Blockchain is not just another boring technology like, say, air-conditioning or electricity – depending on whether you live in south Florida or the eternal semi-darkness of Siberia, of course.
This new way of securing transactions through the miracle of a distributed database is actually poised to leap beyond the realm of cryptocurrency and make a dent in the day-to-day lives of Joe and Jane Average. Don’t believe us? Take a gander at the following 10 blockchain use cases you’ll likely encounter over the next decade.
#1. Have You Heard of the Internet of Things?
Shortened to the IoT, the Internet of Things is made up of small networks that house all those devices that make your house uber-functional and ultra-hip. We’re talking about smart appliances, doorbells, security systems, temperature control, and more. But if you think houses and cars are smart now, wait until the blockchain gets a hold of them. Everything from your walls to your toilet could potentially become a highly functional computer.
#2. Feeling More Secure Online
The first appeal of blockchain technology is that it creates a safer environment for anyone who spends time online. When Satoshi Nakamoto first introduced blockchain as the underpinning for his cryptocurrency Bitcoin, he/she/they (like Batman, the inventor’s true identity lies shrouded in mystery) may not have considered the truly revolutionary nature of a decentralized database. And, as we’ve seen, the interest in privacy of user data and how to handle said data is only going to increase.
#3. Healthcare on Blockchain
Any sort of record intensive industry, like healthcare, stands to find itself upended by blockchain developments. Can you believe that some doctors still have paper files stacked to the ceiling? It’s because current methods of electronic storage are spotty at best. This more secure method of protecting private records behind crypto keys would allow for things like automatic insurance billing, drug disbursement, and supply ordering, and even take care of every physician’s nemesis – regulatory compliance.
#4. Welcome to the Music Industry
For decades, probably centuries, artists have lived with the perpetual belief – to a greater or lesser extent – they are being screwed (to put it indelicately) out of royalties. No single musician has the clout to twist the arm of the man or woman in the ivory tower to provide a full and accurate accounting of sales.. until now that is. Welcome to the world of transparent and secure accounting, courtesy of blockchain.
#5. Rigged Elections? Not Anymore
Whether or not there were any Russian shenanigans in the 2016 US presidential election isn’t the important point. The real issue is whether or not voters believed there was. The very idea that the voting system could be hacked would probably be enough to suppress future election turnouts. Blockchain technology could turn out to be the unhackable system that allows each individual to check online to verify their vote was properly recorded all the while maintaining total anonymity.
#6. No Third Parties for Financial Transactions
Do you love your bank and spend long hours daily hanging out there with all those wonderful employees just for companionship? No, probably not. Maybe your bank does offer legitimate service with a smile but wouldn’t things be so much simpler without having to deal with a third party for every permutation of your financial life? The blockchain may eventually eliminate the idea of banks and financial institutions from our lives altogether.
#7. Selected Identity Reveal
You get carded at a bar. It might seem an insignificant exposure of personal information but when you hand over your driver’s license to prove your age, you’re allowing the bartender to see your height, weight, home address, current blood pressure, and – okay, maybe not all that stuff. Most states don’t show a social security number, but they used to. The point is that with blockchain identification technology you will be able to electronically reveal your verified age without giving up any other personal data.
#8. The 3 Big Momentous Life Events
In order to successfully exist as a citizen of the world, there needs to exist immutable proof of when you were born, got married (if you chose to do so), and died. This area of record keeping has traditionally been replete with all kinds of mismanagement and outright criminal behavior. Dead people voting? Blockchain will make these most critical of documents more secure than ever dreamed possible.
#9. One ID Card to Rule Them All
How many identification cards are in your wallet or purse? Voter ID, driver’s license, Social Security card, and the list goes on. Once blockchain is in place, all these various forms of providing proof of your physical identity might go away once and for all. Yep. One simple electronic ID to replace all those dead trees and plastic.
#10. Smart Contracts
Lawyers and real estate agents should consider the possibility that they should start quaking in their shoes, because their occupations could become obsolete to the idea of smart contracts stored on a blockchain network that automatically executes once it detects that pre-conditions have been met of an agreement have been met.
These are just a few of the ways blockchain technology can be expected to revolutionize society, and it may happen in less time than you imagine. If you like things to stay quiet and unchanging, you’re not going to like the the next 10 years.
Thanks for reading!
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