Most of today’s conversation around crypto, whether from speculators, traditional finance people or mainstream news sites, can be condensed into a few words: number go up or number go down.
An exclusively speculative attitude is a disservice to blockchain, the technology underlying crypto. From energy to the concept of ownership, to financial and internet infrastructure, blockchain has ushered in the next wave of digital innovation and has already improved many facets of the real world. People just need to stop focusing so much on the price of digital assets to see it.
4 Examples of Game-Changing Blockchain Applications
- Blockchain tech can enable carbon emissions trading to become more accessible and transparent.
- Blockchain can return ownership of art to its creators.
- Blockchain can reduce dependence on a handful of internet service providers.
- Blockchain and the shift to Web3 can enable people to own and control their own online experience.
This may be a strange position coming from a leader in the longest-running crypto exchange. Let me explain: many people often forget that an important reason to buy a crypto asset is not for the potential gains it may provide, but to use it for what is intended. For example, Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain Ethereum, is the fuel powering thousands of applications being built on top of it. We expect its recent transition to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to drive more developers and projects to build on it.
Building with blockchain technology takes many shapes and forms. Here are some of blockchain’s game-changing applications.
Climate change is an urgent issue facing the planet, and crypto has often been painted as part of the problem. But crypto can also help usher in a new era of renewable energy. By its transparent nature, blockchain technology can help industries to look for innovative ways to capture and transact units of energy. Blockchain technology can enable carbon emissions trading to become more transparent and accessible. Several projects, including Toucan, Regen and Moss, have put carbon credits on blockchains and initiated efforts that will make the carbon credit process more transparent and accessible.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are changing the way artists earn a living and connect with their fans. Startups such Audius are putting ownership of their art back into the hands of musicians and content creators. Hundreds of artists, from The Chainsmokers and Katy Perry to Nas are taking note.
But it’s not only music artists and fans who benefit from NFTs. Blockchain technology enables true ownership by tying assets — whether digital or physical — to unique strings of code. The potential for this technology is huge. For example, healthcare technology firm MAPay will put medical records into NFTs to give patients ownership of their medical records. People are also innovating ways to either denote ownership of real estate on-chain or fractionalize assets as an investment, making real estate investing more accessible to the masses.
The Decentralized Internet
We are more and more aware of our reliance on centralized internet service providers. When Amazon Web Services suffers an outage, it reverberates across the internet. This is slowly but surely changing.
Blockchain technology enables decentralized file sharing networks where participants are incentivized to contribute computing power. Users can share resources through protocols such as Arweave and Filecoin. Another project, Render, enables distributed GPU rendering on the blockchain, revolutionizing the digital creation process.
Helium is providing equipment for decentralized wireless infrastructure where users are incentivized to set up their own hotspots with the protocol's native token.
Last but not least, the shift to Web3 will also enable individuals to own and control their online experience. For example, Brave browser removes the middlemen between website visitors and publishers by incentivizing their interactions directly.
Cryptocurrency speculation is not the be-all end-all when it comes to blockchain technology’s vast potential. From energy and ownership to the future of the internet itself, blockchain technology is being adopted across a large swath of fields and is driving innovation. We’re still in the beginning stages of tapping into the potential for energy transparency, NFTs, the metaverse, P2P internet and all that blockchain can empower. Let’s not allow market speculation to overshadow these amazing developments.