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People are praising the blockchain for use in all kinds of environments where a secure transaction history is required, e.g. logistics etc.

My question: Let's say someone sets up a blockchain for logistics transactions - what would be the incentive to provide the proof-of-work, i.e. to mine?

In the Bitcoin blockchain, I receive bitcoins as a reward. But wouldn't a similar kind of reward be required for this non-bitcoin blockchain to work in real life?


If this is the wrong community, please point me to one that is better suited. Also, my question is based on my current understanding of the blockchain technology, so please also let me know if the question does not compute.

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These days there's a lot of new systems being shipped - or marketed even before that - that came with 'blockchain' attached somehow. We're not sure how and why someone would set up a blockchain for logistics transactions, to stay on your example. Most of the news about 'adopting blockchain technology' we see on the media fails to explain why they need a blockchan at all - or are afraid to say they will anchor data on Bitcoin or Ethereum chains.

One can design a database with hashes and digital signatures in blockchain's fashion and call that a 'blockchain', without mining. They can even have ming with no reward or token of value, and call that a 'blockchain'. There's no one to stop them.

But the meaning of 'blockchain' as it's used in Bitcoin, is something where mining is hard and needs incentives like block reward to happen. That's the design originally proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto in his solution for the Bizantine Generals Problem.

  • Thanks for your comment! I think by now I have a much better understanding of the Blockchain technology and I tend to agree with you — almost all of the blockchain stuff around disruption and new business models is nonsense and just part of the hype. The answer to my original question lies in things like proof of stake, proof of authority, etc. (I.e. any of the other consensus methods). However, even then, most of the people talking about blockchain in the media/business world seem like they do not really understand what they are talking about... – Michael Becker Apr 15 '18 at 9:54

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