Perspective 7: Public database
Blockchain information is normally anonymous, but also completely public and transparent.
The assets that any wallet has in any blockchain are completely public — e.g. debank dashboard. Blockchains are often associated with anonymity, which is to some extent necessary to avoid the complete transparency affecting wallet owners. However, with NFTs that is changing. NFT owners like to display them, being linked to their corresponding wallets.
Seeing a blockchain as a (public, transparent, and ) distributed ledger may be the most usual perspective. The primary use of a blockchain would then be storing some public information, with the usual advantages of being decentralized, trustless, etc. The information that would be best to store is therefore not the most private information (e.g. health related), but the most public information:
- Government budget allocations, contracts,…
- NGOs transactions with completely transparent and auditable accounts.
- Professionals that have to prove their credentials: from driving licenses in taxis, to doctors, lawyers, architects,…
- Public reviews of businesses, products,…
Certainly many of those things can be done without blockchains, but not with the same level of granularity and reliability. Therefore, blockchains do not only allow new types of organizations, e.g. DAOs; blockchains allow for the improvement of old organizations, e.g. governments. This kind of change will happen first slowly, and then suddenly.
Hopefully these perspectives on crypto will make the fundamental value proposition of crypto more accessible, and help others to understand it in better ways than1: “funny money that changes value and you can trade for regular money”.
If you feel that these post were all too basic and you need deeper content, there is no shortage of that in the Internet, I would start with Buterin’s blog.
For the time being I wrap up the perspectives series, and in the next few weeks I will be providing a 101 introduction for users that want to participate in crypto.
Cross-posted from the Sigmoid newsletter