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Mastering Corda: Blockchain for Java Developers - Sustainability

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Hi Jamiel!

Personally I'm a huge skeptic of everything related to Blockchain. A lot of managers have latched onto it because it was a hype and they love throwing buzzwords around, making life for developers much more difficult when a simple old-fashioned database will do just fine.

Even for those use-cases where a decentralized ledger would be appropriate: is it worth it? In my limited understanding of the underlying technology, the certainty behind the consensus is derived from the processing power needed to validate changes made to the ledger. In extreme cases, such as in Bitcoin, we've seen that this leads to massive power consumption.

In an era where the future focus is sustainability, can Blockchain be called "the future"?
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Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum do use energy but whether or not that energy consumption is justified or not is a philosophical question. Bitcoin has a hard supply limit of 21 million Bitcons, at which point mining (and the energy consumption) ceases. Ethereum is already moving to Ethereum 2.0 which uses a consensus algorithm that requires no energy consumption. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the Internet was hyped, lots of companies came and died, and we are seeing the same in blockchain and crypto. What we do know is that it has transcended beyond simple crypto trading to now taken the attention of governments and central banks. The Corda blockchain, for example, is processing over 200 million transactions  for Italian banks. Blockchain is not a solution for all use cases, but there are many use cases that will eventually bend to disruption and blockchain will become the new paradigm on how it is done. This is especially true for finance and healthcare, where synchronization of data across parties is critical and the lack of consistent data models across organizations lead to huge hidden reconciliation costs.
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