(Schwab, 2017) The steam engine, electricity and computer technology once made prominent
landmarks in technology revolution in the human history. Today, a batch of disruptive
innovations, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning,
big data, 3D printing, VR/AR and gene engineering, will bring the fourth industrial
revolution. This new wave of technology promises to profoundly alter every aspect of our
life, significantly improve efficiency in every industry and elevate the capacity of mankind to
a point that has never been reached before. At the very heart of the fourth revolution is the
blockchain. This wondrous technology leverages the pervasive power of innovation and has
been transforming people’s habits, needs and their way of thinking.
On January 3rd 2009, the first 50 bitcoins were mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, thus establishing
the genesis block.
In the following four years, the development of blockchain, such as
transactions and mining facilities, had been revolving all around the bitcoin. In late 2013,
Vitalik Buterin proposed to establish 1) Ethereum, an open-source, public, blockchain-based
distributed computing platform that features smart contract (scripting) functionality, which
facilitates online contractual agreements; 2) the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which can
execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. With these two evolutionary
developments, we have entered entered blockchain 2.0. This new phase of development is all
about smart contracts and how the entire slate of economic, market, and financial
applications can make use of blockchain.
But what about blockchain 3.0?