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Keff
Keff

Posted on

Do you know about any USEFUL web3/blockchain projects? I fail to find any...

I've been around blockchain and decentralized systems since early 2016. Professionally and in my spare time, and I have never found any project I could say: "Yes, this is useful and could not be done without this tech" or "This tech makes the project that much better"...

So, my question today is, do you know of any web3 or blockchain project that you would say it's useful and could only be done with this tech, or at least it adds value?

Top comments (26)

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leob profile image
leob • Edited on

Sorry, but to me web3 and blockchain feel like the biggest hype/fad of all, I still don't "get" it ... but then again, I hardly know anything about it, lol.

But what baffles me - you admit you never came across anything useful, but still you stick with it for all these years, since 2016 - must be that you do "see" something in it?

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

That's a good question, I actually do "see" something, in the decentralized technology itself, not in the current blockchain implementation though...

I've said this before but I think the major problem with the current state is speculation and the instability of most (if not all) of the cryptocurrencies. Unstable currencies only work for speculation and for a small percent of people to get rich, and a large percentage of people to loose money. While giving you the impression that you can get rich, the smart (or evil) people get richer, basically a scheme for a couple of people to benefit out of the hype and hope of not so smart or uneducated people.

Of course I understand that this systems and the people behind the nodes, miners, etc... must receive an incentive or a reward for doing the work. I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with is attaching or basing all decentralized systems on top of currencies, at least the way they're currently implemented.

For me the most successful (or at least useful) cryptocurrencies I've seen, worked on, and used, are often closed to speculation. And are localized (restricted or regulated in a geographic area, eg. A social coin for a town, neighborhood, country, etc...)

The tech behind all of this bullshit is actually really smart and powerful, but it's not the solution for everything, not even a considerable amount of the problems.

I hope the answer makes sense, I haven't really thought about this very much, so thanks for the prompt!

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leob profile image
leob

Yep I think this makes a lot of sense :-)

Bitcoin is obviously doing more harm than good when it's about the reputation of blockchain ... just a speculation vehicle, casino, gambling, hundred percent uninteresting in my book (I don't believe in getting rich quick for free, well it does work but only for a tiny number of people, lol) ... and just look at the huge environmental cost of "mining", it's disgusting.

Bitcoin, I say not good at all, not solving real world/ordinary people's problems.

But yes I agree with you and I do believe there are some use cases where the technology can work - but let's just drop the hype already and the exaggeration, and get back down to earth - I don't believe this is gonna change or save the world or mankind in a huge manner.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

Yup, I'm with you!

Regarding the environment issue, yeah I totally agree, there are more energy efficient ways of validating blocks and transations, but they have their own issues from what I've read, I have not researched that aspect much though...

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited on

Simple solution is regulation.

You have the US and the EU (and China?) ban Bitcoin and other proof of work/proof of resources waste shit, on the ground that there are incompatible with our current and major Energy-Climate crisis.

Then one of two things will happen.

If there are energy efficient Blockchains around there, that will boost them into relevance real fast. Engineering skills and investment money will flow towards them.

If there are none, well then the whole Blockchain sector is crap and deserves to be banned.

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leob profile image
leob

Harsh but true ;)

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miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot

While I totally know what you mean and I really wonder what people are building of value, I have a case I'm considering right now.

I'm making a system that records the maintenance performed on equipment to ensure that it is kept up to date with legislation. I'm currently looking to record a hash of the database records in a blockchain to validate that the data has not been modified, this should stop unscrupulous individuals from avoiding fines by reinventing the past and reduce the cost of chasing paper trails to validate records. It's the only way I can think of ensuring that there is a full record of modifications to something that no one can change.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

Now that's pretty useful and a great use of the blockchain.

I understand that the records will be registered automatically right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but even then people might find the way of intercepting and modifying those records before being inserted into the DDBB right? Well, at least you know that once registered they can be checked, and you can make sure to make that part very secure and reduce the places where people can get they're hands into...

Nice idea nonetheless! Thanks for sharing!

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miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot

The records of maintenance are both digital (sensor derived state) and manual (an engineer goes and does what they are supposed to). It's unlikely that people would do nothing and simulate it, it's more likely that they didn't service a fire system as often as is legally required and after if the building has a fire, they'd want to fake the records.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

I see, makes sense. I'm not very familiar with this kinds of systems! In that case I suppose it's quite an interesting application.

I'm kinda interested now, are you intending to use common tools for this (eg. ethereum, etc...), or are you planing to build your own? Will cryptocurrencies be involved or are you ditching this part? And lastly, how are you intending on distributing the system if making your own?

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miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot

This is a very interesting question and the answer is I don't know. I'm looking at building our own block-chain but then who will sign it? We work with government so we might be able to organise something reputable. We could just store this on ethereum with the overhead of it being mixed up with everything else, but with a good way of ensuring signature of blocks. No crypto, it's just an immutable ledger I'm looking for.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

Yup, that's the thing with building it yourself, it has happened tu us before and we also worked with government which helped a bit, made the process really slow but was quite helpful to have that support.

No crypto is a smart decision, as I've mentioned in other comments I think that's one of the points that make the most harm to current decentralized projects!

Good luck, sounds very interesting!

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

That's actually a very good question.
Not my specialty though and I know a couple of use cases but I'm not sure I've permission to share details on it so I won't (I'll take a look at the policies and ask before, if I get it I'll be back on that).

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lucaboriani profile image
Luca

I'd take a look on something like this:
link.springer.com/article/10.1007/...

(Managing charity 4.0 with Blockchain: a case study at the time of Covid-19)

I believe that trackability in donations, nonprofits and politics is an issue, often overlooked..

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

Interesting, I've heard about this before, never digged to much into it. Is there any key takeaway from the article? I will take a read when I have some time, seems like a long read

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maxarias profile image
Maximiliano Arias

Well, I know that Stablecoins have helped a ton of people in countries where the currency is weak or to escape inflation. You couldn't have a Stablecoin without a trustless ledger, so in that sense it's already doing a ton IMO.

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webbureaucrat profile image
webbureaucrat

USDC on Stellar (and maybe some other networks idk) is pretty interesting. If you've ever looked into doing anything with ecommerce, transaction costs are really something, especially if you want to take credit cards. Stellar has pretty fast transactions and extremely low transaction fees.

Of course, it doesn't get any attention because it's not a vehicle for speculation.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

My question for every thing that "you can possibly do with the blockchain" is this:

Can you convince a skeptic that this absolutely need to use a decentralized consensus algorithm?

This is the crucial novelty and also the crucial problem of blockchain.

People keep inventing "solutions" for problems that would not exist without it.

Remove the need for this and you are basically describing git also known as a Merkle Tree

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styxnet profile image
styxnet

As aside project, I build my blockchain as "e-commerce backend" to explain it poorly in 2 words. I find that the blockchain technology is in this case quite adding a value.

That could offer features like:

  • SSO on the network instead of creating an user account on every websites you visit
  • Purchasing from different shops at once
  • Logistic updates
  • Instant payments
  • Less tracking And more...

But I see what you mean, somewhat it's still very new and quite mostly for DeFi so all blockchains looks alike... Time will help, it's a 10-15 years change in my opinion

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chakzefir profile image
chakzefir • Edited on

What about being able to get and transfer money worldwide, while almost all countries in the world do not accept your bank-card?

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

hmm, but they must also accept the crypto-currencies, the effort is in integrating any currency/card into the day to day. The same effort is required for cryptos, maybe less but still, quite a lot of effort. And countries will not integrate if they cannot earn from it, and in the end if they are controlled, there is no difference...

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chakzefir profile image
chakzefir

But this is already real, you could get cash from crypto in many countries around the world.

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

Actually one of the most useful applications of blockchain I have seen to date is Brave's BAT token. It's a cycle between creators, advertisers and webusers which makes sense.

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nombrekeff profile image
Keff Author

Interesting concept, I've taken a quick look and seems interesting.
I'm guessing they've decided to go with crypto instead of conventional currencies as they are a privacy and security centric browser right? If that's the case it makes perfect sense, otherwise this could be done a lot simpler by using regular methods.

One of the most interesting uses I've seen for this kind of rewarding system, but I still think that it's not as incentivizing as it might sound. I doubt they will reward that much, and even then, after paying fees and market fluctuations you might end up not earning as much, but this is just speculation from my part. I need to read more about it.

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

No, no I don't but I guess they sound cool to investors

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darkintanner_90 profile image
Darkin Tanner

I remember reading the whitepaper on bitcoin in 2010 and I can say I've been a believer for awhile, but yeah the community has failed to deliver what it's claimed to want philosophically with crypto and blockchain stuff.

I could see it being used to attempt to remove corruption in supply chains, or maybe even enable some kind of open smart-contract worker marketplace where your wages are guaranteed. I also still love the idea of greater access to a banking system for people. I like the idea of it being used to enforce policies or help reduce corruption in supply chains, wages, and maybe voting, but I'm not seeing anyone in particular do this, and I don't think every sector can just solve corruption in a supply chain with a blockchain.

I also like the idea of it being used to verify videos or media that is signed by production companies and in camera hardware to combat people calling everything a deepfake, or to ensure that a video hasn't been edited past what a producer or company signed off on. Feels like it could be handy to guarantee something you are watching hasn't been tampered with, or to trace a history of usage and modification. But good luck getting that to work with transcoding and compression.

But all that said I haven't seen any projects with actual substance, and those problems may just be able to be solved with other things outside of tech. I've seen a lot of word salad and empty promises. I mean even at this point web3 stuff is basically just trying to decentralize aws and make it owned by whoever adds the compute/storage resources to the pool. Pretty sure it would always be slower than what we have now because some p2p network of consumer laptops and desktops and raspberry pis randomly scattered around can't compete with enterprise data centers with dedicated network lines and hardware.

I still think things like the attempts at decentralized storage with IPFS and smart contracts on ethereum are kinda cool projects. But they still are not particularly proven as usable or the best solution. Most projects I see highlight that something is 'on the blockchain' AS the selling feature of the thing they're making, which completely misses the point. Airbnb doesn't use 'built with react' as a selling point to consumers, nobody cares unless you're a developer. Something being on a blockchain should be the least interesting thing about what you're doing, and if you're using it as a selling point, then you're probably selling a whole lot of nothing.

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