Considering the vast array of use cases we have found for blockchain within the realm of economic incentives and financial services, many people believe that blockchain is designed in a way that only benefits finance. Bitcoin maximalists, amongst others, are strong believers that blockchain is useless in most scenarios, as its value proposition stems from the ability to transparently organize economic activity while warding off malicious actors.
At its core, blockchain is meant to promote transparency. Anybody who told you a blockchain makes things easier is either lying or oblivious to the truth themselves. When Satoshi Nakamoto decided that Bitcoin would be run on a database called a ‘blockchain’ in order to promote the peer-to-peer nature of the technology, he very publicly critiqued its efficiency and ability to scale.
You see, the current financial system is very, very efficient. And it can be made more efficient by putting more responsibility on centralized parties. But this takes power away from the common man and gives institutions more power over our lives. Blockchains trade away that efficiency in return for transparency and openness.
Effectively, with Bitcoin, we now have a system that gets updated in real-time and anyone in the world can connect to that network. But since the information has to travel far and wide, and regular people don’t have industrial data storage capabilities, the scalability of these systems is limited – for now.
Looking at blockchain this way, it becomes evident that it has utility across a variety of industries all over the globe. Supply chain management is one of the more popular use cases for blockchain. It allows companies to be involved in all processes from point A to point Z, helping them know what is happening with their product. It also serves as an effective way of establishing the origin of raw material used in the production process.
In the same way, any registrar system would be much more effective over a blockchain. Firstly, because multiple peer organizations involved in the process would have access to the date, eroding centralization risk, and secondly, because it allows for more verification and less trust between registrars/their employees and the end-user.
Despite the benefits of blockchain, some systems would do better by retaining the risks of centralization and trust in order to stay faster and more efficient. Some examples would be biometric data input, construction plans/blueprints, and many other pieces of information. A number of times, it just isn’t safe to have some information out in the public domain.
Do you think it’s safe for everyone in the world to be able to access blueprints for any building? This would make nefarious activities easier for malicious actors, and these wouldn’t be your run-of-the-mill financial thieves – it would be people who take human lives and cause mass destruction.
The end game is that blockchain can revolutionize industry beyond finance, but they aren’t needed for everything.