In the past score of years, we have seen a rise in the use of blockchain technology. A blockchain is essentially a large database of data that is stored in a decentralized network that is publicly accessible – a shared and immutable ledger. This makes everything transparent and everyone is accountable for their actions. But, blockchain is a disruptive technology that is being adopted at an unprecedented rate. According to Deloitte’s 2018 global blockchain survey report, more than one-third of the respondents to their survey say they’ve already brought a blockchain implementation to production; another 41 percent plan to bring blockchain to production in the next year. (Pawczuk 2018)
Blockchain is changing the way we live but while serves some well, it threatens others. Since blockchain carries no transaction cost, it can replace all processes and business models which rely on charging a small fee for a transaction. Intermediaries and match – making platforms such as Uber and Airbnb are also threatened. For example – Bee Token, based out of San Francisco, aims to be just like Airbnb, but instead of paying in dollars or euros, guests use site-specific tokens to rent rooms that they purchase using either bitcoin or ether. (Schiller 2018) Platforms that host creative works by individuals, for example Spotify, will also be rendered useless as a peer-to-peer distribution system is established.
But on the bright side, by enabling peer-to-peer payments, the blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between parties — a truly decentralized sharing economy. (Rosic 2018) A crucial application of this system is to the governance system. Elections or any kind of poll taking would be made transparent and individuals could be given more power when it comes to voting on bills and laws. This is already happening in some countries – for example, Dubai aims to put all its documents on blockchain by 2020 in a bid to improve the security and efficiency of government operations. (Venkatesh 2018)
There is a plethora of industries that have applications of blockchain. But there still exist challenges – for example, who will be responsible for the server that stores all the data? While we continue to find solutions, it is clear that blockchain is an emerging disruptive technology that will change the way the global society lives.
Pawczuk, Linda, et al. Deloitte’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey. Deloitte, 2018, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey.
Rosic, Ameer. “What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners.” Blockgeeks, 18 July 2019, blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/.
Schiller, Ben, and Ben Schiller. “On This Blockchain-Based Version Of Airbnb, There’s No Middleman.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 6 Feb. 2018, www.fastcompany.com/40524021/on-this-blockchain-based-version-of-airbnb-theres-no-middleman.
Venkatesh C. “4 Things That Made Blockchain The Most Disruptive Tech In Decades.” Inc42 Media, 11 Mar. 2018, inc42.com/resources/4-things-that-made-blockchain-the-most-disruptive-tech-in-decades/.