And now, on with the blockchain revolution!
How hot is blockchain right now? Rumour has it that over 26,000 blockchain-related projects were started up last year on the software collaboration platform GitHub, an impressive number, considering only eight per cent of these are still actively maintained.
That says something about the feverish workings of the coder’s hive brain (although most GitHub projects, up to 90 per cent according to estimates, get dropped anyway), but it also speaks to the hype surrounding blockchain’s distributed ledger idea. Yes, it’s supposed to change the way everything works everywhere, but what can it really do?
“[Blockchain] is a tool, and you have to apply it to the right set of problems,” says Charles Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of blockchain fintech company Paxos, to Bloomberg News. “What it tends to be very good for is knowing who owns what and when,” says Cascarilla. “It’s not a magic bullet.”
Say it ain’t so! Beyond the Bitcoins and banks out there, blockchain is the very reinvention of the trust paradigm (bluntly, let’s take out the middle man), so surely it’s got an unending supply of potential applications.
Take health care, for instance. Many see the day when instead of your patient records being all over the place and unaccounted for — this jab here, that prescription there — you get a blockchained record, time stamped and verified for every transaction you’ve ever had with a medical professional.
“Now is probably the right time in our history to take a fresh approach to data sharing in health care,” says John Halamka, chief information officer at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, to Wired.
That’s more like it! What about retail and agribusiness? You want your tomatoes tracked and verified, from seed to fruit to back of the truck to you? You got it. “There’s a lot of fraud in food origins, especially now that it’s hot,” says Caroline Myran, project manager for Ripe.io, the self-professed “Blockchain of Food” company. “People say ‘this is local,’ or ‘this is organic,’ or ‘this is grown using certain practices.’ With this system, you can prove it.”
Blockchain your weed supply? IBM says we gotta have it, Canada.
Want to blockchain your resume before that next interview? “Career verification” platform APPII is your new best friend.
Is there nothing donuts, I mean blockchain, can’t do? Here at Cantech Letter, we don’t believe so, and to prove it here’s a list of our favourite blockchain uses that will, we promise, see the light of day before this thing is over. In honor of David Letterman, here’s our top ten list.
TOP TEN REJECTED BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS IDEAS
10. Blockchain for fixing iTunes
9. Blockchain for Justin Trudeau’s socks
8. Blockchain for overworked bankers working on blockchain IPOs
7. Blockchain for finding the bitcoin you left on an external hard drive in 2013
6. Blockchain for explaining blockchain to your mother
5. Blockchain for secretly letting the robots know you are okay with their plans for world domination
4. Blockchain for figuring out cats
3. Blockchain to bring back Barb on Stranger Things
2. Blockchain for bringing Uber to Vancouver
And the number one rejected blockchain business idea is…
1. Blockchain for explaining to blockchain enthusiasts that you were into blockchain before it was blockchain