Every day, Bitcoin and blockchain technology are in the news. Is the crypto market up? Did a random tweet tank the price of Ethereum? At Ventive, we’re already thinking about the practical application of blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency speculation. We are blockchain developers working on applications that represent the cutting edge of digital transformation.
In the first stage of the internet, also called Web 1.0, internet users were participants and developers were the creators. Think of the very early Bulletin Board Systems that grew out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They typify the limited exchange of information between parties and the primitive links that connected web pages.
In Web 2.0, the current stage, internet users are the creators and social media is a major player of growth. The next stage, sometimes called Web 3.0 or Web3, promises to return ownership back to creators. It aims to solve one of the problems of the modern era: trust with anonymous people.
An internet user can’t know everyone they interact with or do business with online. They need to rely on intermediaries like banks, stores, credit card companies, and social media platforms to guarantee transactions and exchanges of information among anonymous consumers.
To make the jump into Web3, internet users need to have increased trust in their online interactions, purchases, and contracts.
Instead of relying on large publishers or platforms like Facebook or Google to disseminate information or commerce, Web3 will use peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions on the blockchain. You can remain anonymous or sell information about yourself. The flow of information about you on the internet is determined by you, the creator.
Blockchain records transactions on a digital ledger that’s distributed across a decentralized network. For any transaction or interaction that would benefit from increased trust and security, blockchain technology is the key to unlocking the next stage of the internet revolution. Spreading data across servers around the world increases redundancy and accessibility, and reduces a single point of failure.
In addition, smart contracts are code written on the blockchain that can be programmed to do any number of actions like move money from one bank account to another, send a notification, or register a transaction. Written in “if/then” statements, smart contracts execute automatically when the conditions of the contract are fulfilled. The transactions are encrypted, and each record is connected to the previous record in a chain that prevents tampering.
Every single project doesn’t need to be developed on the blockchain. For projects that need an added layer of security, though, it can be a good choice. Here are some ideas for what this could look like applied against real-world problems.
In developing countries, citizens who cannot prove their identity are locked out of full citizenship. Since citizens without official identification are unable to vote, purchase land, open bank accounts, or pay taxes, their country’s economic progress, which is tied to the citizens’ financial progress, is limited.
However, much of the population in the developing world has embraced digital technology. The widespread adoption of smartphones combined with digital IDs built on the blockchain could open up opportunities for these citizens. The World Economic Forum is already examining how digital IDs could be created and adopted in an efficient manner for disenfranchised citizens.
Copyright dates can be stored on the blockchain and provide proof of ownership in a legal dispute. Smart contracts can also provide access to intellectual property, allowing the creator to retain ownership over their property or to be paid every time someone accesses their work. Blockchain technology has the potential to change how copyright and royalty protections are enforced online. But it’s not there yet.
As blockchain technology evolves, there is a tremendous opportunity for creators to collect royalties every time their work is used. In the digital age, when a right-click can copy, paste, and share a picture across the internet without giving credit to the original creator, blockchain technology could restore ownership rights to creators.
In its most basic form, a supply chain consists of five steps between the supplier and consumer.
Between each of these steps, contracts are written to guarantee delivery and on-time payments. And each of these contracts is an opportunity for information to get lost.
Take for example a salmonella outbreak in lettuce. Tracing the source of the outbreak to the original farm requires sorting through manifestos and piecing together paperwork from delivery drivers and retailers. Misfiled or lost paperwork could prevent finding the source of the salmonella. A supply chain that used smart contracts would be able to quickly find and access each link in the supply chain since the information stored in the contract is stored in immutable code.
Disputed land titles could be a thing of the past if contracts and titles are placed on the blockchain. Real estate transactions require many parties, from banks and assessors to title companies and real estate agents. Each person involved in the transaction adds to the total cost of the property. Real estate assets could be turned into tokenized digital assets that don’t require intermediaries. This could reduce the overall cost of real estate and improve record keeping.
How long does it take for money to move in a transaction? If the two entities involved in the transaction are at the same bank, it can take less than 24 hours to move money between the accounts. If the transaction takes place between countries or currencies, it could take up to a full week to process.
Ventive’s already built a cryptocurrency app on the blockchain that gives a user control over their digital wallet while providing nearly instantaneous transactions between their crypto wallet and a retailer. Building payment processing apps on the blockchain could increase security and decrease the costs of the middleman. That’s good news for customers, but bad news if you’re a middleman.
As mobile app development companies start exploring blockchain development, Ventive is a step ahead with blockchain products already developed. We develop blockchain mobile apps in Polygon, Algorand, and Solidity (Ethereum) frameworks.
Forward-thinking entrepreneurs come to Ventive every day ready to surf the waves of Web3. We’re pretty excited about some of the products we’ve been able to build with our clients using blockchain technology. Let’s build the next stage of the internet together. Connect with us.