Beyond Smart Contracts – What Else Makes Ethereum the Best Blockchain Platform?
While Ethereum is best known for its ability to execute smart contracts, there is a lot more to Ethereum’s blockchain than that.
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum can run transactions on its blockchain and allow its native token to be used as a payment method or a store of value. As cryptocurrency, Ethereum ranks second in the list of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap and will likely maintain its position for a little longer. Despite the fact that the price of Ethereum is on the downward trend now, the fundamentals behind it are strong, which means this won’t let the token value collapse to zero. One of such killer features of Ethereum that contributes to its growth is the execution of decentralized apps (DApps).
Here is an overview of some of the current and future applications on Ethereum’s platform that can potentially revolutionize various industries.
The Ethereum network can be used by healthcare facilities to share medical records. It is a decentralized network that can be accessed by practically every hospital in the world. Say you live in Chicago and have an accident or fall ill while vacationing in Estonia – the hospital can have the same access to your medical charts that your doctors have back home. Being able to share information more easily may be one of the best ways to prescribe appropriate treatment and prevent the spread of diseases.
Healthcare can benefit a lot from a new approach to information that the Ethereum blockchain has the power to provide. And there are several DApps in the market, either in progress or already live, that aim at improving healthcare – Health Wizz and MyMedBlock, to name but a few.
Security and Privacy
Every day our personal data is collected by different services. When we surf the internet, Google and Facebook track our activity. Though it probably sounds more disturbing than it really is, most people would still prefer to have more privacy. Ethereum can prevent this type of invasion from happening. Basically, the blockchain technology can keep track of who’s collecting data from you and how they’re using it. This increased transparency will make corporations think twice. Furthermore, Ethereum is much harder for hackers and other cybercriminals to attack or manipulate because it’s decentralized.
uPort and KYC-chain are the most popular DApps on the Ethereum blockchain that allow users to manage their identity securely.
Voting and Documentation
Ethereum can also be used in politics. Because the blockchain network is so transparent, you can build much better voting systems. With traditional polls, it is possible to alter the results. We can’t be sure how often this happens because the polls are not visible to the public. On the Ethereum blockchain, they would be.
We have already mentioned the uPort DApp that gives you a one-of-a-kind digital identity. This has a lot of uses. Digital identity could be used as a passport in the future, and thus applied when voting electronically. It could even replace government-issued identification one day.
We all are engaged in a lot of entertainment activities, which is why it’s essential to mind security measures in this field. The Ethereum platform could bring a lot of advantages to both businesses and customers. It can positively change our approach to the content, online gaming, media, etc.
Content. With the rise of media piracy, a content creator is the one who suffers most. Right owners lose control over their creation and are unable to receive adequate rewards for it. Ujo and Musicoin are changing the way music content is managed and distributed.
Gaming. The undisputed leader among gaming DApps is CryptoKitties. You might have heard about it from the crypto news headlines in 2017 when the game disrupted the Ethereum network as a result of enormous popularity among users. Then CryptoKitties accounted for over 20% of all Ethereum transactions.
Think about companies like Apple, Dropbox, or Amazon. They store massive amounts of information. With Ethereum, data storage can be spread across continents, which is a huge advantage. Say an earthquake wipes out a server and all the data is lost. Decentralized storage is a lot safer.
Storj allows users to benefit from cloud storage that is decentralized, secure and affordable. The DApp is a perfect choice to store large data files (including video, photo, and audio) for a long period of time.
As a rule, newspapers and other media are somewhat biased. With a decentralized news outlet, you can have access to news more impartial than any traditional source could ever deliver. It could bring equality to all the voices that should be heard. One such decentralized outlet is an Ethereum-based encyclopedia called Lunyr. It makes it easy for contributors to submit their news stories and get rewards for them.
The same with social media. These platforms can totally be run by the users instead of big corporations. There are already some examples like Minds, a DApp that is similar to Twitter but users there are paid to contribute quality content.
Why Ethereum is So Great
Smart contracts are great, but clearly, Ethereum has a lot more to it than that. There are so many different decentralized applications that can be applied in different industries. We are only seeing the tip of an iceberg when it comes to the future of Ethereum’s blockchain. It can completely transform our society and the way we think.