Bitcoin is the king of blockchain and everyone knows it. Bitcoin is a money use case. That is, it is designed to be currency and do the things currency would do. However, there are endless applications for blockchain technology. In fact, this innovation is poised to impact our economy and society. To illustrate, let’s jump into how blockchain can streamline supply chains, increase transparency in voting systems, and revolutionize the way we interact with money.
Supply Chain Management
Blockchain technology is already being adapted into our supply chains, markets, information technology systems, and points of purchase. There are growing cases where this technology reduces fraud in counterfeiting of luxury brands and high-value goods, helps companies recognize how ingredients and finished goods are passed through each subcontractor, and lessens losses from counterfeit and gray market trading.
“LVMH (Louis Vuitton SE), for instance, working closely with Microsoft and ConsenSys, has created Aura Ledger to provide proof of authenticity of luxury items and trace their origins from raw materials to point of sale and beyond to the used-goods markets,” reports GlobalTrade. Pretty soon, when you see that Louis Vuitton bag that should be $10,000 for sale for the bargain price of $1,500, you won’t just need to rely on your guts and logic to determine that it’s not real – you’ll be able to use blockchain technology to verify this very thing.
Among many examples, companies have integrated blockchain to track the responsible sourcing of tuna in Indonesia, secure digital media usage and sharing rights, and manage B2B trade and supply chain finance products. Ultimately, this is where the power of a peer-to-peer, immutable, decentralized network comes into play. Transactions are permanent, traceable, and aren’t subject to manipulation. This makes them perfect this job.
Voting and Democracy
Democracies debate, discuss, and explore advances in secure, trusted electronic voting. Some nations are further ahead than others, and some countries face technical hurdles in implementation of electronic voting systems. In the US, voting integrity came under unwarranted and invalidated attacks during the 2020 elections. However, the firestorm of coverage and numerous controversies raised public awareness of the value of integrity and security in the vote. Some research projects underscore that smart contracts can be part of an overall approach to voting systems “by ensuring decentralization, transparency and eliminating a single point of failure.”
No Permission Required
The old saying goes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. The supposition here is that sometimes permission (for whatever it is that you are wanting to do) won’t be granted and most things, even if they weren’t going to be technically allowed, are forgivable. (Note, we are not talking about breaking the Law. Don’t break the Law.) The concept of acting now and asking for forgiveness later has been used by schoolkids and business magnates, professors and politicians, dear friends and not-so-dear colleagues. It points to something common, however, that there is an authority who must allow whatever action you are taking.
Never was this truer than in the world of finance, where your bank is the ultimate authority on whether or not you can access your money. Your bank is a gatekeeper of funds – and that’s for those who can get a bank account. Many cannot even get permission to open a bank account.
As of 2021, 24% of the world does not have a bank account. That’s approximately 1.9 billion humans; if we take out minors, that’s 1.4 billion adults.
Permission-less blockchains serve as a transformative tool for people to access and leverage money, including people who haven’t traditionally had that access. This is a game changer for those individuals and the communities and economies they live in. These tools will drive positive social and economic impact, not only in emerging markets, but will help anyone looking to have a powerful relationship to their money because, frankly, it is theirs. Last I checked, you shouldn’t need to get permission to use your own things. Game changed.
In this blog, we’ve sampled and condensed parts of Chapters 1, 3, and 15 of our new book, Crypto Decrypted, out May 23, 2023.
Want to get more in-depth? Pre-order here to understand how society and the economy are changing right under our noses – right now.