5 Things You Didn’t Know Blockchain Could Do
The blockchain can be used in truly interesting ways
We all know that blockchain technology is so much more than just bitcoin. In fact, this revolutionary tool is changing the way we interact with goods and services in both the digital and physical worlds. Blockchain is being developed for more and more uses, whether that’s achieving completely new functions or finding ways of doing existing tasks better.
D/SRUPTION takes a look at some of the impressive real life applications of blockchain that you might not have heard of yet.
1) Charging electric cars
A new startup, Share&Charge, is changing the way people charge their electric cars in Germany. Part of Innogy SE, a subsidiary business of the German energy group RWE, Share&Charge have created a transaction platform based on the Ethereum blockchain. By downloading a mobile app, consumers can use and pay for electricity at Share&Charge’s stations in Mobility Tokens – a cryptocurrency that is backed by the euro. They can also use the app to pay in euros at non compatible charging points. With their creation of a nationwide network of charging stations and drivers, the Share&Charge system aims to benefit both emobilists and the owners of charging stations themselves. Drivers with greater awareness of their nearest charging points will find it easier to top up with power. Owners, on the other hand, are able to set their own tariffs, and maintain autonomy within the system. With 1,246 electric charging stations across the country, Share&Charge want to speed up the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany to create the future of emobility.
2) Currency exchange
Can you imagine a world without transaction fees? Many blockchain developers can, and are working to achieve just that. TenX, the Singaporean FinTech startup, is notable in the cryptocurrency world for this precise reason. In addition to processing fee free transactions, however, TenX wants to enable cryptocurrency users to spend their tokens in the real world. Their COMIT network acts as a bridge between different blockchains, enabling users to pay and receive different cryptocurrencies in one single transaction. If one party in a transaction wants to pay in bitcoin, for example, but the other party wants to receive payment in ethereum tokens, then the COMIT network will facilitate this. In the real world, this function of the TenX platform will enable travellers to spend their money all over the globe without incurring currency conversion fees.
3) Creating a supercomputer
The increased connectivity and network potential offered by blockchain technology has limitless applications. Just like the internet, blockchain can link up users with specific requirements to others who can provide such services. One important way this is used is by renting out the world’s computing ability. The Golem Network is a blockchain initiative which creates a global, decentralised network of its users’ computing power. Requestors of power – such as software developers – can make use of Golem for anything from CGI rendering, to machine learning and scientific computing. It provides a flexible, reliable and cheap source of computing power, all within the security of the blockchain.
It’s no secret that digital advertising is changing. With a shift to voice controlled technology, decreasing numbers of television viewers, and the questionable efficacy of banner ads on websites, the advertising industry needs to find a viable solution for the digital age. Blockchain could provide the answer. Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) are a cryptocurrency designed to operate on the Brave platform – a blockchain powered internet browser. It aims to resolve some of the main problems with current internet advertising, such as privacy concerns, malware, poor targeting, and the industry dominance of Facebook and Google. By using the Brave browser, consumers can maintain their privacy, view fewer but better targeted advertisements, and earn cryptocurrency tokens for their attention on ads. Advertisers, on the other hand, receive better data on their consumers. This is good news for the security of consumers’ personal information and for the ailing advertising industry.
5) Data storage
The cloud has been a technological marvel in its benefits to both businesses and consumers. However, data storage in the cloud can be expensive. As with other products and services, blockchain technology is making it possible to utilise the world’s idle resources to offer cheap cloud storage to everyone. By creating a decentralised global network of computers, blockchain startup Sia enables its users to rent out unused hard drive capacity. Unlike traditional cloud storage providers, it is impossible for outside companies or third parties to access users’ data on the Sia platform. What’s more, with different hosts competing to store users’ data, the Sia platform drives down prices. According to their website, it costs on average 90 per cent less to store data on the Sia platform than with incumbent cloud storage providers. With decreased costs, increased security, and over 4PB storage capacity, blockchain storage solutions such as Sia look likely to be the future of cloud storage.
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