From the ashes of chaos that COVID-19 and discrimination protests have created, could well rise the Phoenix of blockchain. Possibly saving us all.
For the People, By the People. Essentially, if brass tacks are what you’re after- this statement is blockchain. From Cryptocurrencies, to supply chain detail, borderless currency, and even voting rights- blockchain technology and decentralized currency could offer solutions to a growing number of pressing problems. You don’t need to be an anarchist to question your government. Especially when you’re trying to figure out just how it is they’re helping the common man.
COVID-19, the pandemic that has effectively shut down the global economy and destroyed the lives and jobs of millions worldwide, has laid bare the gaps in governmental policy. Leaving the Un- and underbanked with less than nothing, the discriminated despairing, and even the average feeling the grip of financial fear. Bringing into stark contrast the dichotomy of how governments treat big business, and how they treat the rest of us. One thing is for certain- the old way of doing things just isn’t working.
Some may smirk as new found investors flock to sites like Bitvavo, hustling to get in on bitcoin markets and other digital currencies that could realistically offer a small amount of financial comfort and freedom- but it turns out they might just be on to something. And it’s not just day trading.
Decentralized technology is one of the hallmark principles behind bitcoin and cryptocurrencies similar to it. Alongside of permissionless irreversible transactions, Pseudoanonymous fungibility, and a fully open-source infrastructure, decentralized technology ensures that the power behind most digital currencies stays firmly with the user- making it impossible for outside influence to govern functionality or worth.
Which- if you’re paying attention is a huge hint at how cryptos could realistically help get us out of the current financial debacle, cut down on financial discrimination, and help disseminate financial literacy and individual control. Taking a more broad view of what decentralized technology is, it’s essentially life without a middleman. While digital currencies are largely decentralized (Meaning there is no nexus institution that controls how the monetary system works), the tech behind them also serves to keep the currency itself more honest.
Bitcoin is a fantastic example of how digital currencies support underbanked populations and keep currencies clear of artificial inflation and quantitative easing practices. Creating a paradigm in which the government no longer has any control over the inherent value of a currency.
Blockchain, the decentralized technology behind bitcoin, is really a type of distributed ledger technology that underlies any number of cryptocurrencies. It’s a system of open and public bookkeeping that cannot be altered, allowing entire communities to confirm the validation of data sets. Thinking about such technology in more abstract terms, the applications for this type of technology are near endless.
VeChain Thor, a type of altcoin, brought this technology into supply chain management. Streamlining how businesses can process their information flow amongst complex supply chain systems. Making it possible to effectively track a product from origin to end. Providing a real-time view that can establish unquestionable authenticity, quality, and source. Imagine being able to know exactly where your food came from, how it was processed, the temperatures it was held at- the entire lifespan of a product from creation to doorstep.
This type of technology is also being proposed to improve voting systems, creating a universally accessible network that is completely tamper-proof. Eliminating sinister existing practices like redlining, electoral fraud, and gerrymandering. Because of the pseudo-anonymity of blockchain technologies, many KYC protocols become unnecessary, which could remove discrimination bias when it comes to things like lending and hiring practices.
COVID-19 has destroyed the economy. There is no question about that. It has also brought with it a novel approach to almost every functional lifestyle system. From how we work and play, to the goods we’re buying (and the ones we’re not). Adapting and evolving into a new normal, that arguably isn’t all bad.
Many believe that bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto created the coin in a response to the 2008 financial crisis. One hallmarked by excessive risk-taking in the banking sector. Creating a currency and ledger system that could not so easily be exploited. Just as the subprime mortgage crisis opened up an avenue for bitcoin, COVID-19 may provide the segue necessarily into reformatting the global financial infrastructure.
Changing the relationship that the earth’s population has with monetary systems and consumerism. While we may not yet be in a position to accept the extreme use cases, like the complete tokenization of goods and services, there is a future here. Governments will need to take this time of reconstruction to develop clearly defined and clarified guidelines for adoption, protecting consumers and developers alike. Without overstepping the bounds of a regulatory position.