Blockchain?


#1

I’ve seen the phrase twice today, one was in a community management forum, and one was in a UX forum. What is this, please?


#2

It’s a database design pattern, and one of the mechanisms powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
What was the context?


#3

One was a link that someone posted in the Slack channel. This is the link. https://blockchain.topcoder.com/challenges/30063672

I can’t find the one for the community managers anymore. :frowning: That’s really bugging me.

This may not be something that I need to understand, but it annoys me when I don’t understand.


#4

I feel like this might be a little against the spirit of posting the question to a forum, but a somewhat involved explanation would do the topic well. Some related terms/technologies, just in case you hear them blindsided and think oh crap there’s more? Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), cryptocurrency, crypto, bitcoin, ethereum, smart contracts, directed acyclical graphs (DAG), hashgraph. Many of these are all part of the movement that is the marriage of distributed databases and money.

Personally, I’m incredibly interested by this stuff, in particular this fringe of the technology called Curation Markets. Here’s one implementation of the concept: https://hackernoon.com/relevant-an-introduction-5b79ef7afa9


#5

Thank you. I think I’m getting a handle on it. I appreciate the links and the time it took you to go find them.

Cheers!


#6

The really neat thing for blockchain is how it can be used in different areas than just currency.

I actually recommended a similar method for validation of votes. If everyone needs to know that their vote wasn’t tampered with, you give each of them one of those 20 digit codes and they keep their ticket to make sure that it matches when they check back with the voter tallies later.

It allows people to know that their vote wasn’t tampered with, without exposing the actual content of their vote so that the privacy of the vote remains.


#7

How is it used in UX? I’ve got my head wrapped around the concept in currency as best as I think it’s going to get, but I don’t see the crossover.


#8

Well, I don’t know the UX-specific context, but there’s getting to be a lot of applications, like tracking food sourcing/freshness or photography rights, that are sprouting up. Like with machine learning, it’s unlikely that we’ll need a master-level understanding, but we’re going to support developers who do.

If there’s a use for UX, directly, it’ll likely be for solving a problem with accountability and making sure that interactions truthfully communicate the underlying status. More likely in the strategy / service design corner than interaction design.


#9

This is exactly right. It’s a brand new field, and many of its applications are going to be ultra-foreign. It’s going to require a lot of metaphors and intuitive design patterns to ease the transition. I guess :thinking:

There is also another couple of aspects in which UX may apply, albeit not specifically the type of UX some of us are accustomed to. I may be stretching this a bit thin, but there are ways we might think about these in terms of something like Service Design, say.

  1. Look at Relevant, the app I shared above. The concept itself could have been based on a critique of some of Facebook’s UX premises.

  2. Conceptualizing and implementing the alternative, at multiple levels of granularity, is also an exercise in UX.

To be fair, I think these areas are particularly cross-disciplined. I started taking courses on Game Theory to help understand the tools to create and test these types of models - models that might reflect rational decision theory. New stuff for me.