I believe there are five powerful use cases for blockchain. These five use cases are unique, unique in that the value we get from using a blockchain clearly outweighs the drawbacks. So let’s dive into these five great use cases and find out why they’re so well matched for blockchain:
#1 – Non-fiat money, or a store of value coin. What does that mean? It means money that has been issued by people or groups, but not a country. Now, this of course was the very first use case for blockchain technology. I’m talking about Bitcoin. Why non-fiat up money? Because blockchain solves two critical elements when it comes to making money useful. Blockchain makes counterfeiting impossible. It allows money or a store value coin to be safely transferred to anyone on earth with access to the internet.
#2 – A storage place for your personal identity. Now, this is a fantastic use case for blockchain. There is no safer way to store, and to give limited access to, all the personal identifying details of who you are. Your passwords, your driver’s license, all of your personal contact information, the information websites demand you hand over every time you want to sign up for an online service. If you could store your personal identifying details in a blockchain, all that precious information that identity thieves would love to get, we would all be better off. No one could touch it unless you gave them permission. Your digital identity would be safely locked in the blockchain, not on hundreds of unsecured web servers. And you would grant companies access to that information on your terms.
#3 – Supply chain. The ability of a blockchain to maintain an unbroken and easily accessible record of every event in a global supply chain is powerful. This, by the way, is the reason that supply chains are one of the first commercial applications of blockchain technology.
#4 – The tokenization of real-world assets. Now I’m talking about creating a digital twin of any real-world item. Why is this valuable? Because it allows you to transform nearly everything you own into provably, authentic digital certificates. Digital certificates that can’t be duplicated or forged. Blockchain is the way we begin to separate ownership from physical possession for lots of things. Tokenization will have a major impact on the way we shop, use, and trade things in the future. Now this particular use case is near and dear to me and that’s because six years ago, I used a blockchain to tokenize the US dollar. My partners and I created a way to send US dollars through the blockchain and it turned out to be a fantastic use case that harnessed the special properties of blockchain technology. And that tokenized dollar we created, what we named Tether, today trades over 4 trillion dollars annually.
#5 – Consumer entertainment, and it should start with video games. The global video game industry makes $150 billion per year and most of that revenue comes from selling virtual items, avatars, and skins to decorate your characters. Selling virtual assets is a great business model for video game companies, but it’s not so great for players. People spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars to collect their favorite virtual items, yet they never own them. Game companies rarely allow players to trade or resell all this digital property, property the players paid for! Now, if these virtual items were created on a blockchain, it would make it possible for hundreds of millions of video game players to directly own and trade them. I also believe it would unleash a massive increase in the willingness of players to buy more virtual items.
Why? Because by allowing the digital items to be resold, it makes players much more comfortable buying them in the first place. Just like the fact that you can resell your car puts you more at ease buying it because you can extract some value from the car when it’s time to trade up to a new one. And remember we’re talking about 150 billion dollar industry, just waiting to be transformed by the blockchain.