Presented By O’Reilly and Intel AI
Put AI to work
Sep 4-5, 2018: Training
Sep 5-7, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Turning the "fat protocol" on its side: Making the case for simple distributed ledgers

Valentin Bercovici (PencilDATA)
1:30pm-2:15pm Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Location: Imperial B

The “fat protocol” view of blockchains and ICOs is a decentralized take on highly valued network effects common in successful tech businesses. B2C consumer and B2B enterprise network effects have different benefits and value. Valentin Bercovici explains how diversity of horizontal enterprise machine learning use cases drives the creation of data platforms, which necessarily abstract details of underlying hardware and software stacks. Historical examples include SQL, ODBC/JDBC, and HTTP/REST.

Blockchain stacks are no different. A minority of enterprise use cases are related to financial, payment, settlement or “exchange of value business” requirements. On the other hand, the majority of enterprise use cases, machine learning or otherwise, deal with BPA and next-gen RPA in administration, engineering, finance, HR, manufacturing, marketing, sales, shipping, support, and other corporate departments. In those scenarios, a simple distributed ledger (SDL) offers the right combination of blockchain value to serve diverse enterprise workflows while abstracting away the governance, economic, security, development, implementation, and other operational details of multiple underlying blockchain specifics. Valentin covers several real-world enterprise machine learning examples of where simple distributed ledgers have delivered more rapid time to value than regular “fat protocol” blockchains.

Photo of Valentin Bercovici

Valentin Bercovici


Valentin “Val” Bercovici is founder and CEO at PencilDATA, democratizing trust throughout digital transformation. Val is also cofounder and a senior advisor at, a company focused on completing the autonomous data center vision by addressing the gap in automated tech support via machine learning. He was a founding member of the governing board at the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF), the Linux Foundation’s home for Google’s Kubernetes, the Open Container Initiative (OCI), and many other related cloud-native projects. Val has enjoyed a long leadership career. Previously, at NetApp/SolidFire, he launched multibillion-dollar storage and compliance products, created the competitive team and strategy, directed new research investments for the NetApp Data Fabric roadmap, and served as SolidFire’s CTO. A pioneer in the cloud industry, Val led the creation of NetApp’s cloud strategy and introduced the first international cloud standard to the marketplace as CDMI (ISO INCITS 17826) in 2012. Val advises numerous data-driven startups and is passionate about improving diversity within the tech industry. He has several patents issued and pending around data center applications of augmented reality and data authenticity.