It’s no secret that everything related to cryptocurrencies, the Blockchain, and ICO’s is gaining traction and becoming more popular by the day. The price of the Bitcoin has been steadily rising with no signs of stopping anytime soon, while superstars like Floyd Mayweather and Mark Cuban are getting behind certain Blockchain projects and ICO’s. So, what’s the deal? Is the Blockchain and bitcoins just a hype wave of star disease or legitimate, working tools?
What is the Blockchain?
Essentially the Blockchain is a ledger that is built up from a chain of transactions. Each transaction involves a form of cryptocurrency and is input into blocks on the Blockchain. With each new block carrying information pertaining to the previous one. All of the information on the Blockchain is secure, unalterable by third parties, anonymous, and decentralized. Simply put, the Blockchain is an immutable transaction database.
One of the greatest benefits in conducting exchanges and trades on the Blockchain is the speed at which everything can be done. Suppose you want to buy a big property through the Blockchain using some sort of cryptocurrency like Bitcoins or Ethereum, you would be able to conduct this purchase much faster over the Blockchain due to their being no need to go through strenuous background verifications, headaches, and legal procedures. The Blockchain provides for a reliable and confidential means of conducting all sorts of financial transactions without having to be monitored by and report to government agencies.
However, there are certain grey area’s relating to Blockchain and bitcoin transactions. What happens if a transaction is made in which one party pays in bitcoins for an item to be delivered, yet the item that gets delivered is not the same as the agreed upon one. Currently, there is research being conducted in order to figure out how to protect people from cryptocurrency scams and Blockchain mishaps.
Real World Uses of The Blockchain and Bitcoin
Currently, bitcoins are not very widely accepted as a means of payment. However, huge companies like IBM and KPMG are already starting to develop a ton of new projects and solutions geared towards real estate questions, logistics, business correspondences, and notary services utilizing the Blockchain. There are already Blockchain vending machines and ATM’s placed throughout the world that can be used to buy drinks, snacks, and even bitcoins.
Certain head shops in California allow for Cannabis to be purchased with bitcoins. Various gyms throughout the United States have also started selling gym memberships for bitcoins and Amazon has also come out stating that they would like to implement support for bitcoins in the future.
This is all great. But how come bitcoins aren’t used more frequently in our everyday lives? The reason for that is partially due to the volatile exchange rate between Bitcoins and fiats like the dollar, pound, or euro as well as technological limitations. Back in 2011, one bitcoin could be purchased for less than a dollar, while its value today is over $4,000.
This kind of growth and volatility in exchange rates definitely sparks some risks for businesses and users. Imagine walking into a coffee shop, using some bitcoins to buy a cup of coffee, only to find out that the exchange rate went up a few minutes after and you ended up overpaying? Over time, hopefully, questions and issues like this will be evened out and resolved. It should be clear by now that the Blockchain and bitcoins aren’t simply a star disease, but rather a very useful technological development that will continue to become a very efficient working tool over time.
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