[2.0] What problems does blockchain solve?

Listing blockchain solution categories.

    Smart contracts stored on the blockchain track contact parties, terms, transfer of ownership, and deliver of goods or services without the need for legal intervention.
    By utilizing a distributed ledger, companies within a supply chain gain transparency into shipment tracking, deliveries, and progress among other suppliers where no inherent trust exists.
    Blockchain offers promise as a technology to store personal identity information, criminal backgrounds, and “E-Citizenship”, authorized by biometrics.
    Decentralized energy transfer and distribution are possible via micro-transactions of data sent to the blockchain, validated, and re-dispersed to the grid while securing payment to the submitter.
  • FOOD
    Using blockchain to store food supply chain data offers enhanced traceability of products origin, batching, processing, expiration, storage temperatures, and shipping.
    Secure peer-2-peer marketplaces can track peer-2-peer retail transactions, with product information, shipment, and bills of lading input on the blockchain, and payments made via Bitcoin.
    Electronic medical records stored in a blockchain, accessed and updated via biometrics, allow for the democratization of patient data and alleviate the burden of transferring records among providers.
    When autonomous vehicles and other smart devices communicate status updates with insurance providers via the blockchain, premium costs decrease as the need for auditing and authenticating data vanishes.
    Passengers share their authenticated “single travel ID” on the blockchain for use in lieu of travel documents. Identification cards, loyalty program ID’s and payment data.
    Educational institutions could utilize the blockchain to store credentializing data around assessments, degrees, and transcripts, as well as verification of knowledge transfer between parties.


In addition to payments, a small selection of other problems the blockchain can address is maintaining open and transparent government ledgers (e.g., property title), restoring your ownership of digital media (e.g., songs, books and movies), enabling you to listen, watch or read that content on any platform, maintaining an accurate ledger of shares (e.g a private cap table), and verifying the ownership of valuables (e.g., diamonds or art).

Public blockchains (e.g., those used by bitcoin or ethereum) enable two people or organizations to confidently and securely transfer value (e.g., money or a digital asset) electronically from one person or organization to another without an intermediary (e.g., a bank or PayPal).

Most people use a third-party ledger on a daily basis – even if they don’t realize it. It could be your credit card company recording your purchase of a cup of coffee, StubHub recording your purchase of a concert ticket or Apple iTunes recording your purchase of a movie. Buyers and sellers use intermediaries because they may not trust the other party, but they trust that the intermediary will assure the transaction is completed faithfully. However, this trust comes at a cost as each of these intermediaries charge the buyer or seller a fee to maintain a ledger of who owns what. Additionally, an intermediary may prevent certain people or organizations – possibly competitors, for example – from using its platform.

Now, why are blockchains useful? To summarize:

  • You can store data on them and that data is guaranteed to have a very high degree of availability
  • You can run applications on them and be guaranteed an extremely high uptime
  • You can run applications on them, and be guaranteed an extremely high uptime going very far into the future
  • You can run applications on them, and convince your users that the application’s logic is honest and is doing what you are advertising that it does
  • You can run applications on them, and convince your users that your application will remain working even if you lose interest in maintaining it, you are bribed or threatened to manipulate the application state in some way, or you acquire a profit motive to manipulate the application state in some way
  • You can run applications on them, and give yourself the backdoor key if it is absolutely necessary, BUT put “constitutional” limiations on your use of the key – for example, requiring a software update to pass through a public one-month waiting period before it can be introduced, or at the very least immediately notifying users of application updates
  • You can run applications on them, and give a backdoor key to a particular governance algorithm (eg. voting, futarchy, some complicated multicameral parliament architecture), and convince your users that the particular governance algorithm in question is actually in control of the application
  • You can run applications on them, and those applications can talk to each other with 100% reliability – even if the underlying platform has only 99.999% reliability
  • Multiple users or companies can run applications on them, and those applications can interact with each other at extremely high speed without requiring any network messages, while at the same time ensuring that each company has total control over its own application
  • You can build applications that very easily and efficiently take advantage of the data produced by other applications (eg. combining payments and reputation systems is perhaps the largest gain here)


Benefits of Ethereum Blockchain

Ethereum’s decentralized platform is cryptographically-secure, which enables protection against fraudulent acts and hacking. Ethereum applications operate under the trustless principle of consensus. Involved parties in a particular transaction are not able to change or edit data. In addition, there is no down time as turning off the application would require the entire network failing, which is near to impossible under the current strength of the international system. There are nodes operating around the globe.


What is the user benefit?

Key benefits of Hyperledger Fabric include:  

  • Data protection & consistency
  • Use permissions to ensure accountability of membership & access rights  
  • Confidential transactions  
  • Give businesses the flexibility and security to make transactions visible to select parties with the correct encryption keys  
  • No cryptocurrency  
  • Does not require mining and expensive computations to assure transactions  
  • Programmable  
  • Leverage the embedded logic in smart contracts to automate business processes across your network  

Having stated that, there are value propositions that cut across all blockchains. They include the following:

  • Low Cost
    All blockchains somehow cut the cost of doing businesses, powering processes and handling data.
  • Security
    All blockchains use cryptography to offer secure transaction channels, smart contracts and shared databases
  • Privacy
    Most blockchains afford their users privacy either by masking their real world identities or by denying access to those who are not party to a transaction
  • Speed
    All blockchains add speed to transaction mostly by cutting out the middle persons and leveraging on a global network of nodes.
  • Open source assets
    All blockchains act as virtual machine to run decentralized applications, which makes it unnecessary to buy or hire servers. Most of them are also designed to act as free to use databases.


Blockchains are unique in that they are software that can directly enact real world consequences


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