You’re probably tired of hearing about blockchain technology’s decentralization and transparency by now. Its much-touted immutability is also getting pretty old. We all know that in one way or another, blockchains are going to be disruptive, possibly across all industries. But what you may not have thought of yet is how certain seemingly unrelated sectors will be affected. Beyond finance and cybersecurity, supply chains and medical records, check out these lesser-known ways of using blockchain technology now and in the future.
In an industry characterized by evolving technology (we’ve come a long way since the Atari), it’s perhaps unsurprising that blockchain technology and gaming are a match made in heaven. But with a burgeoning market for digital objects within the gaming world, there’s still no viable way of cashing them in for tangible goods in real life – as of now, anyway.
It turns out that blockchain technology provides the perfect platform for avid gamers to trade their digital items… for more digital items. Or currency, if they prefer. Just a few nerds getting up to more bedroom antics? Well, maybe. But the virtual goods economy is already valued at over $15 billion, which isn’t exactly peanuts.
Open source software that may revolutionize the way we buy and sell things online is just beginning to emerge. With the global e-commerce industry set to approach $5 trillion by 2021, perhaps it’s time for monopolists like Amazon to feel the pinch. Despite enjoying the convenience, choice, and speed that comes with internet shopping, wouldn’t it be gratifying to cut out the middleman completely?
True to blockchain philosophy wherein individuals can buy and sell freely and manage their own wealth, soon we’ll be able to buy and sell directly, with no central authority involved. This will reduce markup costs for consumers and cut down fees for vendors as well.
With almost half of millennials using ad-blocking software of some kind, and Gen-Z pretty much immune to ads altogether, the future of online advertising looks shaky, to say the least. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to drop another bomb later this year, and Facebook’s already been slapped on the wrist for using private data illegally.
With so many companies willfully using (and abusing) our data without our consent, blockchain technology could soon stop them in their tracks. By democratizing data and removing a central owner, the blockchain shifts ownership of data back to the consumer. Already, the data stored within the blockchain is valued in the trillions of dollars, and consumers can soon start to capitalize on that by making money off their information.
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to transform the way we transfer goods and information forever, by making it possible to assign value to the smallest fragments of data. From the number of steps you took today to the types of entertainment you watch, micropayments will allow you to monetize your data. You can then trade it with advertisers directly or deny access, should you choose, with no more infringements going on without your knowledge.