The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
A blockchain is a digital ledger of unalterable data, readable by everyone, to which every everyone can add new data. Blockchains stand to revolutionize the way societies and traditional economies operate. By removing costly intermediaries and introducing new paradigms of trust, they make traditional transactions (e.g., payments) more efficient, and totally new ways of transacting (e.g., smart contracts) possible.
The opportunities, for the energy sector in particular, are real. But so are the challenges. Blockchains cannot achieve their enormous potential via traditional technical approaches. They can, however, via dramatically different ones.
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