The next major tech disruption is here, and this time CNET Founder, Halsey Minor, believes it’s legacy centralised cloud providers like AWS and Google who are about to be rocked. Here he explains what’s shifting the tides underneath these monolithic giants: Blockchain, which is fast becoming the future of cloud processing.
Halsey Minor is the founder, co-founder, and investor behind enterprise architecture and technology adoption successes including CNET, Salesforce, Uphold, Google Voice, OpenDNS, and Vignette (now a part of OpenText), VideoCoin Network, and now, Live Planet.
The power of blockchain is limitless. With the ability to drastically streamline video processing, for example, and break dependency from the centralized cloud providers, blockchain will quickly become the go-to technology for the media and entertainment industries, among countless others. And for media companies, who today must “share” their data with giant competitors like Amazon and Google, this innovation can’t come soon enough.
Why should you care now? Because we are seeing a major eclipse. Experts predict blockchain spending will more than triple in the next three years, reaching over $14 billion by 2023, while spending on edge infrastructure will double in the next four. This signals a massive, raw opportunity to improve bottom lines across the globe as blockchain and infrastructure revolutions converge.
Blockchain and the Future of Media
Media is one of the biggest areas where blockchain can make a massive, immediate impact because of the large costs and need for streamlined video processing. Currently, as media companies are forced to depend on centralized cloud providers for video processing, they are effectively renting compute and storage from their competitors.
It’s hard for many to imagine cutting costs down from the fees charged by AWS and other centralized providers. But the fact is, many of the large data centre providers grew because their size made it possible to haemorrhage profits as they expanded into dominant, mainstream solutions. There is room in this paradigm for consequential shifts in the coming years – and to cut down costs.
Whether it be from an enterprise that has leftover infrastructure after transitioning to the Cloud, a data centre that has untapped capacity, or even a user who has just set up a Raspberry PI at home, there is a vast amount of unused compute and storage around the globe that is idle and waiting to be harnessed.
With the ability to capitalize on unused capacity, emerging blockchain technology offers an entirely new, sustainable and cost-effective way to decentralize computing resources and infrastructure. This can change the way video content is created, processed and distributed around the world, while offering significant advantages to everyone from major Hollywood studios to amateur videographers.
With an earlier use of blockchain, Bitcoin, technologists built a massively distributed network where people make money through incredibly transparent, peer-to-peer practices. These practices have been totally open and also encouraged entrepreneurs and innovators to set up operations in profitable locations, like where the cost of electricity was lowest. People were even able to buy hardware, set-up “zombie computers” for processing and reap profits in that manner – something that never happened with previous peer-to-peer sharing efforts.
True, there are common points to overcome. For instance, in the case of cryptocurrency, common barriers like the volatility of token-based payments must be addressed to encourage adoption. But the opportunity is there, people are seeing it and now is the time when it is about to grow, especially as new technologies are encouraging more edge computing.
Re-architecting Around Decentralisation
5G will enable a plethora of new IoT and data-rich technologies that will all require extremely low latency. There are many plans for how businesses will handle this shift. For instance, many carriers are seeking to build data centres in cities, but one thing that is common to many plans is the fact that servers will have to be closer to the actual technologies – at the edge.
While we are seeing an immediate value proposition for blockchain to help handle video processing, its usefulness will also skyrocket as other data-rich processes like smart doorbells, self-driving vehicles and smart sensors begin to become more ubiquitous and in need of decentralized, edge infrastructure.
With 4G, everything was in the Cloud. App stores became dominating, and the user consumption of 4G data skyrocketed along with them. Now, 5G will require bringing the server next to you, and that could be greatly bolstered by the decentralized and secure nature of blockchain and peer-to-peer sharing of computing resources.
Realising the Future of Innovation
Turning disruptive shifts into solutions that see wide-spread adoption is always challenging. And with blockchain, we are at a major inflection point. Several years ago, many thought it was absurd that a cloud service like Salesforce could take care of customer data or that drones could be used to streamline package deliveries.
With blockchain, organisations seeking to wield it will need to prove that servers owned by a plethora of different people can reliably be used to process data. Luckily, price points are a great incentive, and it won’t be long until profit margins and cost savings will get enough people to experiment with blockchain, and ultimately drive mainstream adoption worldwide. If you’re not considering blockchain today, you’ll surely fall behind tomorrow.