The blockchain is the technology behind the much-hyped “Bitcoin” ( one of the many blockchain applications) which is trading at above 2,74,000 INR per BTC as of today.
What made it so huge? That’s still a mystery but the futuristic propositions provided by Blockchain are pretty serious.
In essence, it’s a system used to create databases with some unique features and revolutionary real-world potential use cases.
For instance, you might not know what “MySQL” is (another databasing system), but it currently powers more than 58% of websites on the web, even Ionizer. You don’t need to know about it because it works under the hood. Similarly, Blockchain also works under the hood but you’ve heard about it because it has a lot to offer.
If you too feel dubious about Blockchain, this article offers a few ways by which you can try it hands-on and see how it works. Hence, here I am, demystifying the concept for you.
First, let’s define blockchain and dApps.
What is Blockchain?
Figuratively speaking, a Blockchain is like an attendance register present in every classroom of a school, that can only be viewed by school teachers and where no one can change the entries once made.
Each attendance register in a separate classroom is like a block, and hence, all the classroom attendance registers come together to form a blockchain.
If you tamper with even one attendance register, the net attendance of the school will go out of sync and the system will become redundant.
The underlying features of a blockchain described in the above example are:
- Immutability – records can’t be changed once made.
- Anonymity – names of the participating entities are not stored.
- Encryption – records can only be read by users who have access.
- Decentralization – records are not stored at a single place, rather, they’re distributed among all the participating users.
dApps are decentralized-Apps that use blockchain as their databasing mechanism. Interestingly, the features of a Blockchain can be used in a number of ways to offer solutions for real-world problems.
dApps utilize the unique features of Blockchain logic integrated into the software to address issues that can’t be solved using conventional methods.
5 Blockchain Applications That You Can Actually Use in Your Daily Life!
Here is an example of a post published on Steemit.
At the end of each post, you’d be able to find upvotes given by the users and total STEEM token earned by the creator.
These STEEM tokens can be traded just like cryptocurrencies and can be converted into real money. While the users who read and upvote a post don’t pay anything to anyone!
This means, yes, you can use Steemit to monetize your content and earn STEEM.
Steemit runs on the Steem Blockchain, which stores all the information published on Steemit. Steem Blockchain also enables the distribution of STEEM tokens just like Bitcoin. Hence, Steemit combines social content sharing with the cryptocurrency concept.
You can manage all the STEEM tokens by downloading the Vessel Wallet made for Windows users.
Why is Steemit useful?
- Publish original content on Steemit and earn STEEM tokens, which can be converted into money later.
- There is no fees for using Steemit, but you can voluntarily purchase STEEM tokens.
- You can also earn by curating content on Steemit. Check out how.
- Steemit doesn’t run ads and generates business value from STEEM purchases and content promotion.
- Steemit has limitations on the number of upvotes that can be made in a day, which eliminates the chance of spam. Only really good content gets pushed forward.
- WordPress bloggers can integrate with Steemit using Steempress.
Fundition is a crowdfunding blockchain-based platform that uses “hearts” as a currency to crowdfund projects.
The concept is very simple – backers buy Steem Blockchain tokens called “hearts” from Fundition and donate them to projects they like.
The hearts that project owners receive from backers can be converted into real money and used as funds.
For every heart that a backer donates to a project, the backer gets “Heart Power” in return which is a digital reward. Heart Power can be used to purchase more hearts directly.
You can choose to anonymously back the projects and make donations via regulated STEEM tokens (called hearts on Fundition).
Why is Fundition useful?
- A fair decentralized platform that is not owned by a central controlling authority.
- Gain crowdfunding for all kinds of projects.
- Use your Steem Wallet for purchasing hearts on Fundition.
- Your project’s Intellectual Property Rights are retained.
Golem is a platform where you can lend or buy computing power on a blockchain network. You can practically share your PCs RAM, CPU and Disk Space with other users on the network and earn Golem Network Tokens (GNT) or Ethereum (ETH) in return.
Similarly, you can buy extra computing space for your PC by spending some GNT or ETH. Currently, Golem only supports a few tasks for CGI rendering if you wish to use it for obtaining additional computing power.
But you can earn ETH or GNT by deploying your PC whenever it is idle on the Golem network. 1 GNT was worth 0.075$ when this article was published as reported by Coin Market Cap.
Golem’s cryptocurrency is managed by Ethereum Blockchain and IPFS. If you’re running a Windows machine, you’ll need extra virtualization software to be able to load your Golem client.
The video below explains everything you need to know to get started with Golem!
As Golem matures further, users around the world will be able to increase the productivity of their PCs by lending or borrowing computing power for just about anything.
Want to run a GTA 5 on your dad’s 10-year-old PC? Golem will make it possible!
Why is Golem useful?
- Make money by lending your computing power when you’re not using your PC.
- If you’re a CGI designer, you can use Blender and Luxrender software in collaboration with Golem to boost computing power.
- If you’re a developer, you can register your applications on Golem for other users to find and use.
Sia is a blockchain-based cloud storage platform where you can store your files in a secure, encrypted format at a 90% cheaper price than most cloud storage providers.
It is an open-source and decentralized, which means that there is no single data-centre where the files are stored. The data is stored on all the nodes across the network which eliminates the chance of a single point of failure.
You can download Sia UI for your PC and start storing your files on the network. The network boasts of 2.9 Petabyte of cloud storage out of which 175 Terabyte is being currently used.
Why is Sia useful?
- Your files are stored on a Blockchain with copies on every node, which offers a great deal of data safety.
- No signup required, you only need to download the PC client software and you’re good to go.
- All your files will be encrypted which means no one can view your files even if they gain access to them.
- Only $2 fees per month for 1 Terabyte storage usage.
OpenSign is a platform where several parties can digitally sign agreements using Ethereum Blockchain’s Smart Contracts.
The concept is to provide a method that is secure, anonymous, and it preserves digitally signed agreements cryptographically. OpenSign provides all of this.
Let’s say you wanted to sign an agreement with your friend about borrowing a sum of money, you can digitally sign it using OpenSign, where you and your friend will both have Ethereum-based addresses.
Tomorrow, if your friend denies the fact that they borrowed any money, you’ll have an indestructible, unforgeable, and immutable record on OpenSign stating proof of the agreement, that can be used to take legal recourse.
The simple three-step process of signing documents is given on OpenSign App which is a web-based version of the client. You can also use the IPFS based version of OpenSign that’s even more decentralized.
Why is OpenSign useful?
- Sign important agreement documents online using Ethereum Blockchain.
- Encryption ensures that your document is tamper-proof.
- Share the URL of your document via email and invite parties to sign digitally.
- Create an indestructible proof of your agreement that is safer than paper proof.
dApps are an instance of how we can use Blockchain technology in making smart solutions for a world where large tech companies have access to most of our data.
Use the above dApps to gain better knowledge of Blockchain applications and increase your digital privacy!