Applications of blockchain don’t just make existing systems more efficient, they change how, from whom and through whom services are provided. Like it has done in the financial industry, blockchain decentralizes distribution and eliminates middlemen and middleware.
Given this potential, blockchain is likely a better candidate to challenge the physically-focused mindsets that dominate infrastructure today than other digital technologies. Although other technologies, from sensors to apps, can play an important part of infrastructure’s evolution, they only augment and improve existing systems but don’t change how those systems work.
To truly push the boundaries of infrastructure innovation, industry leaders must start using digital technologies to transform how our physical systems operate, not just virtually represent their operation. Blockchain, while far from a panacea, helps us achieve this by uniting the physical and the digital on a deeper level — a critical step if we want digital technologies to have the same level of impact on infrastructure as they have on other industries.