Of course, living in the world where you barely know the rules is hard, and any cryptocurrency project is, certainly, a risk. Meanwhile, the map of cryptocurrency is constantly expanding, and there are already some rules to follow.
Knowledge of the blockchain ecosystem needs structure, like any other knowledge on this very beautiful planet. We have been structuring, classifying, and sorting everything that can be structured, classified, and sorted for the sake of better understanding of the subject.While computer data can be put into imaginary boxes according to a particular pattern, it is never that easy when it comes to human actions and reactions. Emotional intelligence is still something to be mastered.
Blockchain, as a proper connector between humans and their data, takes the best from technology and mathematics and offers it as a solution to a very human, or rather animal, response to the unknown: fear.
This image is quite a detailed, and, most importantly, well-sorted representation of existing blockchain projects. The article in the link above is by Sergey Vasin.
Even though the above visual shows quite a number of projects, it isn’t nearly the whole picture. The technology has only been known for 10 years, and is at the stage of the internet in 2000 — interesting, amazing, and not yet fully understood by the masses.
Cryptocurrency projects, in their turn, are keeping up, offering a great choice for investments and big data of immense value. It has never been easier to pull statistics on cryptocurrency than it is in 2018.
For instance, the graph below provides a visualization of every cryptocurrency market value (Cointelegraph, 3/21/2018).
All these varieties of cryptocurrency are not just a bunch of different names for the same technology. Behind their ability to remain on the cutting edge of technology is the sophisticated math of cryptography (SHA-256, Ethash, Scypt SHA-256, Cryptonight, etc.) and consensus-building (Proof of Work, Proof of Stake). This math was built on the foundation of decades of scientific research from the greatest minds in the world to provide trust and security for the exchange of information. Bitcoin was the first example that collected these ideas into one distributed technology.
A mix of cryptographic technologies with consensus-building math resulted in a new blockchain that could better serve different purposes. Add to this economic sense the fact that when a community grants a certain definition of value to blockchain tokens, you will bring in a new way of doing business in particular areas: custom blockchain, or blockchain for special purposes.
Here’s an interesting question:
Is it wide choice that triggers interest, or is it interest that materializes into wide choice?
An internet-based market with the comfort of connecting in seconds is based upon your preference. Instead of transmitting an opinion, it serves you exactly like your brain would: it gives you a set of most-often-seen options, all sorted out accordingly. The amount of information within our reach should be enough to analyze and make a sensible choice.
So, if you see a jaguar chasing a capybara, what is the conclusion at which you logically arrive?
A life-changing question: What is the difference between a, b, and с?
DLT and Blockchain Graphic
A quick tip: Distributed networks are more stable, and able to withstand more resistance. Remember what a spider’s web looks like? Distributed ledger technology connects nodes in a similar way, which enables them to distribute loads and withstand attacks giving the spider an opportunity to rest, relying on the strength of its web.
In order for you not to be worried about jaguars and capybaras, the distributed ledger steps forward, courageously offering the option of sharing all data and becoming peers. Your private data will be encrypted, and therefore extremely secure and pseudo-anonymous. It will be impossible to alter (if so desired), and almost impossible to hack.
If you are a capybara, no predator would ever know where you are.
If you are a natural healer who sells drugs, you better pretend a capybara.
Going back to the distributed ledger, cryptocurrency, and blockchain, what would you choose to do if you were inhabiting a jungle that existed based upon stable patterns and self-executing codes?
Cryptocurrency Wallets Use
The chart below describes the growth of a number of blockchain wallets in use at the end of 2017.
Judging by the statistics, if the maximum number means the highest possible number of use by people, does it necessarily mean that most of us have the same thing in mind?
The answer is as obvious as everything else in life: yes and no.
To make it even more complicated, if I asked you to draw a circle on an imaginary A4,
- What would it look like?
- Where would you place it?
- Which colors would you use?
- And most importantly, why?
Remember, the blockchain network cannot distinguish people from objects that have interacted with it. This means that the distributed ledger connects people, machines, and even machines’ particles. For the network, all these instances will be equal. It is a unique ecosystem in which people arrange transactions with robots and machines in a democratic way. These robots, machines, and, sometimes, their particles, also have their own wallets to send and receive cryptocurrencies.
At the beginning of 2009, right after the world got slapped with the financial crisis, it was offered something that looked like a possible solution to what had happened: Bitcoin with blockchain. Therefore, blockchain in banking is very predictable, though not at all new in 2018.
Bitcoin connects the dots between cryptography technologies and consensus math, introducing order into chaos where nobody trusts each other, and economic incentives for network participants as a stimulus to foster the network. Add to this stability and fault tolerance of distributed networks, and you have a new, cutting-edge technology.
How could this technology change the way how people run their businesses? Looking into economic theory, transactional costs, the hidden costs we pay to obtain trust in our counterparties, are, in the majority of cases, the reason we have intermediaries in transactions. Blockchain features, introduced by Bitcoin, enable us to obtain trust empowered by a huge network of independent computers, with highly visible fees and without the need for intermediaries in deals/transactions. This also introduces a quantitative measure of the cost of fraud to the system. You can calculate how much it will cost to corrupt your transaction, and make a cost-to-benefit analysis to obtain the comfort that nobody will be interested in defrauding you.
The Blockchain Ecosystem
Very often, the hype around blockchain is similar to fashion week one where everyone is excited about the new outfits, but still, very few understand what all the amazing items are about.
What blockchain offers any business is a fantastic opportunity to use it for the sake of a better user experience.
Because blockchain technology is so versatile, use cases are not necessarily limited to the usual stable patterns (read: finance and record keeping), and could become more creative as the technology is brought to satisfy a greater number of modern needs.
Blockchain Project List
Remember the beautiful blue-and-white graph describing the growth of blockchain wallets users? And all the unnecessary questions about the circle? Here are a couple of examples of the use of appreciated technology:
- PotCoin is the first digital currency to trade marijuana legally. They say great ideas flourish when everyone has access to a global market.
- Ujo, an Ethereum-based platform, allows artists to license and share their creative content under their own unpaid control. It took off in 2015.
- License.Rocks offers the buying and selling of unused software licenses. Created in 2017.
- LookHave can digitize a wardrobe and help match items on a smartphone. This is the youngest in the group.
- Alice offers transparent social funding built on the Ethereum blockchain.
How to Develop a Business Case for a Blockchain Project
When the question of developing a business case for a blockchain project arises, there are only two things you can do: conduct good research and think about distribution.
Like any other choice, you either make it or you don’t, no matter how long you postpone.
In 2018, here’s how you should use the best of modern technology for research:
- Search for it with the help of your favorite tool. Search engines are truly doing their best, based upon your preference.
- Ask a couple of your friends to express an honest opinion.
- Ask your friends if they know anyone who understands blockchain. This is the way you could get the chance of meeting someone they once heard uttering the holy word.
- Meet a couple of your friend’s friends, and think of integrating blockchain technology into one of your perfect business plans.
- Of course, hire a team of your friends’ friends, and pray that it all works out well.
- A blockchain-based business has to serve a purpose — add just a sprinkle of world peace, or something similar.
- Think of the benefit your creation will bring to people. Think of the old, poor, and lost. Of course, make sure you do enough marketing to reach everyone.
Thinking about distribution is a tougher task. There are several questions you must answer:
- Where are the hidden transaction costs in your case?
- Do you have intermediaries, and what is their place in the case?
- Which features system must you have in order to eliminate intermediaries and inefficient transactional costs?
- Does your case really need a distributed network, or would a centralized platform will be sufficient? At which place you need distribution?
- What are your economic incentives, and at what amount does it make sense for people/robots to participate in your network?
- What is the value of your token?
If evolution is about stepping out of the forest and picking up that stone, would allowing yourself the pleasure of laziness and partnering with a blockchain development agency be returning to the wild?
Overall, blockchain is great — not many would argue with that: the globe covered in a net like that of a spider, connecting all the dots you could ever want to connect.
Right now, in early 2018, Google Trends is something quite interesting: an amazing tool for quick and handy research that could help you better understand statistics.
“To be or not to be?” is the questions you ask when thinking about whether or not to employ the new technology. They say that where there is a question, the answer is always yes. Or no. Who ever knows?
Just in case, below you’ll find a chart showing the blockchain market share for 2016-2021.
This, and the other beautiful blue-and-white chart in the beginning of this article, were kindly borrowed from Statista.