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11/18/2018 Times Of India | e-Edition

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Why blockchain could be as revolutionary as smartp
Andrew Ross Sorkin

This is bonkers. A new so-called blockchain company is selling virtual real estate online with prices as high as $120,000
by 10-meter piece of virtual land. You can buy a plot of virtual land in a virtual city, with certain neighbourhoods costi
others, like in a real city. Except that it isn’t a real city. It is all virtual. Follow? Me neither.

Somehow the company, Decentraland, raised $26 million in 30 seconds from investors last year. That money isn’t “virt

Welcome to the world of blockchain, the latest technological revolution to those inthe-know — and what seems like t
rich-quick gibberish to the layperson.

You’ve probably heard the blockchain is a technology that is going to change the world — it is the backbone of Bitcoi
infamous cryptocurrency. You might even have heard someone trying to explain blockchain by describing it as a “trust

If you’re like most people, that’s when you stopped understanding — or even trying to understand — what this whole
thing is all about. (Stick with me for a moment and I promise you’ll understand it very soon.) It all feels a bit like 1999,
com bubble. In Cannes, France, in June, at a gathering of advertisers, there was a “blockchain yacht” and a “blockchain
Switzerland, there was a “blockchain lounge.”

Meanwhile, Fortune 500 companies are investing billions in the blockchain. IBM has a whole division focused on block
consultancies Accenture and PwC. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, has dismissed Bitcoin, but says “th

Silicon Valley venture capitalists have already sunk more than $1.3 billion into blockchain technology just this year. An
Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most prominent technology firms founded, in part, by Marc Andreessen — who is cr
inventing the modern Web browser — announced a $300 million “crypto” fund to exclusively invest in blockchain tech

“For those of us who have been involved in software for a long time, it feels like the early days of the internet, web 2.0
smartphones all over again,” Andreessen and his colleagues said when introducing the fund.

That explanation of where this new technology sits within history feels right: While prognosticators love to talk about
blockchain as a bubble, it is likely just very early days. And while 1999 marked what seemed like a high point for the in

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