Our banking transactions, our shopping, our communication… everything is done online today. And everything we do online is recorded and that includes the exchange of value, every digital transaction; goods and services, and so on. Blockchain technology collects that data into encrypted blocks that can never be changed or modified and throws open the pieces across a global network of nodes or distributed computers.
Cutting-edge digital companies such as BehaviourExchange already use blockchain tech to revolutionize the way we use internet.
The blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a shared list of records. These records are known as blocks. The encrypted block of code contains every detail of the block that came before it complete with the time stamped transaction. Chaining those blocks together makes for a blockchain. And the tech can be used for many other things than just a substitute for national currencies.
Because blockchains are a virtual ledger, one can use this technology for all sorts of things other than money. Below are 10 potential everyday uses for blockchains that will definitely change the world according to one author on Steemit.
1. Decentralised Internet. Programmers are currently working on decentralised internet platforms to distribute all the functions of the internet over distributed nodes which will increase the resiliency of the world wide web.
2. Smart Contracts. Smart contracts can be built on top of a ledger and operate as decentralised applications. These programs can run functions which are becoming more sophisticated and may diminish the need for standard legal contracts.
3. Decentralised Markets. One challenge with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is the need to trade on centralised exchanges which can be shut down or hacked. Decentralised markets allow trading without having to trust a third party.
4. Distributed Cloud Storage. Distributed cloud storage avoids the need to place faith in large centralised companies where personal data is vulnerable and pricing may escalate to cover the expanding number of data servers.
5. Decentralised Social Networking Sites. Social networking sites are centralised and are prone to censorship of information. Decentralised social media platforms such as Steemit mitigate this and financially reward the content creators.
6. Encrypted Messaging. Peer to peer messaging can leverage blockchain technology to encrypt messages and store data bits efficiently on many different computers where they can only be accessed with a private key.
7. Proof of Ownership. Items that are purchased could be tracked on the blockchain to demonstrate proof of ownership and to prevent the sale of stolen goods which may eventually help to reduce crime.
8. Authenticated Voting. While digital voting can be susceptible to tampering, blockchain voting technology is verifiable and would allow anybody to audit the blockchain to confirm votes are time stamped and legitimate.
9. Stock exchange. In traditional stockmarket there is typically a delay of 2–3 days for settlement of stocks and bonds. Trading stocks on a blockchain is more cost effective and provides instant settlement.
10. Real Estate. Property titles, transactions and historic value can be built onto the blockchain providing transparency and reducing the time and cost associated with real estate transactions.
These are just some of the possibilities that come with the new technology. The biggest one, however, is missing on the list and that’s advanced profiling and customized websites.
Probably the most revolutionary of all uses for blockchain technology is what BehaviourExchange is doing right now. The startup claims they are able to adjust the content on company websites in real time and show different content to each individual visitor, according to each visitor’s profile. How does it work? Visit their website to find out more.
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