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The future of blockchain grows brighter by the day — and it’s surprising people in every industry. Innovators across the globe continue developing blockchain use cases that leave people saying “how did they come up with that?” and “I wish I had that idea.” Here are several such blockchain uses, from ones that help people in their everyday lives to others that are, quite literally, out of this world.
(1 of 5): Blockchain in Space
In 2017 NASA awarded a $330,000 grant to Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis of the University of Akron. The purpose: use blockchain technology “to monitor floating debris and send instructions ... to take evasive action.” An ambitious and applaudable goal. After all, The Guardian reports on the danger of floating debris in space, noting that for an astronaut — “Being hit by a 'sugar-cube' of space debris is the equivalent of standing next to an exploding hand-grenade. And the problem is only getting worse.”
Dr. Kocsis proposes to track all those deadly fragments by using the Ethereum blockchain. How exactly this will all work is yet to be shown by this true-to-life Rocket Scientist. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the usefulness of blockchain technology is not only global — but will soon be extraterrestrial too. Great news for anyone planning on taking one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX ‘tourist flights’ up there.
(2 of 5): Theme parks, music venues, ticketing on the blockchain
For those who have a more — earthbound — way of seeking their thrills, blockchain could permeate and be used in your favorite theme parks, concerts, and sporting events. Since tickets on a blockchain cannot be pirated or faked we can finally rest assured that the ticket we buy on eBay, Craigslist, or “from a friend of a friend who’s brother sister’s boyfriend can’t go now” — is the real deal. After all, nothing worse than getting hyped up for your favorite show, or traveling a few hundred miles to a theme park, only to be denied entrance at the gate.
The concept extends to theme parks and their fast pass systems. A fast pass, such as those sold by Universal Studios and Disney World, could benefit from Blockchain. Right now the fast passes simply let people get on rides. But by incorporating blockchain tech and smart contracts these fast passes can also allow ticket holders to discounts at in-park restaurants and souvenir shops. In fact, Disney began kicking around that idea back in 2017 by creating a blockchain called Dragonchain.
(3 of 5): Fantasy Football!
Speaking of tickets and other such electronic items that should not be pirated: blockchain is now moving into the wide world of sports. The advent of ERC-721 tokens could see widespread fun. An ERC-721 is a type of smart contract token on the Ethereum Blockchain. It’s ‘Nonfungile’ -- which simply means that each token is completely unique. So now, for the first time, you could own an autographed LeBron James basketball card … online. No one can copy it, pirate it, or damage it. You could own a mint-condition card and it will always be in mint condition. There’s already a company called Cryptostrikers who are pioneering the way.
And here’s an even better kicker: Imagine playing Fantasy Football, creating a team of your favorite sports stars, owning their digital ERC-721 cards --- and then as the season progresses your cards will change. The stats of your players will change in real time along with how the actual athlete performs. Not only will your cards be even more secure than regular paper cards (because no one can pirate or destroy them) but they will also come alive -- changing and growing as the players themselves progress in real life. Whatsmore, with cards like these on the blockchain you’ll always own them -- just like paper cards. This is thanks to blockchain’s decentralized nature. Traditional online card companies would go down and take all your cards with them. However, using the example of Cryptostrikers, they are developing on the Ethereum blockchain — “This means that as long as you control a card in your digital wallet, nobody can take it away from you, no matter what happens to CryptoStrikers.”
(4 of 5): Safer, faster, better visits to your medical professionals
Moving from the world of thrills and spills, we take a look at blockchain’s more serious use cases. The medical records industry is stuck in the stone age. Papers get lost. Patients get misdiagnosed. One CNN reporter put it this way: “Lack of information kills people," she says. "Having your medical records can save your life."
The blockchain is a technology that is immutable, trustless, and decentralized. This means that medical records stored on the blockchain would be easier to access while simultaneously becoming more secure. A Forbes article reported that blockchain would help in things ranging from personalized medicine to “reducing fraudulent billing, counterfeit drugs, and the medical supply chain.” Advances such as these, though more mundane perhaps, are just as incredible.
(5 of 5): Blockchain VS. “The Zombie Title.”
Many of us, if not all of us, dream to own our own place someday. Perhaps our own condo or apartment in the city or a nice home in the quiet suburbs. “A man’s house is his castle,” they say, but few realize what buying or selling a home entails...and that it could land them in jail.
Buying and selling a home involves hefty sums of money. This requires a title. A title shows who owns the dwelling. And transferring it between the buyer and seller is and has always been a lengthy, arduous, costly process. And when that process breaks down or hits a snag -- serious ramifications ensue.
According to a recent Reuters article -- if a title is improperly transferred it may become a “zombie title” — a title that makes the previous owner of the home legally responsible for all taxes, repairs, even gardening costs. And for those homeowners caught in such a legal quagmire, the Reuters article goes on to point out that “In some cities, people with zombie titles can be sentenced to probation — with the threat of jail if they don’t bring their houses into compliance.”
By contrast, if the titles were simply put on the blockchain then an immutable record could be kept of not only who owns the home when it was bought or sold, but also who accessed the records and when they did so. Such a process would streamline title transfers, reduce costs, and secure both buyers and sellers. Again, perhaps this use case is not as glamorous as astronauts battling space debris, but for the average Joe avoiding surprise bills and possible jail time is certainly an incredible thing.
Prepare for the Future
The blockchain is shaking up every industry. It will continue to do so. From helping people purchase their dream home to saving them from counterfeit medicine to helping keep their tourist space suits free from exploding space debris -- blockchain is squarely in our future.
Those select few people who see this bright future know that the time to prepare is now. Understanding blockchain technology will put you ahead of your friends and colleagues, and maybe will you be the one inventing the next incredible blockchain use case!
About the author:
R.R. Hauxley traveled around the world — 18 countries, 12 months, on 1 Bitcoin. During his travels, he met the sharpest, smartest minds in crypto space. This experience solidified in him the truth: cryptocurrencies will set us free. Nowadays, he creates top-notch content for the crypto curious and continues to be involved in refreshing, innovative projects.
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