When people think about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, they think of Bitcoin, and know it as simply a way to send secure payments to other people. It’s a revolutionary idea, and something well needed in a world where governments can seize your assets virtually anywhere you try to hide them.
But what if the technology behind the blockchain actually has the capability of doing much more? We can already see some examples of the technology being used in other ways. Namecoin allows you to register a .bit domain name. Everybody that knows about internet censorship can tell you that the first thing a government does when they try to silence you is to seize your domain name. Your .com .org .net and .info doesn’t belong to you. You actually rent the right to use them, and those rights can easily be revoked. Decentralizing the domain registry and allowing people to actually OWN their domain name could solve this problem. As long as you control your Namecoin keys, you control your .bit domain. Nobody can take it from you, no government can seize it. As long as you implement proper encryption methods, it is virtually nuke-proof and you will always retain the ability to direct it where you choose.
What else is possible with blockchain technology? DAO uses the Ethereum blockchain to decentralize organizations. This could in theory, completely replace the current method of businesses incorporating and exchanging stocks.
Could this technology be implemented to change/eliminate the way government functions? The excuse for having a representative democracy with politicians (as opposed to a direct democracy on every issue) is that there are too many people, limited resources and a poll on every issue can’t be maintained. What if there was a way to technologically GUARANTEE every participant in a vote can only vote once, transportation and scheduling is never an issue, and there is minimal or no overhead needed to hold the polls? What if every citizen was assigned their theoretical “Votecoin” address at birth/obtaining citizenship and that allows them to maintain their “right to vote” for the rest of their existence, regardless of the situation they are in?
What if it completely replaces government services? Imagine this, a blockchain is created to serve as a registry of deeds, and to create an objective, 0-party database of land ownership? One could take the existing registry in each geographical area, distribute the “Deedcoins” to the current owners and then allow the blockchain to keep track of transfers. The person who controls the keys, owns the land that they represent. If they want to sell their land/house, they can easily transfer to a recipient.
Of course this is all theoretical, but certainly possible. The blockchain technology already exists, now we just need people to implement it into their services. As time goes on, and as knowledge is passed around, it will become easier to work with. Eventually, people (and the market) will understand that utilizing blockchain technology is cheaper, more efficient, and more secure than their current methods. They just need to learn how to apply it to suit their needs.
Be happy that you live in these interesting, chaotic times. There is so much potential for the future currently being developed that can completely free us from our shackles, and allow us to achieve liberty and the pursuit of happiness, without tyrants trying to weigh us down during the entire duration of the ride.