Mention consumer blockchain and many people’s first thoughts will probably be of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin cryptocurrency was the first to make use of this technology. However, blockchain has come a long way since Satoshi Nakamoto first deployed the software over ten years ago.
Fortunes have been made and lost, over 1600 other cryptocurrencies have entered the market and blockchain now has a number of different uses outside of currency.
Consumer blockchain may even be permanently altering our perception of value.
YLAMBO and questions of value
Artist Kevin Abosch is partially responsible for raising those questions about value.
In 2018, he made headlines when one of his artworks, made up of both a tangible aspect and a blockchain token, was sold for $400 000.
“Yellow Lambo” – a reference to crypto millionaires using their newfound wealth to buy Lamborghini super cars – features a yellow, fluorescent wall sign of numbers and letters. These make up a blockchain contract address for the token YLAMBO.
“Depending on who you speak to, one person might ask, ‘Why would someone spend $400,000 on bitcoin?’ Another person might ask, ‘Why would someone spend $400,000 on a car or a piece of artwork?’ It’s a cause for discussion on why and how we value anything at all,” Abosch told Business Insider when questioned about the artwork.
“Yellow Lambo” is Abosch’s second crypto artwork and not even his most profitable. In 2016, he sold “The Forever Rose”, a cryptocurrency “rose token” which has no tangible aspect, for $1 million on Valentine’s Day.
Bitcoin and the bizarre
While some of the new blockchain applications could come across just another form of extravagance, others are flat-out bizarre.
The meme that made money
Dogecoin was created as a joke by Billy Markus in December 2013. This is a cryptocurrency based on the meme showing a shiba inu, a Japanese breed of hunting dog, with a peculiar expression and using the same “pupper” as its logo.
However, things quickly became more serious as a community of miners, users and speculators sprung up around Dogecoin.
By January 2014, its market value had already grown to over $60 million.
Where there are virtual dogs there should be virtual cats.
In November 2017, CrypoKitties became one of the first blockchain games when it launched on the Ethereum network. CrypoKitties uses the digital currency Ether, and sees players collect, trade and breed digital cats with a wide variety of characteristics.
The more unique your kitty’s “cattributes,” the more money it could be worth.
One such rare feline was reportedly sold for $170 000 recently.
Thus far the game has received over $27.9 million in funding, with Samsung Next and Google Ventures among its backers.
Key blockchain uses
Blockchain technology has also been used in regards to real animals.
International food conglomerate Cargill made it possible for buyers to view an online profile of their Thanksgiving turkey. The profile can be accessed using a tracking code on the packaging and features photos, information about the relevant farm and even a message from the farmer.
Cargill’s turkey tracker could be just the start of blockchain’s use in the food industry. Consumers increasingly base their purchases on aspects such as proximity and environmental and social impact. And food is just one of the industries where blockchain use could prove to be a major disruption.
Blockchain vs voter fraud?
Blockchain could soon be used to eliminate voter fraud. Apps like Sovereign or Follow My Vote use blockchain tokens to represent filled ballots. They record votes instead of transactions on the ledger.
Solar electricity credit transfers
People aiming to reduce their carbon footprint could be able to access renewable energy without the expense of installing their own solar panels.
A New York start-up aims to have Brooklyn residents who already own solar installations sell electricity credits to neighbours.
Blockchain is also being used to validate the authenticity of products.
Rapper, producer and fashion designer, Kanye West, famously used scannable microchips to allow consumers to view the production chain of his line of Yeezy sneakers, a favourite for sneaker collectors everywhere.
Blockchain and collectibles trading
Along with impacting consumer goods, the blockchain technology is making an impact in the business of trading art and other collectibles.
In 2018, Christie’s, arguably the world’s most famous fine art auction house, explored blockchain’s potential applications at its annual Art+Tech Summit.
Christie’s went on to record the most valuable art auction in history on Artory’s blockchain ledger later that same year, when the Barney A. Ebsworth collection was sold for $318 million.
The next impact of blockhain
The value of art and other collectables, from sneakers to virtual cats, is directly linked to the ability to prove authenticity.
This could be one of the areas where blockchain makes its next impact, as more companies like Artory and unique collectables registry Codex Protocol spring up.
Whether you find theses crypto uses strange, extravagant or amazing, it’s clear that blockchain is here to stay.
At lamna, we don’t use blockchain or offer consumer blockchain apps. However, we do offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or artwork. For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan, contact us on 086 111 2866 or simply complete and submit our online application form.
Before you sell your diamond ring to cover an unforeseen expense, consider the alternative.read more
Getting a loan in Johannesburg is now made easier with lamna. This overview will help you find out more.read more
How to ensure you get the best loan offer when you pawn jewellery in Cape Town.read more