Is the current state of blockchain development ready to attract a large number of users? Some argue that blockchain technology is still not ready, due to a lack of emphasis on user experience and limited working applications. For the technology to become mainstream, it needs to be applied in ways that people actually find useful and provide a much better experience than what is already available.
To learn more about how blockchain applications can gain traction, Asia Blockchain Review & Bitcoin Addict invited representatives of reputable projects to share their insights at the most recent Unblock Bangkok meetup. They included Chris Williamson, Advisor to Ecomi; Soravis Srinawakoon, CEO at Band Protocol; and Jarindr Thitadilaka, Software Engineer at OmiseGO, who spoke about digital collectibles, community data curation, and financial inclusion, respectively. Let’s start with how blockchain is essential for these applications.
Unblock Bangkok: Introducing the Speakers
Blockchain Use Cases
Firstly, blockchain can verify the ownership of unique digital assets, such as digital artwork. This creates a market for digital collectibles, similar to how people collect physical baseball or Pokemon cards. Ecomi’s Williamson believes that this application has the “greatest potential to take cryptocurrency mainstream in 2019 and beyond,” noting how people enjoy collecting things such as shoes or even yachts for the wealthier among us. Through Ecomi’s wallet application, users will be able to buy, sell, and trade premium licensed digital collectibles.
Secondly, blockchain enables the creation of utility tokens, issued to members of the online community to incentivize them to contribute content. Members can also stake these tokens against their content. If the community collectively decides that the content is not authentic, the staked tokens could be forfeited. This encourages members to contribute authentic and useful content and take meaningful actions that benefit the community.
In their current form, online communities exist on social media platforms. According to Srinawakoon of Band Protocol, these platforms tend to be rent-seeking and do not reward the community for their actions to grow the platform. In considering people’s motivations to shift platforms, he concluded that the new platform would need to vastly improve on user experience. His project, Band Protocol, aspires to use blockchain to grow and engage online communities in ways that can compete with existing spaces.
Unblock Bangkok: Srinawakoon talked about blockchain-based communities.
Thirdly, blockchain can verify digital transactions made outside of traditional banking networks. The decentralized nature of blockchain opens up banking opportunities for the unbanked, many of whom live in remote areas. OmiseGO is one blockchain startup that seeks to address this issue. As their protocol is open sourced, any digital wallet provider can use it to build white-label solutions to provide basic banking services, especially for areas without access to traditional banking infrastructure. Just last month, OmiseGO achieved a significant milestone with the release of the alpha product Ari.
Driving Mass Adoption
There are already a number of real-world applications of relevant blockchain use cases, so blockchain can be considered conceptually ready for adoption. However, it remains to be seen if there are enough incentives to encourage wider adoption.
OmiseGO’s Thitadilaka noted that 90% of traditional consumers do not care about blockchain. Blockchain is a technological infrastructure on which applications are built, meaning that users don’t have to interact with the underlying technology.
It may be easier to encourage adoption if people can use it without having to understand or know blockchain. Currently, we need to explain the technology to new users, and this process remains a persistent roadblock for mass adoption. Looking ahead, we may envision a future of blockchain applications, where very few users will even know there’s a token behind the scenes.
About Asia Blockchain Review
Asia Blockchain Review is the largest initiative for media and community building in Asia for blockchain technology. It aims to connect all blockchain enthusiasts on a regional scale and facilitate the technological foundation of blockchain through a range of group discussions, technical workshops, conferences, and consulting programs.
Our goal is to cultivate and encourage a collaborative community for our members to gather, share their experiences and endeavors in the blockchain space, and brainstorm the potential uses of blockchain technology.
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