When we refer to industries, we usually mention “tech” as its own industry. In the future, this may not necessarily be true. The world’s going through an interesting phase in history where tech is already slowly merging into traditional businesses. This is most evident through Uber’s disruption of the taxi industry, AirBnb for hospitality and the list goes on.
The blockchain takes this merger to a whole new level.
With the rise of blockchain tech, we’re seeing the rapid emergence of an asset class that was only once only available to governments — currencies. Suddenly any company in the world can create their own currency/token/coin just for their own ecosystem of products in any industry.
Ensuring integrity and consistency of data across multiple transportation carries is often tough, if not impossible. Through the blockchain product data can be standardised thus allowing a trace of where a product came from and how. A few examples of players in this space:
- VeChain — Uses RFID chips to track whether luxurious Chinese-manufactured goods are legit. By publishing the data on the blockchain, verification can become extremely easy through the distributed ledger.
- Modum — when shipping pharmaceuticals the temperature of a shipment needs to be recorded due to regulations. By producing temperature-recording RFID chips, Modum puts these chips into shipping containers that enables transparency between consumers, suppliers and governments.
Rather than creating your own blockchain, platforms allow developers to build applications on top of an existing blockchain.
- Ethereum is the largest dApp platform accounting for 85% of dApps created till date. dApps can only be written in Solidity.
- NEO is the Chinese version of Ethereum and has it’s own unique features such as being able to be write smart contracts in multiple programming languages.
Currently the total number of cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap.com is ~1500. In the future this number is going to explode. Each currency/coin/token is going to have it’s own use and there’s going to be different ways to exchange between them based on a variety of factors.
- Coinbase is the most popular of them all due to it’s simplicity. It has less than 10 coins although allows an easy fiat gateway to crypto.
- Binance is one of the largest exchanges in the world allowing people to trade between relatively popular coins at fairly low prices.
- OmiseGo is a project by Omise to create a decentralised exchange that can handle up to 1M transactions per second.
The blockchain has it’s own set of problems that need to be addressed. Not surprisingly enough there’s a bunch of coins meant to solve the various issues:
- Ark aims to create “SmartBridge” technology that allows multiple currencies to cross-communicate with each other.
- MonacoCard is a debit card that allows people to spend crypto at any place that accepts Visa.
- ChainLink allows developers to interact with 3rd party APIs in Smart Contracts.
Large corporations are exploring new ways of doing business by incorporating the blockchain into their business. Here’s some projects that are helping to achieve that:
- Ripple is aiming to replace the traditional SWIFT system for inter-country bank payments. Reduces costs by 60%, is instant and has low/zero chance of failure when transferring.
- SophiaTX integrates SAP enterprise systems with the blockchain
Not all cryptocurrencies are geared up for being used as payments at this stage. NANO and REQ are two of many projects that aim to solve problems for paying with crypto.
- Nano is a 3rd generation crypto currency that allows free and instant payments and can handle up to 7,000 transactions/second.
- Request Network allows vendors to request payments via the Blockchain. This makes invoicing for businesses on the blockchain convenient. Also is referred to as PayPal 2.0.
Many currencies/tokens show the records of money moving from one address to another. Despite the addresses being completely anonymous, if one address can be linked to an identity (exchanges that hold your private keys) the trail of money is easy to follow.
- Monero completely anonymises these transactions through “ring-signatures” which involves some advanced cryptography techniques.
- NavCoin allows the option of privacy but can still allow participants to send non-anonymous transactions.
A lot of these projects are still in very early phases (tons of speculation too) although they’re a glimpse into how a decentralised future looks like!
Would love to hear your thoughts/suggestions about this article.