The Applications of Blockchain

Nowadays, everyone has heard about blockchain, but when one is asked to explain what it is, suddenly, we realize we do not know much: most people know it somehow has something with cryptocurrency and not much less. The dictionary definition of blockchain doesn’t help much either: The Merriam Webster defines blockchain as “a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network”. Whilst this definition is correct, it fails to describe the whole scope of blockchain: Blockchain is also a sort of record keeper of any transaction, trade or message in its system, a new platform for gamers and game developers, and a powerful political tool.

Blockchain, the Record Keeper

Think of Blockchain as a series of building blocks: block 1 is on the table, block 2 goes on top of block 1, and block 3 goes on top of block 2. If we take out block 2, the block tower is incomplete: anyone seeing this will be able to tell something is missing: this is the first application of blockchain: all information is linked to each other, once on the blockchain, it cannot disappear without leaving a trace behind.

What I didn’t tell you was that each time you build with blocks, it is being copied to another network: this means that if someone takes out block 2 without your permission, you will be able to find your complete tower on another network: this is the second application: intellectual property: if you write an article and send it to another person via blockchain and they decide to put their name instead of yours, you will still be able to find a time-stamped original version of it on the network and prove it is your property.

All your block chains (pun intended) are public, visible to all. This means anyone will be able to detect a problem when block 1 passes directly to block 3. Now this doesn’t mean any blockchain user can see this information: blockchains have different platforms and take different names, so there are public (Bitcoin, Ethereum) and private blockchain platforms available. Private platforms are being used by different types of companies but can evolve into a public platform.

Blockchain, a new gaming playground

This private platform idea is exactly what the gaming industry is starting to capitalize on, in different ways: some gaming platforms enable the use of trading or buying objects via an already existing cryptocurrency. Others create their own cryptocurrency to keep it circulating exclusively on their platform. One notable game completely built on the blockchain system is Cryptokitties, an exchange card game in which users trade or buy unique breeds of cats.

Blockchain, a political conundrum

As I was saying, blockchain can also be used to store or send documents. This is something some Chinese blockchain users rapidly understood they could use to form a social platform free of governmental scrutiny.

Moreover, blockchain users are not required to input their real information, such as their name and identification information, which means people from places where speaking your mind is dangerous if not immediately repressed have a platform to do so with full impunity. However, remember there are different blockchain platforms, and governments can restrict which platforms are accessible to their people and thus impose rules and regulations. That is exactly what China is trying to do right now: they are trying to pass a law making it mandatory for users to input their id information and employ regulators to monitor these platforms.

In conclusion, Blockchain shouldn’t be reduced to cryptocurrency; even though it is mostly centered around monetary exchanges, blockchain is also a tool to facilitate peer to peer interactions, entertainment and social dialogue. Alice Bonasio, Aug 7, 2018; scaling up immersive Tech with Blockchain

YouTube: blockchain for dummies / Blockchain expert explains one concept in 5 levels on difficulty

Retour en haut back to top