Brian Behlendorf is most famous for developing the Apache HTTP server, and he served as CTO of the World Economic Forum, but did you know he was also one of the original technologists for the Burning Man festival? Empowering everyday people has always been a priority for him—he’s a longtime subverter of corporate software culture, and he does it for our own good.
The blockchain world is dynamic, innovative, alive… but also often very tribal and competitive. At Hyperledger, Behlendorf and his team use their home at the non-profit Linux Foundation consortium as a lens through which to see the future of this space: shared, collaboratively-built platforms that help handle the basic plumbing behind distributed ledgers and smart contracts, in an innovation-friendly way that avoids creating walled gardens. In his CloudFest 2019 keynote, Behlendorf told the audience not only what can be done with blockchain technology, but also how one can become a stakeholder in its future evolution.
Building Real-World Platforms
Financial services is one application where the blockchain can shine, said Behlendorf, hence the hype so far. There are also supply-chain applications, which are emerging in the globe-spanning airline industry. There’s also healthcare, where sensitive data must be moved around while maintaining its integrity. Our systems are broken, he said, because data owners haven’t been interested in sharing data.
“There’s a lot of healthy skepticism, a lot of overblown hype,” said Behlendorf, so his team spends a lot of time on educating people on why blockchain is important. He’s not alone—in a white paper, Cisco forecasted 10% of the world’s GDP likely to be on the blockchain by 2027, with its market size reaching nearly $10 billion in two years’ time.
After 25 years of the open-source revolution, Behlendorf hopes that the collaborative ethos will catch on more. The key to success with a multi-stakeholder project, he said, is to have a process that’s healthy and transparent.
To watch Brian‘s presentation click on the video: