6 Ways Blockchain Could Switch The World
6 Ways Blockchain Could Switch The World
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have seen a drop in enthusiasm over the past year as more people have become wary toward the currencies.
A spate of high profile scams and illegal transactions that involved bitcoin painted the cryptocurrency as a contraption for criminals and an unsafe avenue with which to budge money. While bitcoin enthusiasts proceed to rework the currency’s pic in order to build up mainstream approval, others say the coin itself isn’t what the world should be focused on.
Blockchain, the ledger-like technology that bitcoin runs on, has instead emerged as one of the most significant technological advancements from the past decade. Blockchain’s capability to facilitate transactions seamlessly without a third party intermediary has been driving bitcoin’s popularity over the past few years.
While the system was developed in order to lightly transfer bitcoins from party to party, many believe that supporting a bitcoin market is one of many uses blockchain could have in the future.
Some analysts believe that blockchain could significantly switch the way that the financial system operates, overhauling everything from banks to exchanges. Others say the financial space is just the beginning point for blockchain; the technology could be applicable to a broad range of industries and activities as it becomes more and more advanced.
Here’s a look at six ways blockchain may be seen in the future.
One of the very first places blockchain is likely to turn up is at banks.
As bitcoin threatened to disrupt the traditional finance system, many big banks created dedicated teams to explore the cryptocurrency and experiment with its use. While the majority of banks are still wary of bitcoin itself, many have become increasingly interested in how bitcoin might improve their operations.
So far, the best use-case for blockchain within a bank has been to . At the moment, sending money from one country to another requires a superb deal of time and administration, but using blockchain to run those payments could switch that. For one, the system would likely make such transactions cheaper by eliminating the need for a middleman. Not only that, but blockchain would also speed up processing, a benefit to both banks and customers.
Blockchain has also been touted as a viable way to run an exchange. Using a ledger like blockchain would make trade data much more accurate by conducting the trades on a peer-to-peer basis.
Applying this technology to an exchange would cut down on the need for supervisors, a cost-saving measure that would also reduce the instances of human error. Not only that, but a blockchain-run exchange would also speed up transaction times, permitting traders to see real-time results when their trades are placed.
Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ) has already begun for a blockchain-based exchange; the company has partnered with Chain, a blockchain infrastructure provider, to work on integrating blockchain into the exchange’s operations.
While blockchain may be a good way to overhaul U.S. exchanges, many worry about technological problems that might arise, especially after several mishaps delayed trading on U.S. exchanges this year.
Three. Legal Contracts
The legal space could also be turned on its head by blockchain, as the ledger has been suggested as a way to facilitate contracts. Dubbed “wise contracts,” blockchain-supported contracts would be able to essentially enforce themselves without the need for a third party.
Computer programs would be able to set conditions laid out in a contract and when they were pleased, the next part of the contract would be released. That means contractual obligations could be lighter to enforce, as they would be automated and security surrounding such transactions would be enhanced.
One example would be the capability for a customer to pay for a package at the moment it was delivered. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has a dedicated research team to investigate the possibility of creating brainy contracts. The rock hard believes that such a system would enhance privacy for participating businesses and ensure that required conditions are met.
This year was the very first year that a presidential candidate accepted bitcoin donations for their campaign, but many believe that blockchain will truly revolutionize politics in the years to come.
Voting has always been a hot topic among the U.S. public; each election completes with questions about accuracy and efficiency, as well as calls to reform the system and update the technology used. Blockchain supporters say that the ledger bitcoin runs on could the voting process by making it more secure. In such a voting system, blockchain would store each vote with an encrypted hash.
These encryptions are exceedingly difficult to break and would require a hacker with an unlikely amount of computer power in order to switch just one vote without being noticed. The Liberal Alliance, a political party in Denmark, has already to run its internal voting system using blockchain, making it the very first political group in the world to integrate blockchain into its voting practices.
Companies like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) have revolutionized the way people view content by disrupting traditional cable broadcasters and pushing more people to observe TV and movies online.
However, subscription services like that one may be under fire in the coming years if blockchain is used to facilitate . This type of system would permit users to pay per minute, or per demonstrate in a pay-as-you-go manner.
Such payment systems could benefit both customers and content providers, as it gives a more realistic view of what people are actually using. Subscription bundles often result in a good deal of unused services, which customers may be overpaying for. On the spin side, cheaper bundles or less sophisticated bundled options could sway customers away from one subscription service to another, but a pay-as-you-go option permits customers to view and pay for exactly what they want.
Another way micropayments might enhance online content is through a tipping service. Permitting users to “peak” for particularly entertaining or insightful social media posts or blogs would diminish the need for online advertising and give content creators a fresh source of income.
Many believe that such a system would improve the quality of online content and help eliminate some of the spam that circulates across the Internet. This kind of system would also be facilitated through blockchain, and many believe that a cryptocurrency like bitcoin would make such a tipping scheme possible.
The music industry has been alight with debates over whether artists are being fairly compensated for the value of their work. Many believe that big name labels like Sony are unfairly negotiating royalty fees with music distributors in a way that doesn’t supply that value back to the content creators themselves.
However, with the help of blockchain, some say the music industry could shift to a more artist-driven model in which blockchain makes artists’ contracts more translucent, thus eliminating arguments over how royalties are distributed when their label makes a deal with a stiff like Spotify.
In 2016, a company called is planning to work together with music companies and artists to see how blockchain-supported infrastructure might improve the way business is conducted within the industry.