The world of blockchain is much larger than the gregarious billionaire who makes headlines or whatever coin is making its way around the Twitterverse and is surely “going to the moon”. Blockchain is a technology that has the potential to fix many of the issues that are found in server-based systems throughout the US and across world economies. We sat down with Pocketful of Quarters COO Tim Tello to discuss the industries in which blockchain is already making a difference and why these are the success stories that should be breaking news, not another sh*tcoin.
Speculation Is Out
The reason many cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects have failed is due to those projects’ centralized leadership and their selfish actions. We won’t name any names, but you see this behavior time and time again, not only in the world of crypto, but across a variety of industries. As Tello put it, “There will always be those who see potential value and try to take advantage of others. Those people’s first thought is always about money. Blockchain was no different.” As a result, of the blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies being pushed to the masses, many of the ones that fail are in it for the wrong reasons.
These highly speculative ventures imploding seemingly overnight, however, is one of the best things that can happen for the world of blockchain. Tello paraphrased Henry Ford saying, “If people really knew how banks worked, no one would use banks.” In addition to the speculative nature of coin arbitrage, he believes these projects “don't fail because of blockchain. They fail because they are using centralized banking systems” that can now be dissected due to blockchain’s inherent transparency. Their failure only further proves what some have known all along; the true strength of blockchain lies not in how fast it can make you rich, but in how fast it can simplify and improve our world – see below for more.
Utility Is In
Currently, many companies are using blockchain technology to simplify their supply chain. Tello says, “You probably don’t know it, but you’re most likely using blockchain every day.” One example Tello gave is The Home Depot. Through a partnership with IBM, Home Depot has developed blockchain technology to track purchases from suppliers and ensure all inventory is well-maintained. Because blockchain records are permanent and unmodifiable, the data gathered can be used as a precedent to increase supply orders and to more accurately keep track of total inventory.
YOU’RE MOST LIKELY USING BLOCKCHAIN EVERYDAY
– <cite>Tim Tello, COO</cite>
As a leader in this space, IBM and their transparent and highly trusted blockchain network collaborate with a number of large companies to ensure data is stored securely while remaining easily accessible to involved parties. Another of these companies is grocery giant Walmart, who is utilizing the IBM Hyperledger Fabric platform to develop a traceability system for its enormous food supply.
This system traces a food product’s current location as well as its source of origin to better protect against foodborne outbreaks. As simple as this sounds, until now tracing the provenance of a head of lettuce had been considerably difficult. By the time most produce arrives on a supermarket shelf the store has no idea where it originated from, meaning produce is destroyed in droves when there is even a small outbreak discovered. Blockchain enables a precise location of the source to quickly eradicate the health threat.
Decentralization of Data
Perhaps the greatest change blockchain could have upon the future is the decentralization of data leading to greater fraud protection and transparency. Tello mentioned that much the same way IBM has been able to influence supply chains, this technology will eventually revolutionize “anything that data touches, which is essentially everything.” When you take into account how much time you spend on your phone, computer, or smart device you quickly realize the amount of data just one person can produce.
Already your data is being gathered, stored, and utilized by social media platforms, ad networks, and online retail stores. Through the use of blockchain, users can shift control of their data from a central authority to a distributed network where the ultimate authority lies with the user themself. Through this system, referred to as “decentralization of identity”, each individual is in control of who has access to their data. This process creates a sense of mutual trust between parties for two reasons: all data is transparently displayed, and the slightest contractual deviation results in immediate restitution to the party harmed.
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