The year was 2017. The market was at "peak blockchain" even though blockchain wasn’t ready for prime time. The World Economic Forum predicted that “blockchain will be the beating heart of the global financial system.” Wall Street was in its thrall; one company selling iced tea simply added blockchain to its name and saw its stock jump by 200%.
Beyond finance, it was expected to transform any industry that relies on data integrity, which was pretty much everything – from agriculture to healthcare to intellectual property. “The world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data,” headlined The Economist at that time; and “the data economy demands a new approach.”