Why blockchains are here to stay
Have you ever wondered why blockchain use is on the rise? Steemit, for example, is one just application built on top of a blockchain. But why do it "the blockchain way" and not the centralized way?
Back in the '70s, '80s and to a lesser extent the '90s and early '00s, hardware capabilities in terms of storage and processing were very limited. Databases with files and numbers about people, transactions, etc, occupied entire rooms of server hardware. It was impossible for a single PC to hold an entire banking institution financial records.
Fast forward 15-25 years later and large volumes of text storage (involving text and digits) can now be loaded into a single smartphone. The entire bitcoin record of financial transactions from 2009 to 2016, is now around 70gb and can fit easily within a smartphone equipped with a 128gb micro SD card.
Naturally, this expansion in storage and processing capacities allowed the de-centralization of huge text & digit databases. As multiple copies of the same database can be inexpensively and redundantly stored all over the world, the "middlemen" that used to exclusively serve the content of these centralized databases become increasingly less relevant.
In a sense, the "blockchaining" of databases is the natural outgrowth of the increasing ability of our hardware to efficiently store and process huge amount of data in small devices which makes centralized services obsolete.
Right now the technology that the average person has at their disposal allows them to efficiently store tremendous amounts of text and digits. This means that most text/digit databases can be hosted in parallel / blockchained, thus allowing the elimination of middlemen. But what about other type of content?
Multimedia conent is much more space-consuming. Images, music and movies all take much more storage space than text. Our technology has not yet reached the point where we can host the entire youtube video library in our smartphone. It may happen in a few decades (assuming constant video quality and not an ever-improving quality that has ever-increasing requirements for storage space), but right now it isn't possible. Yet, that's where we are heading. Initially it will be photos, then music, then videos.
At that point it will be possible to create not only a reddit-equivalent on a blockchain, like steemit, but also youtube-equivalent video hosts that are served from the blockchain (!), with censorship resistance capabilities and alignment with decentralized economic models.
All in all, blockchains are truly here to stay.