“You might not realize it yet, but blockchain could change your life”
Once the internet became available to everyone, it was considered a medium for information that could be made available to everyone and not just for the chosen few. It was considered as an information retrieval system that gives access to all for all the documents on it. Since then it has evolved into a platform that lets us not only retrieve information or communicate but also lets us shop or bank.
Blockchain as a technology combined with internet will be the next step in the evolution from the internet being a means to exchange information to means to exchange value. This is done by transferring a digital asset using the internet from any place to any other place across the planet in real time. The digital asset can be anything from bond, stocks, art or music etc.
Blockchain as a technology records transactions i.e. in other words, it is like a ledger. In an environment where security has become paramount for each transaction and the need to establish trust across the digital divide is becoming critical, the existing internet infrastructure may not be sufficient. This is where blockchain can help as both security and trust are inherent to this technology. This means people need not have intermediaries like banks or financial institutions to establish trust and security for both buyers and sellers of any product or service.
This could be a double-edged sword. Although this technology eliminates the need for intermediaries in order to make a transaction complete faster, it could also mean it will be difficult for governments around the world to monitor these transactions from a taxation perspective for even from a legal perspective.
Blockchain has a potential to reduce government bureaucracy and corruption. However, if implemented without proper checks it can introduce a lot of private corruption and tax evasion which in turn can turn a country’s ability to function properly into chaos. This is one of the main reasons why its adoption has not be as fast as most technologists would like.
Take an example of cryptocurrency which has been the most famous implementation of blockchain technology. Speculation in this type of currency is rampant and unchecked where the actual price of any crypto-currency has been fluctuating beyond imagination. If one draws parallel to the stock market, there are controls in most major stock markets around the world that put breaks on trading making it more difficult for speculators to use unethical means of raising or lowering the price of a stock to make an undue profit. Such is not the case in crypto-currencies and as a result, a lot of people have both made and lost a lot of money. Such speculation can create a huge amount of problems in the normal economy if it were to be allowed without proper checks. Inflation is likely to run rampant and economies can be potentially destroyed.
However, blockchain has a lot of benefits as well if properly implemented. Its ability to keep an audit trail of transactions can help in buying and selling of land and other real estate elements where governments are struggling to identify real owners in many cases.
Hence proper implementation of blockchain technology is likely to make everyone’s life much easier as each person can rely on the records without any doubts.