So went the memes a few years ago.
But they said that about computers before.
“I think there is a world market for about five computers.”IBM’s President Thomas J. Watson, early 1940s
Hell, I said that about smartphones too when I first heard of them.
But there are 2 good use cases for a blockchain and 1 great one I thought of myself, hear me out.
An uncorruptible, un-biasable Being
Governments are made of humans, so they can be put under pressure by, let’s say, rich groups of companies. Just like humans, they usually cave in under pressure.
But Bitcoin doesn’t cave in. It doesn’t say “whoops election day is coming up so let’s approve a bailout/stimulus package (aka print more money)”. It doesn’t even need money – it’s its own money! It only needs people agreeing to participate in it.
Well, okay, both Bitcoin and governments print their own money. The only difference is that Bitcoin’s printing is determined by the program that says there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin, while governments’ printing is determined by humans.
But wait a minute, you say. Humans wrote the program, so how is it going to be any better?
Well, let’s say you want to change the rules to benefit you. Which is harder – convincing everybody who’s already running the Bitcoin software to run your new economic policy Bitcoin, or convincing a few government officials to push your policy?
I thought so.
Distributing power even more than the current stock market allows
I have news for you. None of these startups with their friendly pastel coloured ad campaigns and sans-serif fonts are on your side.
Think of how Uber is organized. At the top you have C-level executives (who own a large part of company stock), and then somewhere below them the programmers (who mostly don’t own any stock), and finally, at the very bottom, the Uber drivers (who most definitely don’t have any stock).
But what if in order to have anything to do with Uber, you had to own stock, even a tiny minuscule bit, and that stock came with voting rights? At the very least, drivers would have a way to push back instead of just leaving.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, any of these cryptocurrency tokens are just like a stock – except you don’t have to ask your bank to handle them for you. You can deal with them yourself by going to a website and buying them. That’s the key: it makes owning the token more direct and thereby distributes ownership/power amongst more people.
Escape a bad economy
I’m the most proud of this one, because I thought of it myself.
Think of a healthy, smart, hardworking person in a poor country (let’s call him George). No matter how healthy, smart, or hardworking he is, he’s still poor compared to the average American/European! Why? because he has to use his country’s own currency (assuming he lives there). Maybe his country has bad politicians – but that’s not his fault and he can’t do anything about it.
George’s country makes a bad economic decision, and overnight its currency is worth nothing, so food prices skyrocket. But GeorgeCoin’s value is still intact, because it’s separate.
It’s just like owning your house vs renting it.
This works because even if the country’s economy tanks, people still believe in George. You just need an efficient way of converting between everybody’s own Coins.