Perhaps you have heard of blockchain, or more likely Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but think it has nothing to do with your life. You may have developed some views about based on MSM articles, which are often misinformed and rather negative: it’s a scam and people lose thousands versus the messages coming from fans who tell you, “You’ve got to get into it.” Perhaps it is all so confusing that you’d rather not think about it, but one day, just like the Internet, blockchain technology will become central to your life, so find out more about it now.
The current global economic system
Currently the global economy operates through a highly regulated third-party network of banks, credit cards, and governments with promises of insurance and protection. This is what we call ‘centralised’ control, and even it doesn’t prevent people from losing money as Greece, Brazil and Venezuela have shown.
The blockchain is decentralised and it emerged shortly after the financial crisis of 2008 as a new, anonymous, peer-to-peer protocol of creating and tracking transactions using a trusted decentralised ledger system. Its first currency was Bitcoin. It could, and can still, be bought and sold without verifying identities. This means transactions cannot be lost or manipulated, the exchange is completely open and documented for anyone to see.
Its appeal is this, according to NYNJAInc: “This concept liberates transactions for anonymous and safe on-demand transfer, provides the access to a reliable banking system for the millions of unbanked people in third-world countries, and promises opportunities to disrupt the control of an elite few to data-mine and control the provisioning of resources for the many.”
The first startups to get buzzed by the idea were the fintechs, because with cryptocurrency, they could see solutions to all manner of financial services. However, they have been followed by organisations and startups in the media, education, healthcare and governments.
How might the blockchain change your life?
It could make social media less open to manipulation and create more transparency. Steemit is already paying users for creating content via a blockchain rewards system.
Political elections will be less open to doubtful results and voter fraud. Everything can be checked accurately using a blockchain system. It can also change stock trading by eliminating expensive third-party fees, and giving instant access to funds.
Travel is another market where the blockchain can lower costs by cutting out the middlemen. And, if you’re buying and selling property, the blockchain can reduce the amount of paperwork involved, which will also lower costs and speed up the buying/selling process.
The blockchain has the potential to be a game-changer in so many markets and to open up markets to smaller companies: for example, it could break up the monopolies of the Big Pharma companies, opening the way for smaller companies to produce drugs at a lower cost.
It will be a part of your life, even if you don’t own any cryptocurrency, because it is more about the blockchain than about crypto.