A timely book that methodically unpacks the blockchain's potential and everything it enables.

THE BUSINESS BLOCKCHAIN: Promise, Practice and Application of the Next Internet Technology
by William Mougayar, with foreword by Vitalik Buterin
John Wiley & Sons
Available May 9th in North America and May 18th 2016 in Europe

In THE BUSINESS BLOCKCHAIN, William Mougayar, not only describes where the blockchain is leading us via examples; he starts with a sweeping first principles explanation, revealing its many layers, and offering a foundational understanding of the blockchain itself, an approach that will guide readers to uncover their own opportunities.  

William Mougayar anticipates a future that consists of thousands, if not millions of blockchains that will enable not only frictionless value exchange, but also a new flow of value, redefining roles, relationships, power and governance. 

What is the blockchain? Mougayar offers this definition:

“Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate.”

In this book, Mougayar asserts that we shouldn’t ask ourselves what problems the blockchain solves, because that gives us a narrow view on its potential. Rather, we should imagine new opportunities, and tackle more ambitious problems that cross organizational, regulatory and mental boundaries.  

Just as the Internet created new possibilities that we didn’t foresee in its early years, the blockchain will give rise to new business models and ideas that may still be invisible.

According to William Mougayar, the blockchain disrupts the traditional boundaries of value and its exchange methods. Blockchains will become invisible, and we’ll talk more about what they enable. 

Blockchains will allow us to perform the equivalent of “googling” to prove the existence or authenticity of records, identities, ownerships, rights, work done, titles, contracts and almost any process, service or product.

The book is organized in the following 7 chapters:

1. What is the Blockchain?

2. How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates

3. Obstacles, Challenges & Mental Blocks

4. Blockchain in Financial Services

5. Lighthouse Industries & New Intermediaries

6. Implementing Blockchain Technology

7. Decentralization as the Way Forward

Some key concepts from the book:

  • How to think holistically about the blockchain as a meta technology, a business model disruptor, and legal/regulatory policies challenger.
  • The 10 properties exhibited by the blockchain (beyond its most popular one, as a distributed ledger)
  • Blockchains as a new Internet layer, comprised of the new breed of decentralized applications.
  • The unbundling of trust and how a new form of trust inserts itself between peer-to-peer relationships, and brings a new level of transparency, trust and truth.
  • The rise of New Intermediaries. Just as the Internet replaced some intermediaries, now the blockchain is replacing other intermediaries, while simultaneously creating new ones.
  • Industry cases in healthcare, energy and government, including an in-depth review of financial services.
  • Practical recommendations for implementing the blockchain within the enterprise.
  • The blockchain as the operating system that enables decentralization, and its technological, political and societal implications. 
  • The birth of a crypto economy that creates its own wealth via new business models, and peer-to-peer transactional relationships between producers and consumers.
  • A new flow of value, with the blockchain acting as the digital leveler that moves value across a new variety of markets. 
  • 47 blockchain predictions about a not-so-distant future, when blockchain technology permeates our world and creates new companies and new services.

In this book, William explains in non-technical terms, the key concepts behind the blockchain: distributed consensus, state machines, smart contracts, smart property, oracles, scalability, decentralized applications, distributed autonomous organizations, and the resulting impact on our privacy, security, online identity, financial services, healthcare, energy, government and governance models.

The Business Blockchain is an invitation for technologists to better understand the business potential of the blockchain, and for business minded people to grasp the many facets of blockchain technology. This book teaches you how to think about the blockchain.

With assurance and insight that come from operating at the ground levels of the blockchain explosion, William Mougayar delivers a knowledge-packed, valuable, hype-free guidebook to help you connect the dots, and navigate through the blockchain maze of opportunities.

That’s THE BUSINESS BLOCKCHAIN.