Blockchain technologies have long been associated with financial application as the main use of the revolutionary technology. Cryptocurrencies strengthen this narrative as they continue leaving an impact on the global financial systems today. Notwithstanding, the bullish and bearish momentum of the industry at large has put blockchains on focus as a currency based industry.
This rhetoric has however been argued out differently by one of blockchain’s most proficient personalities, Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum. In a series of tweets published on Monday, Vitalik offered his view on the non-financial applications of blockchain technology.
The comments and replies from equally enthusiastic blockchain stakeholders made the discussion even more interesting.
“Non-Financial Applications Vs The Financial Applications”
In the fifteen tweets by Vitalik Buterin coupled with a few replies to comments made by other enthusiasts, one point is made clear, “Blockchain technology is more than the financial aspect.” Other than offering the user a fast, secure and cheap means to transact money on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, blockchain offers a lot more.
Vitalik tweetstorm on Non-Financial application of Blockchain
Non-financial applications on blockchains can be applied to various industries including healthcare, identity management, artificial intelligence, supply chain management and automobile industry etc.
The founder of the first smart contract platform said that the improvements seen in the user experience and fees play a big role in promoting non-financial application of blockchains. He continued stating that the verification aspect of cryptography offers various industries, especially the data driven, benefit greatly by offering valid data. He said,
“One underappreciated way to view blockchains is as an extension of cryptography that does different things. Cryptography allows you to encrypt data, prove data was signed by someone, etc etc…. blockchains OTOH allow you to prove that a piece of data was *not* published.”
On the practicality of using blockchain, he gave an example of a university degree verification app. On the app, a degree is certified with just a digital signature, but revocations are put on chain. With cryptography alone it is impossible to check that a revocation was not signed. This problem is solved using blockchain technology you simply check the entries on the chain as they are immutable.
Notwithstanding, blockchains can also be useful in an auction to ensure no late bids were submitted.
The Future Of Blockchain In Non-Financial Applications
The technology is entering its teen years where exceptional growth is expected to happen as better blockchains are built and existing ones improved. Looking at future blockchains, scalability issues will be solved using sharding and proper functional governance systems established using Proof of Stake (PoS) according to Vitalik. He tweeted,
“Blockchains of the future with proof of stake and sharding will be thousands of times more efficient, and so the efficiency sacrifices of putting things on a chain will become more and more acceptable.”
On centralized servers and the dangers they pose to data verification, Vitalik offered blockchain as the ready solution claiming the latter “have a genuine competitive advantage” over the consortiums and centralization. Blockchain immutable structure offers it permanence and discourages records from being tempered with.
2Vitalik Buterin on institutions deploying non-financial applications on blockchain
In his concluding tweet, Vitalik urges the blockchain enthusiasts to embrace the non-financial application of blockchain as much as they do the financial applications.
(All images from Twitter)