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Besides payment and cryptocurrencies, what blockchain technology can do for internet communities?

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

When people hear about blockchain, they will think about cryptocurrencies and some criminal behaviors. But blockchain technology is not only in cryptocurrencies, the technology can be used in several ways. 

The famous document “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Payment System”(PDF) by Satoshi Nakamoto brings a new era of digital currencies and currencies policies in different countries. The technology has some famous features with it: decentralized, secure, anonymous, transparent, irreversible, and consensus. The concept also brings the evolution and revolution with electronic payment and affects some innovations. 

Tracking COVID19 and keeping social distance

COVID19 Pandemic makes the world into panic. Governments have a chance to control the data and infringe on citizens’ privacy. They collect personal data, travel history from tourists and location data with their mobiles by GPS or innovate applications to inform everyone to keep social distance. 

Blockchain technology may help to citizen get the data sovereignty back. People contribute the data from themselves. Data records on the blockchain and won’t exposit personal privacy.

LACChain Alliance develop an application to combine users’ digital wallet, then users don’t show their personal data on the APP. Users can keep their privacy and the social distance.

We also can know the pandemic status by the maps on the map. The only problem is not everyone has digital wallet with cryptocurrencies.

Personal digital assets and copyrights protection

Internet helps information spread fast, easy and convenient, but it also brings the copyrights and intellectual property infringement issues. 

Besides, our digital footprints are everywhere, posts on social network platform, messages instant messenger, emails, blog posts, etc. We still need a mechanism to protect our digital assets. Blockchain technology may help us to take back the data sovereignty. We may record our digital assets, digital footprint on the blockchain. Law and regulation may help us people to protect their assets in the physical world, and blockchain technology may also help us to protect our digital assets, streams, images with the services. 

Some blockchain technology innovations try to provide their own service to help user take the data sovereignty. The service helps users want to donate their health data to contribute the public health research anonymously. If people want to use blockchain to protect their creative work and record on the blockchain with legal evidence.

Issuing Graduate Certificates

Some companies ask for jobseekers to provide their graduate certificates. We may hear about some forged graduate certificates to human resource departments to get higher position and salary. 

Singapore government leads a project to issue education certificates on blockchain.  Jobseekers may provide the graduate certificate file to HR recruiter. The HR recruiter can exam the file by the platform. They can see which school issued the certificates. Many universities engaged the government level research project.

The project may help the employer to decrease more verification efforts. To jobseekers, they don’t need to keep papers or worry about lost the paper. They just need to keep the file and private keys to protect the files.

Energy trading infrastructure and issue renewable energy certificates

Renewable energy still is an issue in the world. There are some companies in Korea , Singapore and Australia develop the energy trade blockchain application. The Australian company Power Ledger expand their partnership with Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, India. To build the energy trading infrastructure or help other countries to issue the renewable energy certificates with blockchain technology. Korea and Singapore government also cooperate with blockchain technology to issue renewable energy certificates. 

They may develop micro power grid or peer to peer transaction with blockchain technology. That may also persuade the smart homes with the micro power grid, and more decentralization, help to decarbonization.

Food safety and traceability 

Food safety is an important issue for everyone. How to have healthy and safety food and how to trace the supply chain are the most important 2 issues in this area.

Several years ago, my friends and I made a proposal about food traceability. Consumers can use their mobile function to scan the barcode on the package food, to know the producer and ingredients. The further application is to analysis the ingredient data and users’ health data to provide suggestion with personalized health prescription. We need to build a database first. But without the incentive or reward to user, we didn’t get any success. The most difficult is not only to ensure the safety of ingredient of package food. The whole process from farm to table also is not easy to trace. You have to know the supply chain, to deploy the sensor to trace the whole logistic process. 

It will be a big challenge to integrate different factors in the whole supply chain. There are many platforms in the world try to figure out the food safety relates issues. There is a project in Taiwan, but it is a first step at the beginning. There are still with some problems with digitalization in different industries. There is another platform in Switzerland. Consumer can trace the whole supply chain and status on the platform and see the raw data. 

Blockchain technology may help to make the supply chain management. Consumers may see the transaction and logistics with more transparency and trust the produce process.

How to help refugee and migrants to entry the markets?

Refugees and asylums may escape from their home country rush. They probably don’t have any document to prove their own identity. They can’t have bank accounts, they can’t use credit card, and they don’t have cash to any commercial activity. It is very difficult to enter the market to have economic activities with refugees and asylums. Then they don’t have chance to get into economic society. 

The World Food Program(WFP) try to use blockchain technology to end the hunger. They build the block to distribute cash to help the refugees in Syria, Bangladesh, Jordan, and other refugees and asylums. The project distributes the cash to their accounts on the blockchain by scanning users’ eyes to identify them. That may help them prevent distribute the cash repeat also help refugees and asylums to keep privacy. WFP also provides a platform to educate staffs in UN.

The other issue is how government to manage refugees’ new identities. Finland Immigration collaborate with private sector to provide financial services to refugees and asylums. Then they can have their digital identities and financial activities and records, wages saved into their debit cards. Refugees can engage the economic activities with their digital identities. They can have their own life with dignity.

The other side: Privacy Concern and risks about Blockchain Technology

The blockchain technology is full of privacy if people protect their own private key well. Some people may have concerns with private concern with national security or government control. It should be more safe and secure with the decentralized, consensus, irreversible features. But we heard some people use the technology with other malicious behavior such as revenge porn. Some governments use this technology to control the cashflow may infringe the privacy. 

Everyone has their own explanation with blockchain technology. But from those applications in this article, the concepts of blockchain technology has invented more startups to innovate more services with new technology. The technology does not only contribute in payment system and cryptocurrencies, but also advance in public welfare services from now on.  


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