He may not be a household name like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, but Brian Behlendorf is one of the most important people in the world of modern technology. As a primary developer of the Apache web server way back in 1995, he laid the foundation for the internet as we know it today. Since then, he’s been a bit of a technological Renaissance man, serving as CTO of the World Economic Forum, advising the White House’s Open Government project, and founding several tech companies.
As usual, Behlendorf has his eyes on the future of technology, and what he sees is blockchain. Blockchain, everywhere.
In an article in MIT’s Technological Review, Behlendorf recounts how he left his cushy job as a venture capitalist to lead the Hyperledger Project, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that supports the open-source development of blockchain. Behlendorf hopes to make Hyperledger a sort of hub for blockchain innovation, using the project to support individuals and companies while they develop their own blockchain-based technologies.
Unlike traditional database systems, blockchain can be used to store information across a network rather than just in one internal system, which allows for better verification and updating of that information. Digital currency Bitcoin is currently supported by blockchain, but Behlendorf sees that the potential for this unique type of database goes far beyond finance. Blockchain databases in healthcare could make the management of medical records easier. They could improve how devices function within the IoT, end government corruption, and even affect how we share music.
With support from almost 100 corporations, including IBM, J.P. Morgan, and Airbus, the Hyperledger Project could be the birthplace of the Blockchain revolution, and just as he was with the internet, Behlendorf will be one of the people leading the charge into this new era of tech.