is probably not your major security risk.) A false trust in blockchain can itself be a security risk. The inefficiencies, especially in scaling, are probably not worth it. I have looked at many blockchain applications, and all of them could achieve the same security properties without using a blockchain—of course, then they wouldn’t have the cool name.
He expands on the emphasised point:
Does the blockchain change the system of trust in any meaningful way, or just shift it around? Does it just try to replace trust with verification? Does it strengthen existing trust relationships, or try to go against them? How can trust be abused in the new system, and is this better or worse than the potential abuses in the old system? And lastly: What would your system look like if you didn’t use blockchain at all?