Field Note #23. On "Decentralized Computing Stack"

Source: Trent McConaghy, "Blockchain Infrastructure Landscape: A First Principles Framing," avail. online (Sept. 2017)

While the map must never be confused for the territory, having a map remains critical in evaluating the otherwise incoherent and unbounded blockchain ecosystem.  This is particularly true from an investment standpoint where there are direct consequences to informational overload, analytical paralysis, cognitive biases, etc.  However, current schema are largely insufficient for investment (and broader business) purposes, relying too heavily on technical classifications geared perhaps toward system designers and architects.  This might be one shortfall of the following McConaghy framework (granted, it wasn't likely designed with the investor in mind).

Main Ideas include the following:

  • "[T]here's no one magic system called 'blockchain' that magically does everything.  Rather, there are really good building blocks of computing that can be used together to create effective decentralized applications.'" (Id.)
  • Three elements of computing: (1) storage, (2) compute / processing, (3) communications
  • Three elements of decentralized computing: (1) storage, database, file system; (2) stateful business logic, stateless business logic, high performance compute; (3) networks of data, value, state
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