Do you even need a Blockchain?

In the last year, it feels like everyone has gone crazy over the new Buzzword “Blockchain.”

Everyone seems to think that by putting the word Blockchain into their business plan that they’ll instantly be worth tens of millions of dollars, and everyone should bow down to them for their great ability to predict and create the future.

It’s important to let cooler heads prevail, so in this article, I’m going to break down the pros and cons of using a Blockchain, as well as discuss several use cases.

 

PROS OF BUILDING A BLOCKCHAIN

  1. You can future proof your company, because Blockchains are essentially the future of the internet.
  2. Protecting from data hacks/leaks, since Blockchains are designed to be decentralized (basically, by splitting up the database across different computers/nodes, you essentially create multiple copies like a torrent file across different users. Therefore, a hacker would have to spend a significant amount of time, money, and effort to own 50%+ of the network in order to force a change in the Blockchain’s record).
  3. Decentralize your data so as to lessen the cost of servers, all without compromising the data.
  4. Tokenize/create financial incentive across your platform to get your users to engage and generate content.
  5. Create an immutable record system for all transactions across your platform (assets, securities, contracts/deeds, titles, etc).
  6. Establish privacy for users, and allow them to facilitate what data gets shared with advertisers, etc.

CONS OF BUILDING A BLOCKCHAIN

  1. You have to find someone who can build a Blockchain (usually people who are experienced in C#, C++, Java, or Python can easily learn to work with Blockchains).
  2. Building the Blockchain isn’t the hard part, it’s customizing it to suit your needs, getting enough users to commit their PCs to furthering the expansion and growth of your network, and building applications on top that hook into the Blockchain.
  3. You have to forever commit resources to its management, development, and security.
  4. If it breaks, you might lose all your data, along with your users financial worth (in tokens).

 

EXAMPLES OF GREAT BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS

  • Global payments (see micropayments)
  • P2P Lending (see Peercoin)
  • Issuing Stocks/Bonds, etc.
  • Issuing Drivers Licenses, Passports, Birth Certificates, etc.
  • Securing Patient Health Records, and giving them the power to control who sees it (see Patientory)
  • Social Network with financial incentives to generate content (see Steemit)
  • Genome Project
  • Decentralizing Search Engines and Advertising Payments (see Presearch, which I will discuss in another article)

 

EXAMPLES OF BAD BLOCKCHAIN IDEAS

  • A Chinese company has created a Blockchain and token to manage the “Leek” vegetable industry (see Jiucaicoin).
  • You want to use a Blockchain to manage the Life Story of your dog (use a BLOG instead..)


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