My clients continuously ask us to provide them, real-life applications of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency technology. Below is just a snippet of the wide-ranging implementations we have seen and had the unique opportunity of participating in.
There are hundreds of new applications using Decentralized Ledger technology/public and private permission blockchains like Ripple (which btw I agree with you, the challenge I have with them is I have studied their tech stack and looked at each component in their tech infrastructure, it’s fully functional without using a single Ripple, this was by design), let me give you just a small glimpse into applications of crypto-technology:
- Cryptographically issued tokens is a novel concept, being able to mint/create/issue/equally distribute tokens to mass users is an application in itself.
- Accounting companies (including the associations and boards like GAAP/IFRS and Financial Accounting Standard Board) are jumping into using different variations of Blockchain tech to pursue triple entry bookkeeping (this finally solves the age-old problem of double entry bookkeeping where each Ledger only represents your version of the truth)…being able to see every single transaction on an immutable Ledger is incredibly efficient for countless industries
- Cryptocurrency wallets are an application
- International trading with no geographical bounds that is open 24/7 with no restrictions, that is an improvement of at least 5X in available trading time (stock markets only function from 9ish to 4:30 PM every day), also there is much less information asymmetry in this space as everything is open for everyone’s viewing
- Crypto tokens for distributed computing e.g. Golem, Gridcoin; this is an exploding space, and the problems that graphics engineers and 3D renders face today such as them taking weeks to process a large scale file are solved, these markets are amenable to these solutions
- Crypto tokens for distributed prediction markets e.g. Gnosis, Augur, Stox
- Distributed storage solutions using IPFS e.g. Siacoin, StorJ, Ethereum Swarm, Filecoin; this solved the inefficiencies of expensive, slow centralized repositories with a single point of failure by having built-in redundancy
- The concept of Proof of Stake, e.g. Staking your coins for processing transactions on a network
- The concept of master nodes e.g. ability to influence the direction of the project
- Distributed voting protocols e.g. District0x, allows you to propose a new marketplace like Ethlance, ENSFactory which will directly compete with centralized entities like GoDaddy, Airbnb, and Craigslist/classifieds
- Decentralized exchanges eg EtherDelta, DEX; these are incredible, just smart contracts that are open source and published to the Ethereum public Blockchain for anyone to see and use
- The concept of forking code repositories to create your own token in a single hour, this is what Litecoin is to Bitcoin
- Decentralized sharing economy applications e.g. Uber competitors like SwarmCity, this is exploding now
- Decentralized casino and online gaming platforms e.g. Etheroll DICE tokens
- Decentralized open/closed end funds e.g. TaaS, ICONOMI, where you are investing in a VC company and are earning a portion of their earnings/returns from each successful investment
- Decentralized real estate management e.g. REAL, REX competing with centralized inefficient entities like MLS, Xaurum Gamma allows you to invest in physical real estate and actual all revenue being earned from a touristic street in Croatia
- Decentralized social media platforms e.g. MatchPool, Synereo, and Steem
- Decentralized lending institutions e.g. WeTrust allows for peer to peer lending at a fraction of the cost vs traditional lending houses and at 100X the speed
- ICO issuance and distribution mechanism for Raising capital e.g. The 100 plus Ethereum tokens, Waves pegged tokens; funds raised using this method has already surpassed $1.6B this year and is greater than money raised by private angel investors and seed funding via VCs
- International Remittance/B2B payments and transfers e.g. AlignCommerce, Abra
- International wage disbursements eg BitWages, and many others
- Truly anonymous projects and cryptocurrencies e.g. Monero, SkyCoin
- Long-term storage of value e.g. Similar to Gold via DigixDAO, but far superior to Gold because it has immediate liquidity, easier to store and control, acceptable anywhere anytime
- Disruption of the traditional VC model e.g. Blockchain Capital is a VC company which now allows you to trade your shares in it to anyone anytime, the legacy way of earning an ROI from a Series A/B/C funding rounds is to wait for an exit/acquisition/divestiture etc but that’s no longer true because now you can raise capital using an ICO and immediately be able to transfer your assets to someone else on the open, free economic market at a fraction of the cost with no restrictions.
- Decentralized publication houses or Wikipedia sites e.g. Lunyr will reward academic peer reviews and effort
Many of these projects already have working betas or alphas in production, it’s just that they most likely have not received a huge amount of publicity yet. There is an entirely new economic market being created. We are very bullish about the entire space as we have witnessed it grows from below $1B to $150B in just a few years.
It is clear that many of the projects are significantly overvalued right now from a market capitalization standpoint, but that is typical of any new market like it was during the DotComBoom where you could raise $M in funding in 1999 just from having a .COM after your name. It is also important to mention that we wouldn’t look at these assets as exclusively cryptocurrencies, or currencies or commodities, many of these projects are issuing tokens. These tokens are valuable due to scarcity, utility in their respective networks like Ethereum or Golem or SiaCoin, so they function as quasi-currency and quasi-functional, usable utility tokens, thus increasing their inherent, intrinsic value. To make matters even more complicated, there are now tokens which are classified as securities by the US SEC, and these can have characteristics of each of those two categories.
I truly hope you enjoyed this post, give me a shout via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your unique needs to pursue these applications. I look forward to hearing from you!