December 3, 2017
Have you heard of the term ‘blockchain’? I’d be surprised if you hadn’t, considering the impact that it has had on so many industries. For those that haven’t heard of this innovative technology, blockchain refers to the ledger behind any transactions completed using cryptocurrencies.
In other words, it’s what makes the likes of Bitcoin work. However, beyond the monetary side of things, blockchain is now becoming more prominent in our everyday lives! It can even make many complex, stressful processes less, well, stressful. Blockchain technology is rapidly advancing in this digital age, and we can expect to see its boundaries stretched even further to revolutionize the way the world works. When it comes to our ordinary lives though, how is blockchain technology making an impact?
Handling Paperwork Will Be Easier
Every bill paying adult either knows or has heard just how much of a pain getting a mortgage can be, or how complicated constructing a will is. Well, with blockchain technology, we can cut the costs of our mortgage rates and simplify the process behind creating your will.
In the most basic way possible, a smart contract is a piece of software that can create a digital document with specific actions that are verified by third parties, and this is stored within a blockchain. Developers within the blockchain must implement legal contracts as variables, as well as statements, to ensure that funds using Bitcoin, as well as any of the other cryptocurrencies using a blockchain network, can be released as a third party executor. This is hugely beneficial, as it eliminates the need to trust a single central authority, so we can have more confidence knowing that our legal documents are being fairly taken care of.
Ethereum, a well-respected blockchain provider, have stated that “smart contracts can solve the issue of intermediary trust between parties to an agreement”, which is why they’re so useful to our economy. Not only do they improve the efficiency within businesses, but they can also establish equality in the legal system.
You Can Vote Digitally
A poll in 2015 discovered that only 45 percent of young people vote, even though 60 percent said that they would. It’s no secret that the British economy is currently struggling, so voting in general and even local elections is crucial.
Take the recent Priti Patel story for example – she was the MP for Witham, and has recently resigned due to an Israeli scandal, so it really is important to get those votes in to make our society a better place to live in. Using blockchain, a voter is able to stay updated on their voting status, and receive information about whether their vote was successfully transmitted all whilst staying relatively anonymous.
Having an easier method of voting could hugely encourage people to vote, the millennials in particular. Whether they’re unsure about how to vote, or they simply can’t travel to a polling station, digital voting will allow our younger peers to vote with confidence, helping our economy to come together.
However, the subject of online voting is still controversial, with online cyber-attacks becoming increasingly popular as hackers get their hands on more advanced hacking tools. But, as a decentralised platform, blockchain can keep all votes safe and anonymous, offering a solution to the voting issues that the UK is currently facing. Plus, with several other benefits that blockchain poses for the government, there’s no denying the effect that it can have on our economy.
Fraud Can Be Exterminated
In 2016, $2.1 trillion was made from internet sales, so the importance of digital platforms for businesses and consumers alike is crystal clear. However, this increased digital usage creates a larger loophole for hackers to breach data online, so it’s imperative that we keep these cyber-attacks at bay.
Due to its decentralised properties, blockchain is incredibly transparent, and this stops anyone from spending a cryptocurrency token more than once. To hack into a blockchain would mean penetrating millions of different networks, which is almost impossible. With this put in place, the task for individuals to commit fraud suddenly becomes much more challenging.
Blockchains are huge, and they store information about every single transaction that has ever occurred. Because of this, fraudulent behaviour can be spotted much quicker, keeping all of our data safe. Whether it’s medical records, citizenship documentation or banking details, we can be rest assured that all of our data is safe when stored on a decentralised blockchain.
Not only does it provide the public with piece of mind, but also for businesses. For small businesses in particular, preventing cyber-attacks can really help them build their reputation with clients, which is crucial if they want to expand on a bigger scale.
We don’t hear about fraud much in the media unless it involves a huge corporate company or organisation, but in 2015 alone financial fraud losses across payment cards, cheques and remote banking totalled to a staggering £755 million. This is a terrifying figure, which is why blockchain could massively change our lives with its intense protection of confidential data.
Crowdfunding for Startups
When finishing education, you’re plummeted into a world full of responsibilities, and talking from personal experience, it’s frightening. Making it ‘big’ becomes more difficult by the year, with so many startups falling unsuccessful because of the lack of funds and support. If creating your own business is a big interest of yours, blockchain could potentially be your best friend – but how?
With blockchain comes crowd-funding, which involves a series of cryptocurrency transactions all used to fund a particular project. If people feel strongly about your business and have a genuine interest in its success, they will donate amounts of digital currency towards the cause, funding your business’s startup.
For new-comers into the world of work, this is life-changing opportunity, and it can allow budding entrepreneurs to get onto their feet and begin making money for themselves, potentially a lot of it, too! And it doesn’t have to end there, either! Businesses owners can use blockchain crowd-funding facilities to fund campaigns and product manufacture – as long as the supporters love the idea, they’ll have it! It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
It’s Easier to Come by Loans
The housing market is harsher than ever in today’s climate and for young first-time buyers especially, the process of placing a deposit on a house or even an apartment is incredibly difficult. For many young people who can’t afford to move out just yet, blockchain can provide the ultimate solution. Lending loans via blockchain is the easiest method we have seen yet, as it completely cuts out the need of a ‘middle man’ for a start, making the lending process easier and more efficient. However, this isn’t the only benefit.
When attempting to get a loan from the bank, your credit score will have a large impact on the outcome. Before you even start the process of placing a deposit on your house, you could be denied a loan from the bank due to an unsatisfactory credit score, which seems unfair for many young people.
In fact, not owning a credit card at all makes the process of obtaining a loan even harder because the bank has no proof of how ‘responsible’ you are with credit. Not with blockchain though, as it takes the prejudice factor out of money-lending. Since blockchain holds a mammoth amount of data, it can scan for more than just your credit score, taking into account other factors that may argue that actually, you can be trusted with a loan.
For the lives of younger people in particular, blockchain technology can really revolutionise the way that they live their lives, from easier voting to seamless methods of finally placing a deposit on a house! Thanks to the protection that blockchain offers for all of our digital data, there really isn’t a fault when it comes to how it is transforming our lives.
Did I mention that blockchain can also link our smartphones with household appliances, so you haven’t even got to worry about controlling them manually? It’s truly genius.
Read more about blockchain technology on TechCo
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