Let’s take a look at several big Blockchain trends which are about to change our perspective on the future. Gian Volpicelli from Wired lists some potential purposes of Blockchains. The main feature of all these is decreasing or even the total absence of middlemen.
Various parties see huge potential in Blockchain technology – banks are hoping to adopt it one day, governments would open shortcuts to their bureaucratic jungle, and access to the black market wouldn’t be so easy.
Luxury cars and copyright
Everledger is a diamond industry ledger which helps fight against cartels, terrorists and criminals by identifying each diamond entered onto the firm’s Blockchain – and to help track down the origin and previous ownership of the jewels.
Considering the recent and not-so-flattering history of Blockchain technology misusages, Everledger’s position is at least unconventional. Leanne Kemp, the CEO and founder of the company thinks the identification model can be applied to other goods as well – watches, cars and pieces of art. Apparently, she is not the only one – the company has received funding of more than 0,5 million Euros so far.
On the other hand Colu, an Israeli company, is using Blockchain technology in an almost original way. They inscribe meta-data, standing for real-world assets, such as ownerships or copyrights, on small quantities of Bitcoin.
Thus things, physical or not, can change the owner painlessly, quickly, transparently.
Ethereum, a platform for creating decentralized apps, integrated an all-purpose programming language with its own Blockchain. Anyone can write any programme they can think of – on this platform – and then watch it grow.
No one, in particular, hosts the code of software and neither can they change it, but everybody knows what the code says and the criteria it is running on. So, theoretically, Ethereum makes it possible, for instance, to build a company which is self-managing, transparent, secure and decentralized. Sounds like Utopia? Nope, it’s reality.
And an example of a company which is close enough is Slock.it, which is taking things one step further by actually connecting Blockchain with the physical world. The company has developed a smartlock that one can open by paying through the Blockchain. And this enables everyone being able to rent anything to anyone, peer-to-peer, without middleman in-between. And of course everything is transparent and secure, and the service will continue to exist even if the company should go down.
Fintech or not, here it comes
According to Wired, James Burke, the founder of the Blockchain-focused investment firm Outlier Ventures sees Blockchains spreading everywhere. A year ago or so, the finance sphere dominated existing Blockchain startups. Today, however, startups of all kinds propose Blockchain applications for almost any purpose one can imagine – from finances to health care, from bike rental to copyright.
“In the future I see a public Blockchain - whether that's Bitcoin or some other open one in the future, which is a way of registering ownership of all sorts of assets. It's also a way of transferring ownership of those assets in a single system which can be read by all of the right people and none of the wrong people.”