Blockchain Beyond Crypto Currency and WHY I am excited:
This post will be a little different to so many others. I want to talk a little bit about blockchain as a technology and not just the shiny coins out there. Sure CryptoCurrency is the wave of the future, but blockchain technology is so much more, and it's only just beginning.
Besides being just a method of transferring assets, blockchain technology is going to change the very face of our planet in many different ways you may not have considered.
Here is WHY I am excited about blockchain technology and where we are moving towards in the future.
Of course, this is one of the biggest and most important reasons on many people's list. The fiat (current model for currency) time is slowly crawling to an end, though I think we've now begun the downward slope that will probably increase exponentially leading to a global reset sometime within the next 50 to 100 years.
Now, what problems does the current model have that blockchain technology fixes?
- Hyperinflation - You cannot just "print" or "mine" more bitcoins into existence for example - There is a set amount, period. This prevents issues like we have seen in Venezuela and Argentina, where runaway governments just printed to their hearts content, regardless of effect on local economy.
- Counterfeiting - How do you counterfeit a coin on blockchain? You can't. It's that simple. There is no way for me to "fake" more coins into existence. There is a way to "double spend" a coin, which in theory made "kiting" (an old method of piggy-backing pending transactions) possible, but the blockchain gets rid of this by verification methods from all across the network.
- Limits and Times on transactions - Really, why should it take 3-5 business days to clear an ACH and up to 15 days to clear a bank transfer? Seriously? In the digital age, transfers should be near instantaneous, and you should only be limited by the funds you have available. I know, I know, KYC and Anti-Money laundering.. But trust me, crypto currency is no worse than cash in that sense. Plus I can guarantee you, the money launderers and terrorists have so many interests in legitimate businesses to wash their money, likely all those "legitimate" transfers you like to verify are heading off somewhere to buy drugs or guns anyway. Who are we kidding?
- "Lost" Transactions - I cannot tell you how many times I have heard "the check is in the mail" - "The transfer was sent last week" - "We transferred it to the intermediary over a week ago, let's put a trace on it". Or for Pete's sake - You REALLY think the bank doesn't know where money goes? How do you "lose" a WIRE? How do you misplace a "check" record? What a load of BS. Well, with blockchain technology, this is no longer an issue, as all transactions are recorded globally, so once something is sent, it can be instantly verified by whoever needs to know about it, instantly.
I'm sure we've all felt the pains involved when trying to find copies of certain documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, property records, tax returns, etc.
On blockchain we wouldn't need to wait 10 business days while someone went to look for our papers, which may or may not even exist anymore because there was a flood, fire, hurricane etc. Also, they cannot fall into the wrong box, or be filed in the incorrect order. You look it up and boom, in 30 seconds you would be able to verify your identity (using a private key of some sort - possibly tied to your DNA) and have access to your records instantly to print off, etc.
The best part? We would no longer need notaries or lawyers to verify the legitimacy of the documents. They would simply have a QR code or link which would show their location on the blockchain, instantly verifying they are real. Because as I have mentioned before, you CANNOT forge a blockchain record. (as of the time I am writing this of course - that may change but I highly doubt it)
I am a Freelancer - I have been working from home for the past 10 years. There are lots of issues with freelancing, even if you are on a freelancing platform. You have verification issues, payment issues, dispute issues, and time wasters.
In terms of freelancing, here is how blockchain technology is changing the playing field:
- Payments - This is a big one for freelancers, the client can choose not to pay or claim "check is in the mail". The blockchain helps this by having verified escrow available, and we could tell if they have really put their money where their mouth is before we ever begin work.
- Disputes - Disputes have always been pretty arbitrary, with blockchain technology disputes can be handled via a tribunal of users (much like the current court systems) to make things slightly more fair for the persons involved.
- Time wasters - This is a huge one - Lots of people post jobs just to test the waters, and have no intention of actually getting the work done. Blockchain could prevent this with smart contracts where someone needs to deposit say 1 ETH to the contract and then via escrow they can wait to hire someone or elect to cancel the project after say 90 days if they truly cannot find anyone.
If you want to learn more about how blockchain can change the lives of freelancers, you can check this ICO - http://www.blocklancer.net - I am very excited for this one and can't wait for the Alpha myself.
Ok, so that's how it can help freelancers, but what about regular employees/employers?
Easy - It can revolutionize the workplace like this:
- Verifiable Work Records - Blockchain could hold your entire work history and store it for you. Imagine in HR being able to instantly verify you worked for say Microsoft, Google, or Bob's Burgers without ever needing to pick up the phone to call someone? Can you imagine how much time that would save? A TON!
- Tax Returns - Bookkeeping as we have seen *cough*ENRON*cough* can be quite a pain in the ass. Blockchain could be a ledger for all transactions, work payments, leave, vacation pay, and bonuses all verifiable to public record if need be.
- Retirement/Vacation/Bonuses/Raises - Wouldn't it be nice to have all these automated? You could have a "coin" mined whenever you spend X time working, which would automatically accrue to your payable vacation, retirement or even raises you are due. No more "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize we didn't pay your vacation time... Here's $50." - Or "Yeah, we promised a 10% raise in 90 days, when was that again...." Everything would be tallied and recorded into the blockchain giving employees and employers an instant view of who owes what, what raises are due, and how much vacation time has actually been used.
As we move further into the future - self education is becoming more and more of a norm.. In the vast majority of places, the public education system is failing on a massive level. But we need some sort of standards in place right?
Blockchain would be able to provide those standards on a WORLDWIDE level - and be instantly verifiable results without needing to go digging through transcripts or making phone calls to various schools if you hopped around a lot.
You would simply learn at your own pace and take standardized tests and results, which again, couldn't be forged or faked and all the results would be instantly verifiable anywhere, anytime.
Of course, we need to agree upon a standardized level I guess - but one step at a time I suppose.
This last point is a long way off - but it's already being started to be worked on. Imagine a world with no politicians, no presidents, no senators... No house of representative.. A true society governed by its own people... (OK so right now that might be a real scary thought, because people aren't ready to govern themselves just yet)
Baby Steps - How can blockchain technology improve, or even REPLACE government?
How about fixing these items for starters:
- Voting Confusion/Fraud -
How many times have we seen over the past few election cycles where there was claimed voter fraud? "He/She stole the election!" "We had an issue with the ballots!" "We counted wrong?" "The machines were too hard to use!" "The voting machines were hacked!" and the list goes on.
Well with blockchain, it would be a very simple process - you could even do it with a simple wallet system. Each citizen could have a wallet with one coin. You would then have two wallet addresses for the candidates - you simply place your coin to who you vote for. Simple. Irrefutable. No way to forge, or miscount. Whoever has the most tokens wins. (Think how ARK works) As we have mentioned, no way to hack or forge the blockchain or extra coins, so this could be one way to end all that nonsense. Sorry Soros, I know you get paid a nice fee for those machines....
- Laws/Bills to be passed and voted on:
The average person never sees half the crap that goes through Parliament, or even knows about it until they start voting on it. There are even a great many things that are voted on internally that get passed into law, before the average person gets to have an opinion on it. Well, not with blockchain! Imagine you had a system like change.org where you simply put everything to a vote by the people - all the information there readily available. No lobbying, no bribing, no obscure motives. Simple voting on whether a bill should pass or not based on EVERY citizen, not just a few elected officials.
These are just a few of the ways blockchain technology could advance/change/improve our future here on this planet. So, am I excited about blockchain technology? I sure am! You should be too, big things are coming, and I'm betting blockchain.