There are three types of people in the world: people who use the blockchain and know why, those who use the blockchain because everyone else is, and those who have no idea what a blockchain is. Understand that even though you may not know it, blockchain technology is a path to a freer and more equal world. Today, we will discuss the practical uses of a blockchain and how it can affect you.
Now, most people would look straight at you and tell you that they use a blockchain for safe transactions online; particularly, when they are involved in cryptocurrency trading. Though, few would remember that the origins of the blockchain started with the need for encrypted communication in times of social upheaval. From the need for freedom of expression and privacy, the first blockchain was born and went on to become the biggest financial tech breakthrough of this century thus far. However, there are many more uses for blockchain technology than the ones we’ve just mentioned.
Creative Rights Protection
The past decade gave us innovations in sharing of content and creative expression like never before. Between content sharing sites like YouTube and distribution sites like SoundCloud, people have become able to share their expressions of creativity as freely and as often as they please. Though this is a fantastic step forward both for content creators and content enjoyers, the need for copyright and royalty protection has become a rising concern. Innovators in the blockchain world are working to fix this issue. How? By the nature of a blockchain, two things are constant: information backup and the inability to corrupt that information. By using blockchain technology, content creators can now upload their work to the chain, imprint their digital signature along with their piece of work, and secure it in an unchangeable storage unit that can instantly validate a person’s rights to that piece of work. Creators can also maintain data reports and analysis to correctly calculate royalty earnings; giving them more freedom to their income as a result.
Private and Secure Data Transfers
By now, everybody should understand that the digital ledgers of a blockchain are not only used in transaction recording but has a far higher potential for data storage. Confidential material is extremely vulnerable on the everyday internet or as a file on your computer. One of the main uses of a blockchain these days is for use in keeping your files safe, and most importantly, private. Transfer of documents can be done instantly while still keeping its privacy. The lack of a third party and the convenience of verifiable chains of information allow you to share important documents such as medical files, contracts and even titles to property (such as houses and cars) can be transferred without a problem. The blockchain stores information in a way that allows you to track origins or look into the history of changes of what is being transferred so that you can be sure of what you are getting without any unforeseen issues.
The development of online communication has grown to the point that it is unrecognizable from what computer technology looked like up until as little as five years ago. Smart contracts are one of the latest evolutionary mutations to come as a result of blockchain technology. Smart contracts are the result of secure, maintained and enforceable record keeping that confirms any agreements by users through the blockchain. We have already spoken in this article about digital signatures and blockchain ledgers. When you bring these two together, you have the core of the smart contract. Secure data storage and trackable information gives you the opportunity to make contractually binding agreements; stored and unchangeable without the need of going to a physical third party.
Trading on the Stock Market
Of course, Bitcoin has created a new generation of tech investors around the world and that’s one of the main appeals of the blockchain as a whole. However, have you ever considered the possibility of using it for ordinary equity in the same way that the big Wallstreet exchanges do? Imagine being able to invest in Apple without having to pay a broker to do it. Now, imagine that coupled with the ability to track and understand the transactions that are going in and out of that same Apple stock instantaneously. Calculations are made based on data stored on the chain that are constantly updating and confirming transactions second after second and allows you to evaluate and invest as precisely as possible to get back the most from your trades. This technology can also make sure that your investments remain intact and uncompromisable.
Food and Drug Safety
With GMOs and livestock disease becoming a concern, you as a consumer can accurately find the origins of the food you eat. Companies using blockchain technology will now be able to prove the health, freshness and journey of your food by utilizing step-by-step transaction recordings. You can find out which farm vegetables, fruit and meats were produced at, gain access to records proving health standards and even whether it is organically grown or not. Tracking the food you eat can allow you and your family access to the best options at the best prices. This concept does not only apply to food items. If you are a prescription drug user, this technology could change the way you get your medicine too. Developments in tracking technologies using blockchains are paving the way for you to be able to confirm that what you are getting is what you need. This defeats the concerns of being sold knock-off generics and medicine that is expired. So, is the blockchain leading us to a freer world? In short, the answer is yes, though we have a long way left to go. Whether you are concerned for your online privacy, concerned where your food comes from, or you contend being misused, the blockchain has an influence on everyone’s lives now. A better world is on the horizon and safe communication will be a guaranteed part of our everyday lives even if you are not in a volatile area of the world.