“Blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value — money, but also titles, deeds, identities, even votes — can be moved, stored and managed securely and privately. Trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than by powerful intermediaries like governments and banks.” —Alex Tapscott
A few of the industries and processes about to be disrupted by blockchain technology:
- Voting—corporate, public, or any other sort
- Data ownership, storage, and distribution
- Trading of securities and commodities
- Identity verification and management
- Supply chain tracking and efficiency
- Prediction markets
- Public utilities
- Monitoring infrastructure
- …and many more
WHAT ARE CRYPTOASSETS?
(NOTE: THIS IS NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE, NOR IS IT AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO BUY ANY PARTICULAR CRYPTOCURRENCY)
Cryptoassets, also known as cryptocurrencies, are digital tokens (also referred to as coins: there is a difference between tokens and coins, but we won’t worry about that right now) that signify a unit of value. While some aim to be a universal medium of exchange—bitcoin being the most well-known example—others are native to a given blockchain platform or technology. For example, the blockchain organization known as ChainTrade wants to bring commodities trading to all, peer-to-peer and with low transaction fees. ChainTrade has its own digital currency for use in trades; this currency can be interchanged with dollars, bitcoin, or whatever.
Typically, the tokens are limited in supply, creating an upward pressure on the price. If the project finds success, that is.
Investors in cryptoassets believe that buying tokens at the beginning of the blockchain revolution will pay off as the disruption reaches the mainstream.