From Boom to Boon: Blockchain’s Value

As John Oliver stated on Last Week Tonight, “The main currency you’ve probably heard about is Bitcoin. It’s been all over the news because last year its value exploded from about $1,000 at the beginning of the year to $9,000 by November to $20,000 by December.” The value of Bitcoin, like the value of any currency, lies in the agreement of investors and consumers that it has value and an adequate system to support it, but whether Bitcoin catches on or not, “many people believe that the really exciting thing about it is the innovative technology that it’s built on.”

Starting with a shared ledger, where the transactions are stored in vast and various places and not just in one place (like a bank), this decentralization not only increases the speed of transactions, but also the security of them. The blockchain, according to Don Tapscott, the co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, is “a highly processed thing, sort of like a chicken McNugget and if you wanted to hack it, it would be like turning a chicken McNugget back into a chicken.” This increased processing makes blockchain a database that is virtually impossible to hack, and which could improve efficiency, transparency, and trust.

The boom of bitcoin’s monetary significance is a small piece of blockchain’s potential value. Another, perhaps more meaningful, benefit is its ability to revolutionize how we conduct business and share information. Walmart, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase, for example, have all been experimenting with the ways in which blockchain can help them share and secure data and increase overall business efficiency and consumer satisfaction and safety.

Freight Network, in particular, defines itself as a “next generation long-haul logistics company that solves the inefficiencies in logistics landscape through the adoption of technology.” Its intention is to utilize the power of blockchain technology to systematize the shipping process from beginning to end. This will include streamlining customer needs, detailing transport logistics, instituting truck driver’s GPS systems, and integrating other business software in in order to ensure efficient, timely, and cost-effective final delivery.

Additionally, Fr8 Network looks toward the future in using blockchain technology to inform Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. Fr8 is working toward self-driving trucks and plans to be the first to market and utilize them, offering a new and innovative range of solutions for both consumers and manufacturers. Furthermore, they are attempting to partner with auto manufacturers and IOT technology providers to establish collaborative efforts that will lead to an entirely new transportation system.

NanoVision can be considered a leader in blockchain health. Even though trillions of dollars are spent on research and development of medical and scientific protocols, very little progress is made. The use of the permanent ledgers of blockchain will allow for an accessible and universally compatible platform to store, share, and access healthcare data. Second, through a partnership with Arm, the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, they are designing and producing Nano Sense chips that can be placed in medical and research environments. These chips collect and store data at the molecular level, data which is instantly accessible to researchers all over the world.

Last, Nano is developing a solution for the issue of smart data analysis, using a machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that continuously sorts and analyzes data for the purpose of determining complementary data sets and trends in data analysis. This will lead to faster, more efficient medical trials, and, hopefully, more successful medical treatments.

Blockchain has gone from a major boom in financial potential as Bitcoin to a boon for many industries and individuals. Its prospects for ecommerce companies and others lies in its ability to promote more philanthropic work and humanitarian discoveries. Companies that are interested in not only promoting their industry but also building a strong tie to the global community are looking toward blockchain as a way to realize their dreams. Whether the goal is to have a positive social or environmental impact, to solve a worldwide issue, or to provide employees with a sense of purpose or pride, blockchain has shown its value.

As many companies are finding, creating a mission and vision that incorporates socially good works is one thing. But the utilization of blockchain could be considered a blessing for those industries that are able and willing to harness its potential to make the world a better place. Blockchain’s value is not just a financial boom; it could be considered a major altruistic boon once this potential is realized.

How do you feel about the blockchain boom we are currently experiencing?