While the news cycle is filled with talk of cryptocurrencies such a Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and even meme-tokens like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, truly little of the media hype focuses on the real star of the show, blockchain technology.
In many people's minds cryptocurrency and the blockchain are the same thing, which is not the case. The innovative way in which the blockchain stores, transmits and ultimately secures data is the foundational element upon which crypto-technology is built.
In practical terms, while the mainstream media has been focusing on the cryptocurrencies and their incredible immediate financial value, development firms have been quietly working on using this amazing new technology to create new industries and improve existing ones.
7 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Improve Your Life
There are hundreds if not thousands of ways in which blockchain tech can be used to refine and redefine the world around us. We have chosen to focus on seven industries that will benefit from blockchain integration based on recent developments or news stories.
✓Value-Driven Arts and Entertainment
Piracy has never been easier thanks to the ability to scan, print and share just about any type of media online easily. This has led to ‘one of a kind’ artworks ending up as cheap prints on everything from mousepads to children’s toys. Artists are unable to protect their intellectual property rights and it has a measurable impact on their bottom line.
Whether you are self-publishing a novel, realising a new album or creating your perfect painting once you release it into the world someone will make an illegal copy and try to profit from your skill and hard work.
Thanks to the incredible security, peer-to-peer sharing and provable nature of blockchain interactions artists are now able to securely display, share and sell their creations safely, and when dealing with a third-party agent, transparently to ensure they receive full value.
This new level of trust and transparency has been the catalyst behind the boom in NFT (non-fungible token) art sales. Where, for the first time in history, it is possible to provably own an original digital creation.
This ensures that the artist receives fair value, agents must deal fairly with buyers and sellers and collectors are ensured that their purchase will retain value given the ability to legally prove theirs is the original artwork and not a fake.
✓Beating Scalpers with Digital Ticketing and Sales
One of the most recent uproars online has been the rise of the digital scalper. Using blockchain technology to ensure patrons received tickets to highly sought after events, rather than scalpers, has proven to be highly effective for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Florida.
Assistant Vice President, Business Intelligence, Nicole Keating said:
“While our work with True Tickets began as an initiative to keep tickets in the hands of our community and out of the hands of brokers, their mobile ticketing solution is, now more than ever, a critical component of our safety protocols.”
An unexpected but positive spin-off has been their ability to offer contactless ticketing in a world recovering from the pandemic.
Sadly, the reach of the scalping community has not been limited to ticket sales for events, as new age scalpers apply sophisticated algorithms to tracking the online releases of everything from the latest Nike trainers to NVidia’s 3000 series graphics cards.
Using automated bots, these scalpers buy up all the available stock within seconds which then creates an artificial shortage. As has been the case with the release of Nvidia’s highly anticipated 3000 series GPU’s this has resulted in ‘resellers’ asking as much as $3000 for a graphics card that retails for $699.
With a simple tweak of the blockchain code used by event hubs such as the Arsht Center, online retailers would be able to trigger individual smart contracts that ensured that each individual unit of a product sold online was going to an actual customer and not a platform looking to defraud the public.
✓Advancing the Potential of Ridesharing
Despite being raised to never get in cars with stranger the cost-effectiveness of ridesharing combined with the ease of hailing a ride on short notice has seen the industry boom with start-ups like Uber and Lyft becoming multi-billion dollar companies while consisting of little more than some fairly basic technology, an app, and a control office.
Yet the industry could be far more than what it is, and Arcade City is out to prove it. The innovative new rideshare hub is turning the industry on its head and using blockchain technology to do so.
Inspired by the decentralised nature of the blockchain Arcade City CEO Christopher David began working on a model that better served the drivers and the people ordering their services.
Rather than pre-setting rates and doling out contracts Arcade City allows the drivers to set their own rates, build recurring smart contract agreements with customers and even offer non-traditional rideshare services like deliveries, roadside assistance and more.
This means that everyone from a student looking to work between classes and a small delivery business owner who needs additional income to pay his staff can all benefit from this decentralised blockchain-enabled opportunity.
✓Streamlined Banking Systems
To decentralised currency evangelists the mainstream banking may be anathema, however, the reality is that the entire world runs on fiat currency systems and is underpinned by these traditional institutions.
Three immediate areas that the blockchain could address are:
Online identity verification systems – With the institution of protocols like Zero Knowledge Proof, an online user would only need to prove their identity at a single point. From there on that proof of identity is accepted by all other service providers on the blockchain. This reduces how far one’s personal data is shared enhancing your privacy, while still offering service providers and sellers the security of doing business with a trusted party.
Financial clearing and payment settlements – With provable accounts, smart contracts, and the speed of transacting across the blockchain banks could begin to clear transactions and facilitate near instant global transfers while reducing costs by eliminating the multi-step processes that currently exist.
Providing accounts for the unbanked – In poorer countries around the world there are estimated to be more than 2 billion people without access to any form of banking. Decentralised blockchain banking would allow secure, low cost, access for these people and allow them to receive international income to support their families and fight poverty.
At its core banking is the simply the control, measurement, and facilitation of asset transfers between various private and public entities it can benefit greatly from the inherently secure and provable nature of blockchain transactions.
The three items listed above are considered standard in any blockchain transaction, yet they would be revolutionary if applied to the traditional banking world.
✓New Era of Blockchain-Driven Advertising
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) postulates that by 2025 click fraud and other underhand tactics will have cost the digital advertising industry as much as $50 billion in lost revenues.
Like every other industry the online advertising world is rife with fraudsters. The reality is that as soon as you hand over funds to a third party for access to a framework that obfuscates its mechanics you open yourself up to being taken advantage of.
This becomes more likely the more you spend as it becomes less tenable to track each individual advertiser and their click data the more providers you must engage to meet your ad spend requirements.
However, this is all null and void when the programmatic advertising platform is built on the blockchain. As all agreements are facilitated by smart contracts and each transaction is visible in its entirety to the person paying for the traffic it is simple to determine where your money is being allocated and to review the clicks that you have purchased.
This will make click fraud incredibly difficult to facilitate, and should some genius work out how to do it, you have the visibility and the tools to shut it down immediately.
✓Voting in The People’s Choice
The right to vote is the backbone of every democratic society around the globe. Yet, as the allegations of Russian tampering that clouded Donald Trump’s presidential term proved there is a level of distrust around traditional voting mechanics, their controls, and their final outcomes.
As we discussed earlier with banking and online advertising the blockchain’s very construction ensures the secure transmission of data, offers the ability to prove the identity of each individual participating in the transaction, and finally offers provably fair data based on the information it has gathered.
In practical terms this would allow for voters to be registered in an uncrackable blockchain database, using smart contracts allow them to vote privately and securely for their chosen politician, and finally allow the electoral body to report on who received what number of votes.
The blockchain is the ideal platform for facilitating free, fair and unhackable democratically sound elections.
✓Safe and Secure Online Gambling
As passionate fans of the online gambling community we cannot overlook to the benefits and advantages of blockchain gaming.
Beyond the ability to stake wagers via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the blockchain is the ideal platform for hosting online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo halls and sports books.
Any blockchain-based gambling providers ensures:
Your privacy – With the ability to store your data in an uncrackable decentralised environment your personal details and gambling history are guaranteed to be safe and secure.
Provably fair gambling – The transparent nature of blockchain coding means that you can pull the server side results of each spin of the reels or deal of the cards. All blockchain-based casinos offer provably fair reports, so you have an obstructed view of your wagers and their outcomes.
Secure money in and money out – Using blockchain based digital wallets to transact ensure that not only are your deposits processed instantly but they are untraceable. The same is true of your withdrawals as there is no delay in receiving your winnings once you cash out, and with the funds returning to the same secure wallet you deposited from they are also private.
We can only hope that larger developers like Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt begin to invest in transitioning their casino games from traditional gambling environments to blockchain based servers.
While there is obviously a financial implication to this type of new technology shift there is no disputing that as blockchain adoption increases traditional server and hosting platforms will begin to diminish in favour of one that offers security, privacy, lower costs, and much higher speeds.