The Blockchain Litmus Test
Bitcoin's underlying blockchain database is a novel approach to recordkeeping that has the potential to decentralize big data. Bitcoin's success has inspired a multitude of spinoff projects hoping to use blockchain as a distributed database for records-management innovation in other fields. Misconceptions and exaggerations about blockchain and its capabilities are pervasive in the media. Drawing on perspectives from archival science, dependable computing, and secure computing, this paper surveys current applications, research, and critiques of blockchain to provide an objective assessment of its benefits and limitations. Based on the findings of the survey, this paper proposes three criteria that predict success for blockchain-based data management projects, briefly: dependability, security, and trust.