Cryptocurrency is the new hot topic; seemingly every publication is writing about how speculators made millions by investing in currencies like Bitcoin and Etherium. But what gets less press is the underlying technology that enables these cryptocurrencies to flourish.
That technology is called blockchain, and it refers to a type of encrypted database that stores information on a distributed network of computers. Thanks to blockchain, cryptocurrencies can be monitored and traded in real time without the need for a centralized database maintained by a government or corporation.
Blockchain is enabling people to solve otherwise seemingly impossible problems through the power of decentralization and crowdsourcing. This article will review four areas of daily life that could be forever changed thanks to remarkable organizations that are developing innovative products using blockchain technology.
A recent study conducted by the University of Maryland cited in the Washington Post found that over 75 percent of Americans support net neutrality regulation. For those unfamiliar with the term, “net neutrality” refers to a principle espoused by internet experts that internet providers should not be allowed to manipulate access to the internet.
Instead, net neutrality supporters argue that the internet should be treated like a public service. Internet service providers should not be allowed to slow websites or competitors or limit internet access. Proponents also argue that repealing net neutrality will slow innovation and encroach on personal freedoms. And yet, the Federal Communications Commission is taking steps to repeal net neutrality rules.
That doesn’t mean users are without recourse. Thanks for startups like Urbit, it is now possible to access the internet through blockchain technology. What’s called the “decentralized internet” does not require big internet service providers; instead, users access the internet through a massive network of distributed servers hosted on personal computers.
While some consider cryptocurrencies to be a risky investment decision, others consider it to be a solid business and investment idea. Imagine, investing in cryptocurrency and earning a double-digit return on your investment. With all of that wealth, you’d be able to pay off any personal debt with ease.
But critics of cryptocurrency worry about significant fluctuations in value and are wary of possible government regulation. That’s where TrustToken comes in; this cryptocurrency is backed by fiat currencies like the US dollar or Great British Pound. Since the value of TrustToken’s currency, called TrueToken, is tied to government-backed currency, fluctuations in value should be less volatile than alternatives.
To put the volatility of popular currencies like Bitcoin in perspective, the value of Bitcoin dropped by roughly $10,000 in just two months. This type of fluctuation is unheard of when it comes to traditional government-backed currencies.
Still, cryptocurrency does have some exciting possibility if the volatility issue can be resolved. For one thing, it’s incredibly easy to transfer. Since the currency is global, the value of a single coin does not change by location. And thanks to blockchain technology, transferring cryptocurrency can be done instantly without needing to pay exorbitant wiring fees.
A study by Markets and Markets estimates that the machine learning market will be worth nearly $9 billion in just four years. Companies from all industries are investing in machine learning technology, and this is especially true when it comes to healthcare.
Machine learning systems analyze large data sets to build predictive models. These models make predictions based on existing data and monitor outcomes to learn if the predicted outcome was correct. As the system acquires more data, the predictions become more accurate, and new patterns are discovered.
Machine learning technology could be a critical component of solving medical mysteries related to genetic disease diagnosis and treatment. But providing machine learning systems with access to enough patient data is a challenge.
Blockchain-based startups like MediLedger and SimplyVital Health are working to solve this problem by creating a marketplace for patients to collect and share medical information in exchange for cryptocurrency.
This model allows patients to safely share medical information with doctors and researchers. And because participants receive cryptocurrency, their participation is incentivized. Healthcare professionals receive access to far more data than they might otherwise be able to collect through traditional means.
Blockchain technology has the power to reshape our world in a variety of meaningful ways. From enabling a truly decentralized internet, to supporting the rise of cryptocurrency, to aiding healthcare workers in their search for medical breakthroughs.
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