Do you know of any effective Blockchain use cases?

ardennl profile image Arden de Raaij ・1 min read

At the current point in time Blockchain very much seems like a solution we are desperately trying to find matching problems to. In a recently released report from MERLtech researchers, it is explained they couldn't find any data supporting the effectiveness of blockchain technology over existing solutions.

Although this hasn't seemed to be the most extensive research, it does make me wonder if there are any statistics out there of Blockchain projects that either
a) Solve a problem that was unsolvable before Blockchain technology
b) Solve a problem way more effective (in either productivity, scaling, trust or otherwise) than it is solved with proven technologies.

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ardennl profile

Arden de Raaij


Front-end developer based in Lisbon, co-founder of cfye.com and enjoyer of beaches and waves.


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Only Bitcoin. Other uses would require connection between physical and digital world. But wealth transfer can exist in digital. So no, other uses require centralization and thus blockchain is not needed because it's ineffective.


But you just confirmed that power is required to back up BC as a currency. That's very much a connection between the physical and digital world. The whole BC scheme is actually fueling an economy of GPUs etc. There are plenty of things that are considerably less connected to the physical world...


Sigh No, Bitcoin blockchain is not connected to the physical world, because there's not data that you put to it. POW is only an algorithm that secures it. Bitcoin does not use GPUs for mining so no.

Please google "GPU price hike bitcoin".

The bitcoin block chain is totally connected to the servers that are used for mining and for validating the transactions. A hike in the bitcoin "value" means that more mining is going to occur and thus more servers are going to be used and thus high spec server price is going to rise.

One bitcoin transaction requires as much energy as required by a house in one week.

GPUs are not used for Bitcoin mining FFS! ASICs are used for that. Specialized mining equipment. Not usable for anything else.

Bitcoin transaction does not have any energy requirements. There is a required energy (based on current difficulty) to mine a Bitcoin block.


I'm not sure bitcoin solves a problem that was unsolvable before blockchain came, and it certainly is not effective, at least energy-wise.


It definitely does because there were a dozen attempts to create digital money but Bitcoin was the first to succeed thanks to it's decentralized nature. POW is not ineffective, it's the only way to secure the network and create a valuable asset. You cannot create money out of thin air.


I think right now Blockchain isn't as performant as any centralized solution, but there is a great potential. Think a little: let's suppose we have a blockchain architecture (in perspective of consensus algorithm) which provides as much performance as needed for example by a multiplayer game. Imagine that there is no need in servers for such games because everything can be verified and stored by the players (or special miners) themselves. Isn't it cool?

Or imagine a fully automated git hub where a little startup with a really interesting idea can be easily sponsored by an individual who can decide by himself/herself in which features he/she wants to invest and in which - not. And feature implementer can automatically receive money when his/her PR will be merged. Does it sound amazing?

IMHO we are not prepared well to adopt blockchain effectively right now, but someday it will actually change our lives.


I get that but it seems to me there is a monetary issue. In order for these to work and be worth verifying there has to be a payment involved. So someone has to pay. Do you want to pay a fee every time you push to GitHub? Every time we make a post on a site like this? It’s a long way off. Any benefit I see needs mesh networking that isn’t an ISP or the whole model falls apart.


I didn't get what you mean by saying "or the whole model falls apart".

If there is a gas in ethereum, why should it be in other projects?
The gas fee is just a mechanism to motivate peers to do what you want them to do (and also to limit currency emission). Nobody says that you can't design your own motivation mechanism. You even can create currency out of nowhere - yes, that is not right, but who cares - and give it to peers when they perform some actions "to benefit the community". Everything is possible. It's just a program with numbers and strings. If people believe in this numbers - it will cost something.

My point is there is no reason for it unless it’s monetary. Look at steemit who tried to go that route but doesn’t work. To get the benefits of a Blockchain you either have to monetize or centralize. Then really we already do this effectively and right now much better. Just my opinion. Not trying to be combative or rude.


Something has value if it checks these two characteristics: scarcity & utility.
Bitcoin is scarce because there will ever be only 21 million Bitcoins. Not more.
What about utility? Bitcoin could become global reserve currency, capable of being transferred around the world in minutes (not days) and capable of being unconfiscable while holding its value.

It has nothing to do with fiat.

Well, that's the trick, your argument about utility is that "Bitcoin could become a global reserve currency". Right now it isn't and thus has no utility and consequently has no value. And the thing is that Bitcoin can't become a global reserve currency, because State agents (and their sovereign people) won't allow that.

Bitcoin has utility. Ask people in Venezuela that buy Bitcoin everyday to save some money because their currency is worthless and more worthless everyday. Even now, when I want to send money to anyone on the other continent, I would choose Bitxoin because it's faster and uncensorable.

How will states ban Bitcoin? They need to ban internet first. Hard to imagine.

21 million is ridiculous to me. Bitcoin isn’t the only one, there are thousands. Bitcoin Cash, now two different coins, and all the others show that 21 mill is a fallacy. By creating other coins no inflation is also a fallacy. Every new coin reduces the value of Bitcoin because the money would have been used to buy bitcoin not the coin they bought this diluting the pool. All I have to do is write a “Whitepaper” saying I’m going to save the world from the oppressors and I can create millions out of thin air and they cry about Fiat?!?

Those are just shitcoins which will eventually die anyway. And anyone willing to buy these worthless token will learn the hard way. Shitcoins are no competition to Bitcoin, nor do they share any values. All are just scams.


I imagine blockchain could play a role in verifying the authenticity of photos and videos to help curb fake news as video doctoring technology advances.

I definitely buy that blockchain could be a useful way to buy and sell production materials/livestock/etc. Tracking the exchange of the things in a distributed ledger makes sense.

The problem with all of these are that they are problems with solutions that don’t need the blockchain and the whole blockchain ecosystem is just so tainted by fraud and shady actors everywhere.


Right. You can already use Bitcoin blockchain for that: opentimestamps.org


Bitcoin and the underlying Blockchain technology has shown the way for eliminating MIDDLEMEN. Blockchain is basically a distributed database that whatever it records can not be REFUTED by anyone.

I would say where you see an establishment with MIDDLEMAN in real life there is (probably) a Blockchain solution that is been worked upon as we speak.

The most effective use case at this point is transfer of value/money without middlemen. Before cryptocurrencies there was no way to send someone across an ocean money without a middleman (bank,visa,moneygram etc)

Some projects with working solutions

Ethereum, Smart contracts, (code enforable contracts)
Steemit, Decentralized social network
Ripple, International fast transactions
Monero, Untraceable transactions
Siacoin, Decentralized cloud storage
Golem, Decentralized computing resources

I would say that the distributed nature of blockchain makes it hard to find easy solutions. Solution are being worked on and some have been found as shown above but they will not be adopted until they are as efficient and shiny as the tech they are replacing. I would give blockchain projects a few more years before we start seeing mass adoption.

Here is an inforgraphic of a few more blockchain projects (marked as web3.0) and the establishments they are trying to replace (web2.0)

Well, it is infinitely less valuable, because "currencies" are backed up by States. A currency only exists as far as a State (that is by definition indefinitely solvable, hence the ability to create money out of "thin air") backs it up. Bitcoin pretends it's a currency but it's nothing but a commodity. And if it were to become close to acting like a currency it would quickly become illegal to use it, because States don't like non-state actors to tread on their prerogatives.
Also, the amount of CO2 that's created because of BC is an insult to the human species and to Earth. If only for that it should be criminal to trade it.

What? Essence of fiat? You cannot create Bitcoin out of thin air, you have to mine it while following the same exact rules as everyone else. And it's not cheap. If it was fiat, it would be free to create new Bitcoins.

So Bitcoin is decentralized because there is only one Sun and only state electricity. Sigh. And how does any of this have any control over Bitcoin?

Lol, so you say that currencies did not exist before nation states and central banks? Have you ever heard of gold? Have you ever heard of entire history without state monopoly on money that existed before 20th century?

Currencies are not backed by states, they're backed by nothing. Central bank can "print" as much as it want and destroy the whole economy. Just look at Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Bitcoin is a realization that money cannot be handled by states.

No, I say that currencies are backed by a central authority. And that's a constant in human history. And that's also the characteristic of currencies. Currencies exist because the central authority that backs them is trusted to always be solvent, and that's possible because by definition such central authorities, States in the 20th-21st century are not considered to possibly disappear. Unlike banks, unlike individuals, etc.

Bitcoin is the realization that scams have fully entered the 21st century. And if Bitcoin were not a scam, do you think that places like GS would have any interest in it?

False. Currencies were not backed by central authority before the decline of golden standard in 20th century. Before that, every bank note and every coin was exchangable for a piece of gold if the currency was based on gold standard. No central banks existed! Also no hyperinflations... Fiat is the largest scam ever made.


As someone who doesn't truly understand blockchain, I thought a use could be for voting and confirming votes. I'm not sure what would be missing, maybe an IP register or something.