Since early last year, Blockchains have garnered a lot of global interest in the form that no other asset class has. This phenomenon has a lot to do with the promise that the revolutionary technology has with regards to the potential to change the world and also make people very rich in the process. Here’s an overview of the significant use cases for these so-called crypto assets and how adopting this new technology can lead us to a more equitable and efficient world.
The first publically recognizable Blockchain project, Bitcoin, started out as a currency above all else. And it is clear to anyone who understands the technology behind Blockchains that currencies are the most obvious use case for it. The reason is that because of its decentralized nature, blockchain based currencies are not tethered to a government or a corporation. Therefore, a crypto asset cannot be manipulated because of the will of the leaders of any countries or corporations. It is important to note that such an asset has never existed in the history of mankind until now. With the newest generation of Blockchain tech, currencies like RaiBlocks and IOTA can handle thousands of transactions per second for zero fees. This is useful for business owners around the world who have to bear the costs of credit card companies like VISA and MasterCard.
Blockchains can help establish more efficient coordination between manufacturers and customers. By eliminating the middlemen, a lot of the unnecessary overhead of the process of exchange is eliminated. For example, the blockchain based startup SIA, which connects people with excess storage to people with cloud storage needs leverages the power of the blockchain to facilitate commerce and create a new market. By providing secure cloud storage, SIA enables payments between suppliers (those with excess storage) and customers (those who require cloud storage).
Tradeable Stocks for Physical Assets
Blockchains have enabled a unique new tradeable asset – one that is linked to physical goods like Gold and Oil. Blockchain startups like The DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation) and LAToken both created assets tethered to real goods that could be traded safely and securely over the blockchain. This greatly reduces the barrier to entry that a lot of smaller investors face when they are initially venturing into the forray of investing. From dealing with the concerned regulatory authorities to filing a plethora of documents with exchanges, all of these steps can be avoided by using the blockchain to facilitate the transfer. Doing this makes the whole experience much more efficient for the average user.
Tradeable Stocks for Digital Assets
The recent media frenzy caused by the Ethereum based game CryptoKitties was a unique insight into how blockchains can be used to facilitate this transfer of digital assets over the blockchain. Similar to baseball trading cards, users can buy, collect and trade digital kittens. Each cat has different characteristics which they can pass on to their offspring. CryptoKitties runs as a smart contract on the Ethereum platform and accounts for a fairly high gas use on it. What is interesting about CryptoKitties is that within a week of its launch, it had already seen over $3 million exchanged and accounted for about 15% of the total Ethereum usage. This is a huge deal because it shows users that Blockchains can, in fact, be used to efficiently transfer and store digital assets on a global scale.
Land Title Registration
Buying a house involves a lot of intermediary steps that are too outdated to be still be used inn 2017. The current process for clearing a land deed is very complex and requires house buyers to hire a middleman to clear the land deed for them. This is a complete waste of resources, both human and monetary, to accomplish something that can easily be done with the help of a public blockchain. In addition to making the process a whole lot more efficient, registering land deeds on a public blockchain also ensures that owner information cannot be manipulated in any way, adding another layer of security for the homeowners.
Venture Capital Funding
The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) mania that started last summer has already swept over investors from around the world. ICOs in the past one year alone have raised several billion dollars in funding in this unique new way of getting investment capital. This new way of getting investment capital has allowed startups to bypass the traditional route of going through venture capitalists to directly interact with users of their platforms. However, there are some malicious actors in the ICO space who continuously try to pump and dump the price of a token by creating hype. This has caused countries like China and South Korea to look into enforcing stricter regulations for ICOs to protect new investors.