A Simple Overview of Blockchains: Why They Are Important to the Cable Industry (2017)

By Steve Goeringer, CableLabs

Blockchain technology has rapidly become one of the most discussed and visible emerging technologies. Gartner’s 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies shows blockchain near the peak of inflated expectations while technology mainstream adoption is still likely to be 5-10 years out. Other technologists and analysts have hyped blockchain even further, claiming it to be the most significant technological innovation since the internet. Recently, many researchers have started to consider whether blockchains can be applied to improving IoT Security or services. What is a blockchain? How is it transformational? This paper provides a quick primer into what blockchains are and why they have the potential to be uniquely valuable to cable network operators. The first part of the paper reviews the basics of how blockchains work. This is followed by a discussion of blockchain features and requirements that are relevant to network operators. The paper concludes by asking two key questions that will aid readers to find their own killer applications.

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