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Blockchain and smart contracts, cloud computing and agile development

Author(s): Wendy Gross, Simon Hodgett, Sam Ip

Dec 13, 2017

This past year saw the acceleration of transformational technologies that are increasingly impacting businesses as well as broader society. These technological developments and, more generally, the renewed and increasing pace of technological change, present tremendous opportunities for businesses.

Blockchain

By far the most significant headline-grabbing development in 2017 relates to the stunning rise of Blockchain. In general terms, Blockchains are a special type of database (or ledger) that can only be appended to and distributed over peer-to-peer networks, and supported by cryptography. When sufficiently widely deployed, Blockchain is virtually impervious to being overwritten. These attributes make Blockchain an ideal platform to facilitate the direct disbursements of value or to store and execute computer code that forms part of an agreement between parties (referred to as “smart contracts”).

The rise of Blockchain and its potential to become a transformational technology has been compared to the advent of the internet and the worldwide web. Some of this interest is driven by the growth in alternative fundraising through “initial coin offerings” and the exponential...

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