Blockchain of all the things

The blockchain makes Bitcoin work. It could make a few other things work better too. Here are just three ways the future is about to get a lot more interesting thanks to this deceptively simple technology:

(FYI, Bitcoin itself, as in the currency, is a wonderful way to move your money around the world without a bank or Big Brother government sticking its nose in your businesses, but don’t let the exciting looking trading charts tempt you – it is also not a guaranteed get-rich-quick scheme unless you are a Flash Boy with a very big computer budget who knows exactly what you are doing.  Disclaimer: This is just a common-sense observation, not professional financial advice. But seriously. Do not invest in anything you do not thoroughly understand. And don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. Also, seriously, please understand the real magic of magic internet money is to be found beyond the mere price action…  the potential utility value of the ideas behind it is far more special.)

Anyway, the blockchain method of speedily and accurately recording and verifying ownership could put a whole lot of lawyers, bankers and other fat-adding-middle-men out of business (or at least shift them into a new kind of business. Lawyers will likely always be with us.). If you have purchased a property lately, you will know just how much of your money is wasted on those paper-producing middle men “verifying” your purchase).

Not only that, the blockchain, with its infinite memory and open access is about to make the mega-billion-rand public sector corruption “industry” (South Africans will know what I am talking about – but then again, all governments the world over are corrupt – they are staffed by career politicians after all) a lot more inconvenient for gravy train passengers. The blockchain sees everything. And it never forgets

And then we get to copyrights.  The blockchain could actually reverse the effects digitisation had on music and media piracy. By attributing ownership and distribution from source through every subsequent transaction or referral, blockchain technology means artists and writers can look forward to the day they will once again get credited for (and possibly even paid) for their own work.

And it doesn’t stop there. Blockchain technology even has the potential to monetise your attention – this means advertisers could pay YOU directly to watch their ads, rather than paying a publisher or search engine to serve you an ad. Now that’s a future I could be excited about. It’s about time us average-joes get to cash in on our own data.

That’s why, even if you are not an amateur trader, you should take some interest in the evolution of the blockchain.

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