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WAX ON: The 5 best use cases on Earth for blockchain technology

Nov 5, 2019
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Enough talking about the downsides to blockchain, let’s go through five of the tech’s many advantages.

WAX Co-founder William Quigley explores the best use cases on earth for blockchain in this latest episode of WAX ON.

One use case he discusses in the video was thrust into the crypto news sphere last week when the exchange BitMEX leaked user email addresses. You see, when you willingly hand over your information to the hundreds of websites, you never know how all of your personal identifying details are stored. That sensitive information can put you at risk if stolen or hacked.

And that’s where blockchain shines. There’s no safer way to store your personal information and give limited access to it than on a blockchain. Instead of having it stored by hundreds of different sites with questionable security infrastructure and/or practices, it’s safely sheltered from identity thieves. No one could access your information unless YOU gave permission.

Now unfortunately you can't get rid of all the personal identifying information you have already given out to hundreds of websites. That information has been most likely been widely distributed on dozens or hundreds of various website servers (servers that we all know have been compromised multiple times). Wouldn’t you prefer to have your information on a blockchain where you’re the only one who holds the key? Service providers who need your credentials can submit a request to read it which you would grant on your terms, but they would not store it.

Fortunately for BitMEX customers the only information leaked was email addresses. But there have been countless other more severe data leaks like Experian and Target.

This is just one of the use cases that are unique to blockchain that William discusses.

And he's not alone in this praise for the tech. "Blockchain-based startups have already designed many novel use cases that span the entire gambit of private and public-sector services," says Yoav Vilner, Founder of the Tel Aviv Collective. "From logistics to digital identities, the ideas being born from blockchain are astounding."

“The key benefit of blockchain is it enables ‘digital trust’ like never before,” said Swiss Key Founder Kyle Kemper. “Innovative, programmable trust can facilitate digital and programmable monies and assets, among other things. At the same time, it’s primary disadvantage is it’s poised to disrupt billion dollar industries with vested interest in the status quo. Make no mistake about it. Bitcoin = digital cash….which is f*cking huge. It’s inclusive, and it introduces greater efficiencies by eliminating the middlemen for notary, remittance, payments, and settlements.”

"Blockchain technology offers a real alternative to the current centralized nature of almost all facets of online activity,” said Craig Russo, co-founder of Sludgefeed. “Trustless, peer-to-peer interactions without a middleman have serious upsides in terms of privacy and control. However, this adds far more personal liability (i.e., becoming your own bank is seriously risky and opens you up to significant risk).”

Watch the full episode of WAX ON to get the other four, and subscribe to the WAX YouTube channel for more episodes of WAX ON with William Quigley each week.

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Video transcript:

In my last video, I discussed the benefits and the drawbacks of blockchain technology. This week, I'm going to explore the best use cases on earth for blockchain.

Where does blockchain really shine?

I believe there are five powerful use cases for blockchain. These five use cases are unique, unique in that the value we get from using a blockchain clearly outweighs the drawbacks. So let's dive into these five great use cases and find out why they're so well matched for blockchain:

#1 - Non-fiat money, or a store of value coin. What does that mean? It means money that has been issued by people or groups, but not a country. Now, this of course was the very first use case for blockchain technology. I'm talking about Bitcoin. Why non-fiat money? Because blockchain solves two critical elements when it comes to making money useful. Blockchain makes counterfeiting impossible. It allows money or a store value coin to be safely transferred to anyone on earth with access to the internet.

#2 - A storage place for your personal identity. Now, this is a fantastic use case for blockchain. There is no safer way to store, and to give limited access to, all the personal identifying details of who you are. Your passwords, your driver's license, all of your personal contact information, the information websites demand you hand over every time you want to sign up for an online service. If you could store your personal identifying details in a blockchain, all that precious information that identity thieves would love to get, we would all be better off. No one could touch it unless you gave them permission. Your digital identity would be safely locked in the blockchain, not on hundreds of unsecured web servers. And you would grant companies access to that information on your terms.

#3 - Supply chain. The ability of a blockchain to maintain an unbroken and easily accessible record of every event in a global supply chain is powerful. This, by the way, is the reason that supply chains are one of the first commercial applications of blockchain technology.

#4 - The tokenization of real-world assets. Now I'm talking about creating a digital twin of any real-world item. Why is this valuable? Because it allows you to transform nearly everything you own into provably, authentic digital certificates. Digital certificates that can't be duplicated or forged. Blockchain is the way we begin to separate ownership from physical possession for lots of things. Tokenization will have a major impact on the way we shop, use, and trade things in the future. Now this particular use case is near and dear to me and that's because six years ago, I used a blockchain to tokenize the US dollar. My partners and I created a way to send US dollars through the blockchain and it turned out to be a fantastic use case that harnessed the special properties of blockchain technology. And that tokenized dollar we created, what we named Tether, today trades over 4 trillion dollars annually.

#5 - Consumer entertainment, and it should start with video games. The global video game industry makes $150 billion per year and most of that revenue comes from selling virtual items, avatars, and skins to decorate your characters. Selling virtual assets is a great business model for video game companies, but it's not so great for players. People spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars to collect their favorite virtual items, yet they never own them. Game companies rarely allow players to trade or resell all this digital property, property the players paid for! Now, if these virtual items were created on a blockchain, it would make it possible for hundreds of millions of video game players to directly own and trade them. I also believe it would unleash a massive increase in the willingness of players to buy more virtual items.

Why?

Because by allowing the digital items to be resold, it makes players much more comfortable buying them in the first place. Just like the fact that you can resell your car puts you more at ease buying it because you can extract some value from the car when it's time to trade up to a new one. And remember we're talking about 150 billion dollar industry, just waiting to be transformed by the blockchain.

These five use cases for blockchain technology are clear and the benefits far outweigh the blockchain's drawbacks. Are there any other use cases that pass the test? I am sure there will be in the future, but for now, that's it.

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