Unless you’ve had your head in the proverbial sand as of late, you’ve most likely heard about the phenomenon that is blockchain technology (or, at least you’ve heard of one of it’s biggest users: Bitcoin). With all the noise surrounding blockchain technology, however, it can be easy to overlook some of the biggest ways it is affecting our economic world.
Help Fight Money Laundering
The laws that fight against money laundering today are inefficient, to put it mildly. While they’re good intentioned, they lack the resources and teeth necessary to track down and prosecute people who seek to move money through less-than-scrupulous means.
Since the blockchain is a publicly viewable technology, every transaction can be easily recorded and monitored by law enforcement, tracking down nefarious traders almost automatically.
Reduce Paper Waste
The world is moving towards a more environmentally-friendly option for the last several years, but blockchain can help humanity take a big step towards that goal by reducing the amount of paperwork that is needed to create and verify contracts. By allocating all of the various paper agreements into a digitized, central database, people will be able to create and authenticate contracts in seconds, eliminating waste and saving time.
Eliminate the Middlemen
Right now, the copious amounts of record keeping and middleman who manage different transactions swarm the marketplace, clogging up the lanes with notes that sit in office backrooms, waiting to be recalled. Blockchain technology eliminates the need to call on middleman, since the universal ledger can be pulled up by anyone for any reason at any time.
Makes Passwords Obsolete
Can you imagine a world where you won’t need to remember your password? All those hours spent trying to figure out the right letter/number/special character combination could soon be over thanks to the use of a public key for your user data. Provided that the security for the blockchain continues to improve, there could come a world where users and businesses will be able to simply rely on the one key to do the majority – if not all – of their business.
Instantaneous International Payments
If you wanted to send money across the globe, you have to either wait a few business days for the payments to clear or head to a money-wiring service to do it for you. With the blockchain, not only is that inconvenience virtually eliminated, you can now do it in a matter of hours or even minutes, instead of days. Cryptocurrencies allow you to transfer money anywhere in the world in almost no time, allowing you to buy and receive goods so much faster than through traditional means.
Fight Against Cybercrime
In addition to being the haven of Grandma’s favorite cookie recipes and funny cat videos, the internet is also a haven for cyber terrorism and nefarious activities. The transparency of blockchain technology, however, allows for user data to be more protected against hacks and system collapses. Moreover, the decentralization of the blockchain means that even if one person is compromised, there’s no reason to think it will necessarily affect other people as well.