My interest in blockchain has been skyrocketing right alongside everyone else’s, with the extra caveat that I’ve been interested in “stick it to the man” financial technologies since 2013 (does anyone 19-year-old me’s project, FinBot, anymore?).
FinTech was totally the reason I gave up the idea of being an economist. In this world, there are those who explain, those who speculate, and those who execute. I respect that we need explainers (academics) and speculators (investors), but I wanted to execute.
I find myself working the pure web development industry now, but my fascination with this topic has not quelled even slightly. That’s why I consider myself pretty lucky to have a business partner who shares my enthusiasm for this field in Josh.
Josh put out a fantastic guest post on Torque Magazine that outlines the ways blockchain will seep into our work as WordPress developers (read: beyond crypto) and our overall daily lives. I hate to just be a little echo box for Josh’s ideas, but in this instance he’s totally hitting the nail on the head, I’m equally excited as he is, and I have nothing else to add. So, you should check out his post.
I would, however, like to keep a list like the “Cool Applications of Blockchain Technology” section of his post and begin adding to it. It’s below, and right now it’s just a regurgitation of Josh’s post. I’ll be adding to it as I go. Of course, if you’d like me to add something to it to begin updating and adding to this list, let me know in the comments and I’ll put it up.
Non-Cryptocurrency Applications of Blockchain
- Accept cryptocurrency for online payments. Duh.
- Identity Management & Verification. We can encrypt personal information in the blockchain and then let users selectively share that data. This can be used to login to apps, verify identity or securely share personal information with employers or service providers as needed. ShoCard is an example of this.
- Content Monetization. Recently, Medium announced that they were adding a “Clap” button to articles. A clap is similar to a “like” but also is a part of the algorithm for paying content creators. Then, they could pay their creators by something like splitting a pool of money amongst content creators based on an algorithm that takes into account page views, likes and other engagement factors. The potential to remove selling ads, totally or partially, form content monetization is exciting. But it would require a new input of money or other valuable data. Potentially, speculation in the tokens that back this service provides that.
- Secure File Storage. Decentralized cloud-storage is a rapidly emerging technology. Services like Storj and FileCoinallow users to sell unused space in their network for tokens that can be exchanged for storage or other currencies — bitcoins, eros, etc. In addition, you can buy their tokens in exchange for use of the file network.
P.S. I’m working on an in-depth blockchain & cryptocurrency post for January 2018 titled “I Was Asked To Explain Bitcoin From The Perspective Of Not A White Dude.” Have any questions or anything you would like for me to include? Let me know in the comments of this post, or reach out privately via my speaking form.