Blockchain is a whole lot more than just Bitcoin
If you’ve been following my recent posts, you probably know by now that I am very enthusiastic about the concept of blockchain technology. It’s more than just being excited about the technology and the possibilities behind it — I genuinely believe that it will bring a revolution to the capital markets (and to other fields of life as well).
Just think about it. The exact mechanism that we use for decentralized linkage of encrypted data, creating digital coins, can be used for many things we do daily. Let’s take a look at some examples from the recent past, which I believe have the potential to become unicorns in the future (meaning they will pass the $1 billion worth mark):
One of the significant advantages of blockchain is that it is decentralized. Therefore nobody can control and manipulate it. Imagine a situation where you can use that factor for one of the most important decisions you make in life: voting without the risk of fraud. Well, it is no longer left only to imagination, thanks to startups like Follow My Vote, which are working on a different approach to the democratic system.
What if someone could vote online, with blockchain technology making sure nobody has access to the voter’s decision on its way to becoming a part of the final results? What if someone could change their vote virtually after voting at a ballot, in a manner that ensures there is no coercion being made in the process? Soon, these ideas may not be solely hypothetical.
Keeping personal data confidential and away from the wrong hands has always been a problematic issue. Blockchain can also come in handy here, especially when we are talking about extra sensitive information, such as medical or psychiatric data. There is already one company called BurstiQ working on this type of solution.
This way, the patient has complete control over who gets to see their medical profile and how much it is. I do not doubt the medical team’s motives by saying this, but sadly, hospitals’ systems are way too easy to break into these days — and that can be very risky.
There isn’t much artists can do to make sure they get the revenue they deserve for their creations — or is there? Think of a way to make certain information on a decentralised network is available regarding artwork, whether it’s music, video, images, etc. Mediachain is a company working towards making this vision a reality in the music industry. This way, broadcasters of content will know who needs to get paid for everything they air — and they won’t be able to avoid it (whether accidentally or on purpose).
Prevention of money laundering
This may sound odd because we know that blockchain and cryptocurrencies were once very popular for illegal payments such as ransom. However, this liability can become an asset since blockchain can also help set up a secure database of financial operators. This way, any transaction can be given a background check before it is finalized. Ocular from Los Angeles is already working on that.
On a more general scale…
Try to imagine what other effects blockchain can have on everyday life. For example, the whole process of authentication and documentation of ownership of assets can be simplified and secured. Instead of having a paper that indicates you own something that you can’t physically hold at all times (like real estate or rights), you can have a digital, decentralized token that symbolizes your legal and official ownership.
Want another example? Sure. The process of investing can be much more accessible. Today, if people want to hold shares of a company, they must wait till it becomes public — and then it isn’t cheap. In the future, a simple digital token can replace buying a share on the stock market.
That’s not all. Blockchain can also make the funding of startups and ideas much more accessible. Let’s say that a startup is looking for capital, but instead of turning to banks or ventures, they sell a unique cryptocurrency to the public — just like an initial coin offering (ICO). The money spent on the digital coin can help the startup grow, and in return, the investors make money off of the rise in the coin’s value as the startup grows and develops.
I hope that I have managed to convince you that this is more than just a dream by now. Blockchain might seem abstract and complex today, but investors (especially millennials) are not finding a reason to shy away from it. Now think of its status in a few years. Revolutionary, isn’t it?