Before I explain why I fell in love with Blockchain I need to explain a bit about myself. I love how technological developments influence our life and I love to observe and analyse the impact it has on us as a society. The reason why I joined TYGERS is that I wanted to know more about the people that make change happen, the entrepreneurs. Who are these people that risk everything to change our businesses, our lifes, our society? Why are they so determined to solve real world problems? It can’t be only money, right? Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and that’s something I can relate to. I love solving problems. I love technology, innovation and disruption. And if I am being really honest.. I can appreciate a bit of anarchy as well… Power to the people ;-)
We all know the buzzwords of the new technologies that will change our world as we know it, IOT, AI, 3D Printing, Big Data, etc. But there is one in specific that I really really really like: The Blockchain!
Why did I fall in love with the Blockchain? Planes made it possible to transfer people over the whole world, internet and e-mail made it possible to exchange information within seconds, with the Blockchain we can exchange value and information within seconds in a trusted way. The Blockchain makes the world a smaller place. For me, it is the next revolutionairy step. It will disrupt the world as we know it.
A short description of the Blockchain. It is a register (ledger) that contains records with who owns what. The database is not owned by one company or government, it is decentralized. Transactions are checked by an algorithm (a check is done by solving a mathematical puzzle).
I am not a real techie, I am more interested in the application and the impact on businesses and society. For me, the blockchain is about two things: Cryptocurrencies & Smart contracts.
Cryptocurrency is digital money. We all use the internet for banking and already spend and send money without having it in your hands. A Cryptocurrency is exactly that, but it’s called the Bitcoin (for example) and not a dollar or euro and it runs on the Blockchain instead of the network of a bank. Cryptocurrencies make it possible to exchange value (digital money) with someone in any part of the world within seconds, without the rules and delay of a government or a bank.
Smart contracts are agreements that are automatically executed when a term is met. For example, on a marketplace I want to buy your product, you want $10 for it. Once it is confirmed by the blockchain that the product is sent, the money/cryptocurrency will be sent automatically.
I love how entrepreneurs change our businesses, our lifes, our communication, our believes, our trust, our perception, etc. by making use of the Blockchain technology. The last couple of months I dove into the world of Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and ICO’s. Here are a few examples of initiatives I really like. (Ofcourse there are many others, these are just examples)
IndaHash is a world wide influencer marketing platform. IndaHash has troubles to maintain a perfect financial administration, because of all the different currencies and rules. They are solving this by implementing their own token that is distributed through a smart contract. Result is one currency for all and a direct pay out for the influencers once they delivered their service. In this example, the cryptocurrency is actually used for payments and replaces the dollar, euro, etc.
Power Ledger is a decentralised energy network that runs on a smart contract. Consumers and businesses trade electricity with one another and receive payment in real-time. All the terms and payments are logged into the contract and executed automatically.
But the Blockchain is quite new and has problems as a new technology. Luckily the entrepreneurial problem solvers are taking this serious, they develop solutions.
One of the biggest challenges of the Bitcoin Blockchain is the scalability. Personally I am interested in RChain, they are working on a new scalable type of Blockchain. This will change the way consensus (checking algorithm) is met, which will solve the scalability issue. Ofcourse this problem has high priority within the Bitcoin community, they created Lightning Network.
A thing I like about the Blockchain is that there is one truth on which we can all rely, but what happens if we have more than one Blockchain, resulting in different sources of truth? The people of Ark recognized this problem and make it possible to connect different Blockchains. Really cool!
The Blockchain is secure, but smart contracts are not. Smart contracts can be hacked. The people of Quantstamp are solving this problem by creating a system to audit all smart contracts. Currently this system is only available for the Ethereum Blockchain, the chain that’s currently most used for smart contracts.
I am overly excited about the possibilities of the Blockchain. I love to see how entrepreneurs use it to disrupt businesses, our lifes and society as a whole. I am looking forward to the future!