Thanks to Paul Dowding for this great analogy!
Imagine a world without cars or even the internal combustion engine.
If you had never seen a car, it would be an impressive sight.
However, in this imaginary world analogy, the car is a single seater and the first engine designed is the equivalent of a very small-block-drive-train engine. As a transportation solution, this car only a bit of a car – a Bitcar, one could say. It can only transport one person at a time, somewhat slowly, but compared to a world without cars that relies on trusted transportation intermediaries such as horses, it looks revolutionary.
The Bitcars trundle around for a few amateur enthusiasts and slowly over time, it starts to get more and more attention. Soon, however, people begin to realize that it’s not the Bitcar that is special but the small-block-drive-train that was the revolutionary idea. Other developers start considering other types of small-block-drive-trains. Rather than the power of whining, which is the secret of the Bitcar, the new small-block-drive-trains use a shared contentious mechanism for their smooth operation.
All sorts of pundits talk about the amazing potential of a small-block-drive-train and extrapolate expansive possibilities even though the small-block-drive-train hasn’t come close performing that well. Many consultants start charging for advice on this new small-block-drive-train and start using impressive-sounding, technical terms such as pressured cylindric compression and the thrashing of the engine-links being combined in a novel way to create this new means of distributing shared records of journeys. Venture capital is raised and consortia are formed to find ways to take advantage of the small-block-drive-train. One group takes the Bitcar model and makes a different, more flexible version, one creates an open design model free to use the small-block-drive-train any way they want and another creates a similar but different entropy hearth.
Despite the fact the small-block-drive-train is woefully lacking in power and performance to meet its potential, the ignorance about its characteristics and the unfailing belief that somehow, its performance will be improved because the smartest people are “working on it”, many prototypes continue to be built. The illusion is perpetuated by the fact that they actually work. They just are very slow and can’t handle great volumes of people or other items to transport. With the value of the original Bitcars now attracting attention, people start initial car offerings, known as ICO’s, as a means to raise even more money for even more variations of the solutions using the small-block-drive-train. No solution has yet achieved the necessary performance of a block-drive-train.
What everyone in this analogy did was take the small-drive-block-chain as it was, despite its performance limitations. With the implementation of so many variations, no one was prepared to admit, that what was really needed was a redesigned, core engine.
The current DLT/Blockchain implementations rely on variations of a theme of consensus algorithms to reach agreement and their performance is woefully short of the potential of what is needed by the financial services and other industries. What is needed is a radically different design of the core and protocol layers of a distributed ledger. From a fundamental Production Engineering analysis, the reasons why the current solutions are slow and an optimal proposal can be derived.