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Good-Bye Blockchain, Hello DLT: The New Voices Have Spoken

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 15:15
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Alexander Goborov
A report by Forrester Research claims that DLT is the new kid on the block in the minds of most up-and-coming fintech players
Good-Bye Blockchain, Hello DLT: The New Voices Have Spoken
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Of late, scientific research has been contributing more and more to the general rhetoric of the Blockchain movement. Only last week, a report put forth by the Ethereum-backed ConsenSys and Whiteblock declared that EOS was not a Blockchain company at all, merely a cloud-storing service, an accusation that caused big waves in the crypto community, naturally. Now, another report claims that the actual term Blockchain is being abandoned altogether by many up-and-coming players in favor of the new term, DLT.

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The Report and its Makers

Forrester Research is a research facility based in Massachusetts, the United States, in a town called Cambridge (not to be confused with the one in UK), which is also home to the world famous MIT and Harvard University. The company was founded long before the term Blockchain even appeared on the horizon, all the way back in 1983, by the businessman George F. Colony, whose personal motto is:

“When I meet with a client, I have one mission: to tell them something they don’t know.”

Colony himself is a graduate of Harvard University and a frequently quoted figure in many well established publications, among them The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

With their annual revenue exceeding 300 million USD, Forrester Research is regularly hired by companies related to the world of technology for the purposes of their market research and strategic planning. Forrester’s latest report tackles the inner workings and the hidden tendencies of the crypto world.

What is DLT?

The report, co-authored by Martha Bennett, a Forrester analyst, states that, according to the research conducted, more and more companies are opting for the term DLT instead of the usual term Blockchain.

What is DLT?

DLT stands for Distributed Ledger Technology, which underneath is little different to the more common Blockchain; however, many new companies are said to have chosen to label themselves as DLT because presumably:

a) The term Blockchain, while tremendously overhyped, is rather less descriptive, whereas DLT is much more so from the vantage point of the actual technology, even if, at present, the term is less known;

b) With so many ICO scams and scandals in the news, the term Blockchain carries with it a substantial amount of unwanted baggage, i.e. “negative wild west connotations”, which many new companies would, now doubt, want to shed;


c) Furthermore, some companies may not be “eligible” to call themselves Blockchain, as standards, albeit varying, have already been set. In contrast, with the term DLT, new companies may, indeed, be able to find their footing, according to Bennett:

“The networks that are live or under development vary greatly and frequently lack key characteristics that many regard as essential components of a blockchain.”

Moving on

Of course, the paper by Bennett et al is reporting a trend, not the absolute numbers. In other words, to give an example, the fastest growing economy in the world is not necessarily the largest economy in the world, only the rate itself may be highest. Likewise, simply because the term DLT is now becoming more popular among new players does not mean that there are more DLT companies around; in fact, the opposite is true. A quick search engine inquiry on Google returns over 200 million hits for “Blockchain”; on the other hand, the term “DLT” returns a mere 1.5 million hits, as of right now.

Be that as it may, the trend is here, so let’s see how the future unfolds over the next several months: we may yet be in for a surprise.

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About the author

Alexander Goborov (MSc) is U.Today’s chief editor of analytics. Before joining our publication, he worked in research and education, and, briefly, as an academic ghostwriter.

His articles range from scientific to creative, among them those that came out in Journal of Language Learning, St Petersburg Times, and Kommersant.

At U.Today, he and his team specialize in the economic analysis of the Blockchain market, infographics, as well as interviews.