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Arden de Raaij
Arden de Raaij

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Do you know of any effective Blockchain use cases?

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.

Oldest comments (33)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

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.

tonnerkiller profile image

I'd like to understand how that would work. Who would verify what? And why would we trust them? I mean if we don't trust a media outlet which brings up a photo or video about the authenticity, whom we gonna trust more?
A photo might have been brought into the blockchain by a certain entity, how this could be proven I can guess, but how long did it exist before, was it photographed or created with Photoshop, did the creator upload it or some other person?
I don't see how this would solve the fake news problem, but I'm eager to learn.

seniorjoinu profile image

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.

jel111 profile image

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.

seniorjoinu profile image
Alexander • Edited

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.

Thread Thread
jel111 profile image

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.

seniorjoinu profile image

By the way

scottishross profile image
Ross Henderson

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.

jel111 profile image
dumdumdev • Edited

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?!?

giorgosk profile image
Giorgos Kontopoulos 👀 • Edited

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)

tonnerkiller profile image

Finally I find someone with the same thoughts as I got when reading a bit about blockchain. I think even bitcoin has become nothing but a lottery where you can bet on rising or falling rates. And even lotteries have been implemented with a smaller ecological footprint, so there is hardly any effectiveness if you ask me.

tonnerkiller profile image

States can handle currency rather effectively, they just don't do always. I mean look at the dollar or the euro, looks better than Venezuela and Zimbabwe, right?
And of course those currencies are backed by state. They are declared a means to pay stuff. You cannot refuse as a shop owner to accept Euros as payment in Germany.
And of course states can also interfere with bitcoin. Imagine the following:
Big bad dictator decides to fight bitcoin. So he makes a law that no purchase with bitcoin is effective.
You now use your bitcoin to buy a house. You send the bitcoin to the seller's wallet. Now comes the seller and calls the police to kick you out of the house you just paid. He has your bitcoin, but you have no chance to get what you consider your property. Bitcoin still exists but is ineffective. There is no bitcoin police or army to support your claim that you'd bought that house. Same goes for anything else.

tonnerkiller profile image

Contract of sale? Is this part of the blockchain? I think not. So governments can still invalidate bitcoin. It might exist somewhere somehow, and there might be some units of currency attached to the wallet only you know the private key of. But what does it help you?
You would not only not make the transaction, you wouldn't acquire bitcoins in the first part. And if you had, all would be gone until at least either the dictator is replaced or someone is successful guessing your private key...

That said: If the government knows you have bitcoins they can send some policeman with a gun to your place and make you name them your private key.

What I mean to say. The blockchain doesn't really solve the "problem" of governments controlling central banks, because if governments are out to do evil stuff with the currency they can hinder you from using blockchain as described and make you stay in their currency.

For the Dollar and Euro to be "shitshows" they are pretty successful actually. I mean I live in a Euro country and if you go to the supermarket the cupboards are filled, not like in Venezuela or other places.
Actually the government doesn't have much of a chance to dictate on the Euro, but this is details about how the European Central Bank is set up.
But honestly, who if not those in such institutions should decide about the amount of currency being out there? Euro and Dollar have a slight inflation, yes. But nothing compared to the Mark in Germany in 1923. I've not seen any "100 Billion Euros" bill around recently. Same for Dollar. You?
But it appears bitcoin suffers not from inflation, but deflation. Its worth is rising extremely, if any economy relied on it this would have even worse effects than inflation, because inflation makes people at least spend their money on goods, deflation makes them keep there money and nothing is sold. But bitcoin doesn't scale, so it's bound to the deflation, then "investors" come and pump up the price until they decide it's time to earn their winnings, which leads to an inflation worse than anything the dollar or the euro has seen. I mean how much value was lost after each peak? In percent?

Even if the Euro and the Dollar can validly be criticized (that is, the according central banks) for their currency policies they are doing a surprisingly decent job compared to the bitcoin algorithm, don't they?

Timeless DEV post...

Git Concepts I Wish I Knew Years Ago

The most used technology by developers is not Javascript.

It's not Python or HTML.

It hardly even gets mentioned in interviews or listed as a pre-requisite for jobs.

I'm talking about Git and version control of course.

One does not simply learn git