_͟z_͟rͫoͬ_͟_͟ Profile picture
Jul 17, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Just had quite an interesting experience with @verisart's #blockchain for securing authenticity certificate, provenance, and other metadata around a recent purchase of art that I made, and now have a few thoughts to document for later reflection. 1/
First, while my honest initial impression was "huh, shame that someone's gone and blockchained something as pure as art as part of this DAPP money grab," it is in the end quite nice to have a cert ostensibly locked in, & useful if I ever decide to sell it, give as a gift, etc. 2/
That said, there are some hiccups along the way that need to be kept in mind when trying to convince people to flow with this "Don't want to trust humans? Easy, just trust #blockchain and peripheral technology [that was developed by humans]!" cognitive dissonance. 3/
The email I received started with "Thanks for your purchase, Joseph!" While I've been called a lot of things in my life, Joseph has never been one of them. Oops. Now the question was "Shit, is this immutably locked into this nascent blockchain startup's permanent record?" 4/
"Or did some junior dev developing email templates just fuck up the collateral around these templates?"

Trust. Eroded. Right out the gate.

Mind immediately went to whether I should jump ship and/or send them @CF_BFA's #trust toolkit to reflect on: techstartups101.com/design-for-tru…
To their credit, after I sent them an admittedly snarky email, @verisart resolved and sent an updated email (with my correct name) within minutes. Good, turns out it was the latter of the two bugs (not a ledger error, "just" something messed up in the surrounding tech). 6/
But, worth considering: if I didn't know the tech (and thus wasn't able to give this benefit of the doubt), would I trust this startup to secure records that are important to me (as assumed in their value prop)? Would I trust blockchain technology in general? 7/
Perhaps (probably) not. And this is where the trendy "blockchain is our messiah" attitude fails. BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IS FUNDAMENTALLY A DISTRO'D DATABASE WITH TRIGGERS (sorry for yelling), and like all dbs depends on an application layer to interface with humans. 8/
As such, the medium-term viability of any product using this tech is dependent on adherence to unsexy, well-trodden web app best practices. You can't serve blockchain directly to end users any more than you can PostgreSQL, for instance. You still need solid UX and polished UI. 9/
Long story short, cool experience with real potential. Bravo to the folks putting this out there.

BUT–significant work to do in gut-checking: egos in this space, and assumptions that some tech utopia just organically develops by throwing new tech into existing experiences. 10/
Given proper consideration of a use case (which imho can make sense for fine art), this tech is necessary for an improved reality, but insufficient on its own.

Now, for extra credit, replace "#blockchain" w "#AI" or "#IoT" or other buzz, and reread this thread. 11/11


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