Blockchain’s underlying decentralized ledger technology has many practical uses, but the value of the technology itself has become secondary to token capitalization in practice.
Speculation in coins and tokens routinely overshadows promising developments and initiatives
As major governments and central banks worldwide continue to label bitcoin and its cohorts as a means of engaging in criminal activity, especially as it remains out of their reach and control, this attention is overshadowing a more constructive conversation about the true value of blockchain.
Since the public discourse revolves primarily around bitcoin and its inherent value or threat to legacy systems, the groundbreaking cryptocurrency has, in many ways, blocked any meaningful discussion of the extraordinary potential of blockchain technology. Given that many commenters choose to paint blockchain with Bitcoin’s brush, the idea that decentralized ledger technology (DLT) is anything but speculative remains ubiquitous.
In reality, there are many practical uses for blockchain technologies, be it building scalable educational ecosystems, dealing with the connectivity and security needs of IoT systems, digital voting, identification mechanisms, and more. For blockchain to truly thrive and drive wider adoption, the industry needs to refocus the conversation on worthwhile advancements and how these developments are beneficial to a wider audience.
Get rid of the financial focus
Finance is one of the prominent and most obvious uses of blockchain technology, given its speed, low cost, and scalability. Decentralized finance (defi) has been a magnet for attention in this environment, but it still offers a very limited look at the possibilities of blockchain.
For example, given its architecture, blockchain can play an important role in supply chain management and global trade, especially when it comes to invariably capturing transactions and tracking the chain of custody. International shipping still relies heavily on physical paperwork and processes that have not changed in centuries.
One of the companies trying to change this paradigm is Wave, which is digitizing the paperwork that supports global trade flows. Bringing a new format to the industry, the organization uses blockchain to construct demonstrably digital original paperwork to support every shipment. In addition to reducing costs and the need for couriers, this system also fights paper fraud and risk of loss.
Another operator in this field is Mavennet, an organization that helps companies build blockchain-based solutions and products. One of the flagship products is a resource management tool, Metal Trail, which can track steel throughout the supply chain.
From smelting to final destination, users can determine origin, composition and steel specifications, avoiding forgery of paperwork costing the industry millions annually. However, in addition to the business applications shaking up physical industries, there are other ways blockchain disrupts established constructs.
A powerful force for social well-being and environmental awareness
One of the compelling traits underlying blockchain technology is the idea of greater transparency and the accompanying social good that can come from the technology.
One of the organizations taking this unique approach is Plastic Bank, an ecosystem that fights back against plastic waste by encouraging recycling. This project develops recycling management programs that collect plastic waste, much of which ends up in the ocean and is recycled and reused by multinational companies such as SC Johnson.
Individuals who collect plastic are rewarded for their efforts and help communities in less developed countries pay for essentials and supplies. In addition to fighting plastic pollution, this blockchain-based ecosystem tracks plastic waste through asset-backed tokens, providing unparalleled transparency. Plus, anyone with a phone can participate, empowering communities facing serious economic challenges.
Another important social welfare effort is led by Etoro. The not-for-profit Good Dollar initiative aims to spread a digital universal basic income through the use of technology. Good Dollar is more than just a universal basic income project, it operates effectively as a social impact investment vehicle that aims to improve financial literacy, especially in digital assets, among its users.
Anyone can register for the platform to be eligible for a small daily payment in the blockchain’s native G $ coin. More powerful than its standalone offering is Good Dollar’s ability to fold in other socially oriented projects. The platform has already been extremely successful after more than 220,000 users in 181 countries accumulated G $ tokens.
The recently announced partnership with Bitminutes underscores this point. Bitminutes, which tokenizes prepaid airtime credits through its own BMT currency, aims to provide greater financial inclusivity in developing countries where access to financial services and credit is severely limited. Prepaid credit is already a popular form of currency in South America and Africa, so blockchain tokenization is an easy way to build on top of this existing architecture.
This new partnership between Good Dollar and Bitminutes means G $ can now be exchanged for BMT, furthering both organizations’ missions to help disadvantaged communities while educating consumers about blockchain technology.
Even the NFT arena, while highly speculative, is intervening in this effort. Social Alpha Foundation, an organization focused on blockchain awareness and education, showed how blockchain can be a positive driver for climate awareness and shift overarching perceptions about the magnitude of the challenge with a recent charity auction featuring works from acclaimed NFT artists. . The proceeds from the auction were donated to Openearth, which promotes open-source platforms aimed at combating climate change.
Dispelling the myth that blockchain is all about Bitcoin
It’s easy to overlook the exciting blockchain projects tackling all kinds of different problems or legacy structures just by focusing on Bitcoin’s day-to-day price volatility. Still, this gives a skewed perspective on blockchain and its highly practical use cases beyond financial speculation.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations that have deployed their resources to unlock the tremendous potential of blockchain, and this figure continues to grow. With businesses and individuals taking advantage of this technology shift, the experts and institutions fighting Bitcoin are missing the bigger picture: blockchain is valuable even without the token economy.
Do you see blockchain as an ecosystem that plays a more important role in social well-being and environmental awareness? let us know in the comments below.
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