Blockchain has been everywhere lately - and it's so much more than a few bitcoins.
It seems that everywhere you turn in the tech industry, someone is talking about the promise of blockchain technology and how it's going to change the world. Well, I'm here to tell you this: It's changing the world right now.
Originally invented as a method to create and transfer value between users without an interfering mitigator, blockchain is now proving to be able to do so much more and change the very fabric of the tech world.
Being heralded as the biggest invention in tech since the internet, what can blockchain actually do to change our lives?
Here are the five industries that are being disrupted by blockchain technology, and some companies who are taking part.
While we hear a lot about how blockchain is going to change the financial world, it's sometimes hard to connect that with how it's going to affect our daily lives.
Like most big market trends the booms, and busts are going to affect us, but it's hard to understand how. Several companies are working on just that, such as COTI. They aim to change the way you shop online utilizing blockchain to create a fair and just online transactional system, and overall - to be the currency of online shopping.
Another company looking to make a difference in how you pay is Colu. Colu has been around for awhile (since 2012 in fact), and v is built on the notion that communities (workplaces, neighborhoods, etc.) have specific financial needs, so they need a coin that is tradable within the community. Their mobile wallet app allows for peer-to-peer and customer-to-business transactions, so community members can financially interact.
Social media governs our daily lives and with Russia potentially tampering the 2017 elections, and the spread of fake news it seems to also somewhat govern our governments. Narrative is a blockchain based content platform that rewards those who create good and non-abusive content with cryptocurrency and exposure. Thus, users see more positive, accurate content, and less negative,"bad egg" content by keeping these at the bottom of the feed.
Another social media platform utilizing blockchain is Vanywhere. Vanywhere is a gig economy website, which utilizes the blockchain in order to connect users with specific skills to those users in need of these specific skillsets. The transactions on this platform are being done via cryptocurrency, which means neither side has to pay any sort of fee or commission for this exchange.
Currently, Expedia and Priceline control up to 95% of the travel market, depending on the region. This gives them almost unlimited power in what they can demand from suppliers like airlines and hotel chains. Price fixing is a common trend in making sure prices are tailored to them rather than the customer and the provider. They also demand massive fees from travel providers, which are then, in some form or another, rolled on the the consumer.
Winding Tree aims to improve that by creating a peer-to-peer travel marketplace with no middlemen; connecting providers directly with consumers. They have recently announced a partnership with Lufthansa.
And trying to impact a different sector, CarFix creates a decentralized marketplace for all things automotive, aiming to create transparency and avoid price manipulation in the industry.
If you've heard about blockchain before, you know of blockchain as an investment -basically buy some cryptocurrency and wait for its value to go up.
What you might not know is that the decentralized technology is creating many new ways to invest and trade, in both digital and non-digital assets. The first is Zen Protocol which is building a bridge to connect digital and crypto assets to real life stocks and commodities, so people can create options, derivatives and more in a blockchain based trading platform.
Another company taking steps to connect the investment world with the digital one is Blackmoon Crypto which is focused on creating a tokenized investment interface, aiming to help people manage funds while taking care of every aspect, such as tech and legal.
This is where blockchain can impact industries but also the well being of our planet. WePower is allowing green energy consumers to make investments and profit off-of their completed green energy products, as well as provide suppliers with capital to further green and clean energy.
If you thought blockchain is a financial tool for geeks, you have another thing coming. Almost every industry is seeing the potential of a decentralized product and a peer-to-peer financial market. I myself am turning into a blockchain addict each and every day.