Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency built on top of blockchain technology. After bitcoin, there have been numerous innovative projects using the blockchain technology.
A blockchain is a global spreadsheet — an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value and importance to humankind. Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
In this article, I will be focusing on the Ethereum blockchain. The crypto tokens which fuels this network are called ethers. The total supply of ethers is not fixed. The rate at which new ethers are generated is governed by code and is changing regularly in the downward direction. This way the inflation rate is predictable. This also takes care of the problem of lost ethers (to some extent) due to forgotten private keys. The miners of the network (PoW) or the people who stake their ethers (PoS) are responsible for verifying all the transactions in the network. Thus they help in keeping the network secure and are therefore awarded newly created ethers.
Now Imagine an economy running on the Ethereum blockchain. The main currency of this economy will be ethers. The entities which verify the transactions and thus keeps the network secure can represent small government organizations. They are awarded newly created ethers. They can then allocate these funds to different projects. For example, the creation of public infrastructures. Since there are no central banks in this economy, nobody has the power to print an unlimited amount of money. Also, all the public expenditure can be tracked in a transparent manner.
All the companies in this economy will have their own tokens and the people holding those tokens will own a share of that company. Artists and other content creators can have their own token as well. This way they can sell their creations like songs, books, movies etc. directly to their fans through the tokens with the help of ethereum smart contract. The individuals working for a company can be paid either in ether or the tokens of the company. Using this tokenized ecosystem, the companies can pay dividends to its token-holders in a fast and transparent way. The value of the token and its total supply will determine the valuation of a company.
A decentralized exchange is embedded in the network which runs using smart contracts. Any token in the network can be swapped for any other token or ethers using this exchange. Here the value of the token will be automatically determined by supply and demand in the market. Atomic swaps can be used to exchange ethers for any other token on a different blockchain.
Internet of things will play a major role in driving this economy forward. The IoT devices can be connected with each other using the IOTA network. This network does not run on blockchain but rather on tangle technology. In this network, a device must verify two transactions before it can send a transaction thus eliminating any transaction fees. This opens lots of possibilities on how we will interact with the internet of things in the future.
Virtual reality will also play a major role in the future. Integrating virtual reality with blockchain opens lots of doors for innovation which were previously not possible due to various reasons. Imagine you need to consult a doctor for general medication. Instead of visiting the doctor in the clinic you can put on your VR headset and talk to the doctor in a virtual environment. All these data are transferred on blockchain thus tamperproof. The doctor can easily look up your medical history stored on the blockchain. And also the payment can be made in ethers or another token. This will considerably free up a lot of infrastructures which can then be used by people for all sorts of things like sports and recreation and other activities.
The government can also collect taxes in ethers and thus allocate to education, health care and other necessary things for a country. Since everything is on the blockchain, the people can track where their funds are going.
Blockchain holds lots of potential for future. It will literally change the world as we know today. How would you imagine a world on blockchain?