Having invented by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008, blockchain serves as a record-keeping protocol for various transactions in a form of a distributable ledger secured by cryptography. This has given birth to the first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin, which is now the largest and most well known cryptocurrency in the market, hence kickstarting the age of digital trade and a slew of countless other coins and blockchain-based systems.
Blockchain technology, however, has proven itself useful outside cryptocurrency and is currently seen by many smart economy enthusiasts as the key to building a decentralized digital economy that is accessible for everyone and free from needless fees and government interference.
From currency, contracts, logistics, digital assets and even leisure, the economic applications and solutions that blockchain provides seem too good to be true, but are nonetheless possible and are currently making their way into the mainstream, and ultimately, our daily lifestyle as we know it.
Blockchain Technology has made Decentralization Possible
No ‘Revolution’ without ‘Evolution’
DECENTRALIZATION is the very goal of blockchain when Satoshi was developing it for Bitcoin. The concept is ambitiously revolutionary in of itself— to create a currency that is free from the control of a single central entity— an entity, such as a bank or a government, which regulates all transactions and keeps their records, therefore requiring trust from all individuals involved in the system. With blockchain, on the other hand, everyone gets a copy of a public ledger which is shared via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network. The transactions are approved by a consensus in order to prevent duplication and double spending, and each record of successful transactions are stored as a single block in the existing blockchain. The data in each block are secured by a cryptographic hash from the previous block, hence making all the data in each block credible and unalterable. With this achievement in decentralization, security and storage of data, a trust-free monetary system has become possible for everyone without the interference of middlemen, banks, governments, geography and even territorial laws.
Secure Smart Contracts, Digital Records and Electronic Logistics are made Possible
Beyond ‘just currency’
Since blockchain functions primarily as a record-keeping tool, cryptocurrencies such as Etherium (ETH), Neo (NEO) and VeChain (VEN) utilize this feature as a means to create smart contacts and expand the application and versatility of their coins. Through this, smart contracts and blockchain record-keeping come hand-in-hand when it comes with digital transactions. The automation of cancellation of transactions upon failure to comply with terms and conditions leaves no loophole for fraudulent activities, secures everyone’s assets and leaves no time wasted thanks to the instant verification of blockchain data. Given that blockchain-based record-keeping and smart contracts are globally adopted, there would be no need to consume much time just for lawyers and/or other middlemen to confirm the verity of contracts and records, and allows for slick processing of transactions.
With the emergence of smart contracts, digital identities and digital assets brought by blockchain technology, we are a step ahead for a fully-digitalized decentralized smart economy.
ELD Implementation and Blockchain-Based Logistic Solutions
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated that as of late December 2019, all truck drivers and carriers in the US are subject to full compliance in using Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their operations. This serves as a major step in the digitalization of logistics and opens an opportunity for teams to develop blockchain-based systems such as Block Array (ARY) which aims to utilize the power of blockchain protocol for specific uses, case and point, the trucking industry. The Block Array project has developed an application that would integrate into ELD hardware that would instantly provide all specific logistic information that truck drivers and companies need. The blockchain makes it able for truckers to settle detention payouts, which consume a large amount of time to prove, by providing the records of when and where the cargo arrived. Furthermore, the system allows companies to track their cargo in real-time and manage their supplies whilst ensuring that nothing gets in or out of the system without permission. It’s an all-in-one solution from transaction, transport up to record-keeping.
Blockchain’s Versatility in Lifestyle Demands
Specific Coins for Specific Needs
Countless coins have emerged since the boom of Bitcoin and, of course, with such numbers, most coins are doomed to fail and as a matter of fact, most already have. This is because most cryptocurrencies struggle at being relevant in the market. This is the very reason why neophytes in coin investment are always advised to be very prudent with their decisions as cryptoeconomy is wildly dynamic and everything is at stake. On a microconsumer standpoint, however, this competition for relevance proves to be beneficial as project developers aim to innovate blockchain-based systems that cater a specific need other than currency. Specificity equals relevance, case and point the strategy of Block Array (ARY) that caters specifically to logistic needs of truck drivers in the US. Some blockchain-based systems also cater to leisure such as CoinPoker (CHP) which is a cryptocurrency-based poker platform that uses their own cryptocurrency coin as poker chips and Verasity (VERA) which is a video streaming platform that advertises itself as a YouTube alternative with cryptocoin benefits for both viewers and content creators. With the emergence of these Decentralized Applications (DAPPS), decentralized operating systems dedicated to these applications are also developed such as EOS and Brahma OS.
Smart Economy: Decentralized, Open-sourced & Secure
Smart economy may seem too good to be true, but we are in the verge of attaining it. According to NEO, in order to fully achieve smart economy, three factors must be made possible: smart contracts, digital identity and digital assets, and through blockchain technology, all of these are now possible. This automated system has already been around and is being used by enthusiasts all around the globe. All it needs for universality are sufficient public interest and widespread adoption. However, one must always keep in mind that smart economy is not the holy grail that magically solves all problems in the system, and it doesn’t present itself as something that would overthrow the current economic system. Instead, it is viewed as something that would go alongside the preexisting economy that has its own perks. Most problems in record-keeping and verification are made easy by blockchain technology, however, complex verbal terms and conditions for large contracts and transactions are still best observed with witnesses and legal process.
Of course it cannot be denied that many aspects of this existing economy pose a lot of inconveniences, particularly the inconveniences of centralization and the occasional insufficiency of security, and smart economy provides an efficient solution for these problems. With the integration, synergy and constant evolution of preexisting systems and groundbreaking technologies such as the blockchain protocol, we are able to enjoy a highly efficient and convenient economy with the best interests in everyone’s needs.