The Blockchain Is Going To Dramatically Improve Our Sharing Economy. Here’s How
The rise of blockchain technologies have created dozens of new industries overnight.
From futures markets for Bitcoin, to massive server farms and companies that specialize in “Mining As A Service,” hardware wallets for your cryptocurrencies, blockchain platform development agencies, and more, one thing is for certain: the blockchain is attracting a lot of attention, and everyone wants in.
One of the most fascinating industries to evolve out of this new blockchain era is big data and analytics — specifically how they’re being stored and shared.
When Ethereum first gained mainstream attention last year, 2017, one of its biggest selling points was the quality of information being stored on the blockchain. Through the use of the public ledger, each piece of data was being verified in a way that centralized systems couldn’t. For anyone playing in the big data space, the blockchain was seen as “the holy grail” of data — because what you were getting was of the highest quality.
Now, there are blockchain platforms that see the immense value in the data being stored, and are looking to leverage that data to provide even better insights — while simultaneously rewarding users for willingly providing access.
Path, for example, is a blockchain platform that allows users to install a light-weight Chrome plugin and essentially “rent” their bandwidth, earning Path tokens in the process. While users surf the web and continue on with their daily tasks and digital habits, Path runs in the background, performing certain “jobs” that Path clients request. These can range from ensuring their website can be accessed from anywhere in the world, monitoring platform load times, and even keeping a lookout for DDoS attacks.
In short: Imagine having hundreds of thousands of computers, all over the world, acting as background verifiers for your website or digital platform.
What blockchain platforms like Path really represent is the future of what we would call the “sharing economy.” Uber, Airbnb, these are companies that found a need in the market and chose to act as the light-weight middleman. Blockchain platforms that run autonomously in the background, meanwhile rewarding users for sharing their bandwidth or other digital assets, are no different. Whether you’re renting a spare room in your house, or a bit of your bandwidth while you surf the web, you’re still participating in the “sharing economy.”
Since interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrencies doesn’t seem to be slowing down, it’s safe to say this trend will only continue.
However, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there are many crypto and blockchain enthusiasts who see the blockchain and public ledger as a major win in the technology world because of the transparency it provides. On the other hand, the storing of such high-quality data also means a higher demand for data, which some users see as an invasion of privacy. This is where you see privacy coins like Boolberry coming into play, helping cryptocurrency holders and users not subject themselves to the public ledger, capturing the data of their transactions.
If you think back to when companies like Uber and Airbnb first came onto the scene, the discussions and sentiments were very much the same. People had trouble imagining themselves getting in a stranger’s car, or sharing their spare bedroom with a paying guest. Fast-forward five to seven years though, and that stigma no longer exists.
It would be reasonable to assume the same will happen with blockchain platforms opting to participate in the sharing economy. And pretty soon, we will be renting out as much spare digital space as possible — our bandwidth, our computing power, our extra memory, all of it.
The author has had a working or personal relationship with one or more companies mentioned in this article in the past. Access to mentioned company’s management and information was made through the author’s personal network. All information was vetted prior to posting.
This essay is not intended to be a source of investment, financial, technical, tax, or legal advice. All of this content is for informational purposes only.