Blockchains are a bad idea: more specifically, blockchains are a very bad idea

“It’s so funny that we were able to build, for example, the pyramids without the blockchain and manage supply chain. And now all of a sudden, everyone is claiming without the blockchain, nothing can get done.”

In this flash talk, presented at our 2018 Future Assembly, Professor James Mickens from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering takes us back to the basics of blockchains. Haven’t we been here before? Yes, but according to Mickens, we’re due for a recap. Using humor and an impressive slide deck, Mickens illustrates the mismatch that frequently occurs between blockchain technology and what we’re trying to do. In short, there are a lot of misuses out there and we need to be more thoughtful about the specific scenarios where blockchain technology is a good idea and has potential.



  • James Mickens

    James is a computer scientist and the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.