According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2017, blockchain technology is among those that promises us a bright future. By this stage, everyone has heard about cryptocurrency and blockchain. However, the majority of people is still partially confused, and a lot probably do not realize how to use this technology.
Imagine blockchain as a smart version of a database architecture. The main difference between databases and blockchain is that the former is centralized and owned by someone who has exclusive editorial rights.
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So when several parties try to interact in a common transaction, they keep their separate records that makes the entire process inefficient. Therefore an enormous amount of time is wasted on checking records for accuracy. Here comes the blockchain technology, which is just a way of using encryption so that different people could share an infrastructure for database retention.
For example, if you are working in the financial sector, using distributed and encrypted tools would allow you to share common database infrastructure and cut a significant amount of cost out of your day-to-day processes such as reducing time to complete the financial transaction once it has been agreed in the marketplace.
This use case may not completely describe the technological opportunities of the blockchain. But it can certainly be one of the points to build blocks of our future world. So, if you are wondering how you can use a blockchain technology apart from simply buying bitcoins, here are 7 ideas:
7 Ways to Use Blockchain Technology
Bitcoin is described as a first real use case of the blockchain. When Satoshi Nakamoto published his first White Paper in October 2008, not a lot of people realized the potential of this idea. However, in eight years the Bitcoin proved to be a safe and reliable network that is also used by payment service providers for person-to-person money transfers.
Remittance has always been a focus of companies like the Western Union and MoneyGram. However, new startups and small services are trying to compete with these giants by using the digital currency and blockchain technology . With this service, companies are planning to solve such issues as high cost, limited ways to deal with money, limited brand options, etc.
Peer-to-peer lending is one of the most promising areas when it comes to personal finance. People have always been attracted to making money on their savings while giving others an opportunity to borrow money at a high rate. Thus making a profit. And all without giving a bank any fee. New services allow to do this, but with Bitcoin.
Monetize content with Bitcoin
The rising popularity of ad-blockers has almost destroyed the traditional business model. The adoption of all-or-nothing paywalls has proved useful for some, but as the research has shown, users are far more prepared to pay only for what they consume. Specifically, digital currencies and monetizing content can help publishers and their consumers deal with the irritating spread of online ads and provide a solid way for writers and other content producers to be fairly paid for their work.
This point is closely related to #1 and means the ability of users to transfer small amounts of money. Whether we’re talking about in-app payments or moving towards pay-per-use model involving tiny sums of money, users will be able to skip bank fees.Imagine blockchain as a smart version of a database architecture. The main difference between databases and blockchain is that the former is centralized and owned by someone who has exclusive editorial rights.
Charge an electric car
There is a peer-to-peer charging marketplace in California that allows electric car owners to pay each other for using home charging stations. Normally, car-charging stations require their users to pay in fixed amounts, regardless of how much electricity is consumed by the car. However, there is already software that measures the exact quantity of energy consumed and allows to pay directly for the used power. This method is used by the German company RWE that develops a scheme using Ethereum pioneers stock allowing electric cars to charge while they are waiting at the traffic lights.
Share electricity with the neighbors
Imagine that you live on the sunny side and your neighbor lives on a shady side. You are a lucky person as you can use solar panels on your roof. So instead of selling the excess power back to the grid, you could sell it on the local market. Under the usual conditions, it would come at a cost as the homeowners should agree on the price among each other and keep track of the used electricity. However, due to the MicroGrid project, the households can buy and sell energy via smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain . Moreover, they don’t need to make independent calculation or monitoring.
Prove your identity
Our connected world needs a stable digital identity system. We spend most of our lives online, but it always comes to connecting our digital presences with physical world verified by some tedious paperwork. Moreover, proving your identity today is a costly process. Each document verification takes a lot of time and uses low-tech paperwork.
However, blockchain-based systems change the situation. They make the whole process safer as they turn the identifier into an encrypted asset. If you access a service – anything from an online dating service to a pool locker – two things have to be verified: your identifier (to make sure that you exist) and attributes (to make sure you can use the service).