Begin forwarded message:

From: Gregory Aharonian <>
Date: February 7, 2019 at 9:27:44 PM GMT+9
Cc: ip <>
Subject: Re: [IP] There's No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology | WIRED


I would like to offer another blockchain-trust example: "why there is no good reason to trust blockchain promoters".
A recent Coindesk article reports on an IBM blockchain "breakthrough":

      IBM completes a blockchain trial tracking a 28-ton shipment of oranges

IBM used blockchain to implement a secure electronic bill of lading.  Fantastic.  But compared to what?
The article reports on how IBM is touting the "breakthrough":

For the pilot, IBM created an electronic bill of lading, or e-BL, which helped
reduce and speed up administrative processes “to just one second” as the
document flow is automated, the company claims --- while the standard
paper-based procedure takes five to seven days.

This sentence is proof of why you can't trust some blockchain promoters.  For over 30 years, there has been an international standard for the (secure) exchange of electronic business information - EDI - Electronic Data Interchange.  IBM has been a key player in the development of this standard.  For example, here is a link to a 1991 European Patent owned by IBM dealing with a method to make it easier for businesspeople to use EDI:   (and there are thousands of patents dealing with EDI from the last 30 years)

One part of the EDI world is an ANSI standard for electronic bills of lading: ANSI X12 EDI 211.

So the only honest comparison that IBM should be making is comparing the efficiencies/security of a blockchain-based bill of lading with an EDI bill of lading.  But no, IBM companies a blockchain bill of lading with the centuries old technology of paper bills of lading. That is a dishonest business economic comparison, because it is one of the few ways to justify blockchain role in anything - via false comparisons.  Indeed, one of the defects of many blockchain articles/books/talks, is the lack of mention of (secure) EDI.  Dishonest.


Greg Aharonian
Editor, Internet Patent News Service