Blockchain is just a buzzword to most people. Crypto, Bitcoin, Blockchain, these words can be interchangeable to those outside of the sphere. Even many people who actively trade the digital assets are not fully aware of the capabilities of blockchain technology. Blockchain startups are growing exponentially and there seems to be no limit to use cases that developers are coming up with. Beyond just supporting the payment systems of the future, from healthcare to transportation, blockchain technology could transform all parts of society.
Problems that occur every day that people just can’t seem to find a way to solve effectively or efficiently could be finally cracked due to the advent of blockchain. Ticket scalping, for example is a hindrance that is hated by most folks you will come across. Scams and fake tickets are problems that plague the well-to-do and the average Joe alike.
Many artists are not so fond of these issues, nor do they like bots buying up or their tickets for a small number of people who turn huge profits. In an attempt to fight scalping, Nine Inch Nails tickets could only be bought in person at the box office in many cities. The mind behind Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor expressed his distaste for scalping but admitted that this solution will “suck, but in a different way.” Ed Sheeran, who has dealt with fake ticket schemes, requires his fans to show a confirmation receipt, the credit card they used to buy the tickets, plus a valid form of ID before their tickets are even scanned. With the time spent standing on the security line added in, this process takes forever.
A few startups are taking on the problem of fake tickets and bots buying up all the seats with smart contracts. By attaching the identity of the buyer to the value of the ticket these companies can stomp out bots and frauds while providing a decentralized market between artists and fans.
Governmental bodies in nearly every country are looking into the expansive possibilities that blockchain brings. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is exploring ways to track patient data and the Department of Homeland Security intends to “prove the integrity of captured data”, both with the use of blockchain technology. The UK has experimented with distributing welfare benefits using a token called GovCoin and Finland and the Netherlands have both discussed solutions to bureaucratic problems with blockchain company Essentia.
Cryptocurrency pioneer Vitalik Buterin is one who is quick to point out the use cases for blockchain and especially smart contracts. He once amusingly dispelled a rumor about his death using with blockchain proof. He has also acknowledged the possible negative effects that his project could impose. During an interview with Vice, the Ethereum Co-Founder and CEO addressed the idea that smart contracts could be responsible for the elimination of jobs by coyly stating that he is the “destroyer of jobs, creator of better ones.”
While governments consider blockchain to help the welfare system, unemployment itself could become an underlying impact of the advent of cryptocurrencies and smart contract applications. By solving many of these problems and making systems as we know it faster and more efficient, the ultimate result could be a diminished number of available jobs.
Hundreds of yet to be seen use cases will still emerge as blockchain technology matures and the use of cryptocurrency spreads.
Writer, producer, cryptocurrency enthusiast.