Crypto-Currencies Aren’t Just for Miscreants
When you hear the word “Bitcoin”, you probably think of crypto-anarchists and weird underground drug rings. I did too until recently when many online business started accepting it as payment for their services. Companies like NameCheap, Overstock, Amazon and even Home Depot are starting to accept Bitcoin which is beginning to make it a viable option for every day people. While Bitcoin and the Blockchain are fairly new compared to platforms like Paypal and Western Union, they still have prospects outside of nefarious purposes.
Some anti-technology alarmists claim that Bitcoin is a threat to modern banking, I don’t think so. I believe that it can be used as a compliment to a credit card or a debit card instead of carrying cash. Bitcoin would inevitably make buying things online safer as it is peer-to-peer and does not require the receiver to have access to your account or wallet information. It also protects both the seller and buyer’s privacy as it does not record information like name, reason for use or any other vendor information aside from date and amount sent. While crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are not firmly implanted into modern society, they soon will be and it will do wonders for personal privacy and information security.
Secure, Internet-Based Elections?
The Blockchain as mentioned before is another part of Bitcoin. It is the secure database protocol invented by the creators of Bitcoin. Blockchain is how encrypted information is stored securely and is one of the fundamental building blocks of all current crypto-currencies. Its uses are not only limited to finance. A New York City based group has devised a way to bring elections to the internet, securely via Blockchain. They have devised a system where each candidate would get their own “wallet” and each voter would receive a “coin” to send to their desired candidate. This could be a mark in the history books for secure and uninfluenced (i.e “un-hackable”) elections.
The future of Bitcoin and the Blockchain is in the hands of the community that use it. The amazing part about these protocols is that they are open source, meaning that anyone can use them to make something new. We will see new innovations in order to secure personal freedom outside the banking sector because of Blockchain.