It’s been over a year since Ethereum launched its initial platform.
Major companies and banks (e.g., Microsoft, Bank of America) have taken an interest in the network and its revolutionary features. It’s easy to get excited about what Ethereum has to offer if you understand it from a technical perspective. However, a majority of people are not comfortable or aware of the language behind Ethereum. They cannot see how Ethereum or its applications will be valuable to their lives. Currently, there are many applications built on the Ethereum blockchain that not only benefits businesses but also the everyday person.
The blockchain is meant to track activity conducted through the technology. Every transaction is placed on the blockchain to provide better transparency and help prevent deception. These are the reasons why a handful of companies are using Ethereum to record shipments.
A Brazilian organization, BVRio, has recently partnered with the decentralized registry, Regis, to track the shipments of their timber across the world. Illegal trading is quite common, so the registry will provide added assurances by allowing BVRio to produce unaltered shipping records, which could affect timber prices.
The same with the Melbourne-based startup, Blockfreight. The cargo shipping industry has had orders mishandled or tampered while en route. Blockfreight’s answer to these problems is to provide an Ethereum-based system allowing companies can track their orders. Blockfreight has also designed a payment system in order for companies to manage transparent and secure transactions.
Provenance, a London-based company, has also built a tracking platform that allows fishermen to build their own businesses. Provenance examined a simpler way to track shipments of fish. By using their technology, fishermen can verify their catch which will be shipped all over the world. The tracking will also allow customers to follow the origins of their food. They can see where the fish was caught, processed, and sold.
Crowdfunding is very popular with startup companies. These startups can conduct their own form of fundraising through a crowdsale or fundraise through crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and GoFundMe. But these platforms run through a centralized server and collect at least five percent of all profits.
With Ethereum, sites, like WeiFund, will allow startups to keep all of their collections. Some decentralized crowdfunding sites operate with smart contracts granting investors a percentage of the profits or future funds. On WeiFund’s platform, developers can create their own smart contract or use one of WeiFund’s campaign templates to begin raising funds.
Benefactory, a decentralized crowdfunding portal, will never hold your funds. These campaigns, or commonwealths, will be seen as individual organizations meaning they will collect and holds their own funds. The commonwealth will state the amount needed for the project and members in the organization can choose to contribute. Benefactory released its first commonwealth, Common Press, in time for this year’s Devcon.
Dapps do not have to always be about business contracts and financial deals. Some Dapps can be for gaming purposes. Take FirstBlood. It’s a decentralized eSports Dapp that allows players to challenge other players and wager on the outcome. Whoever wins the battle is rewarded. FirstBlood uses smart contracts to provide an honest and truthful outcome.
Etherplay, though still in beta, aims to become a top gaming portal for Ethereum fans. Players can test their gaming skills by competing with others in the portal. In order to receive a reward, the players must pay a small fee which will be recorded on the blockchain. This secures the competition and will hold as the source to determine the winner. Etherplay is currently creating its first game for the platform.
The entertainment business is always reinventing itself, especially with the development of new technology. With respect to Ethereum, multiple Dapps and applications are building on the platform to give artists greater control of their works.
Ujo Music is a platform that allows artists to own and control the content and distribution of their music. Fans can download music from the site and see how their funds will be distributed among writers, musicians, and producers. This platform removes any parties who did not create the content, such as executives. In the past, artists would be the last to get paid after an album was released leaving them with little money in the end. But through Ujo Music’s smart contract, the artists are directly paid with each purchase.
This is similar to the blockchain entertainment studio, SingularDTV. Beginning next year, audiences can pay a fee to watch a television series or movie. Just like Ujo Music, a portion of the profits will go to the creative team, such as directors, writers, and talent. Another portion will also reward any investors who supported the project, similar to the current studio system.
Real Estate Transactions
A further example of the growing use of Ethereum can be found in Sweden, which has become one of the dominating centers in blockchain technology and virtual currency. Not only has it become the first country to establish itself as a cash-free nation, it has also become the first country to implement land titles on the blockchain. By tracking titles on the blockchain, it will eliminate the amount of paperwork for buying and selling properties and reduce the amount of time to finalize the deal.
A majority of people may not be comfortable enough to use virtual currency. That’s okay. Using fiat currency is still easy and convenient for them. And some startups understand the transition to virtual currency is not as simple as the cryptocurrency community makes it out to be.
Decentralized Capital will allow fiat holders to digitize and store their money on the Ethereum blockchain as well as conduct transactions on Ethereum. With the digitized money, or DC Assets, users can work with different applications, trade currency, and make international transactions.
Businesses and corporations have kept a close eye on Ethereum since its launch.
One of these major companies is Microsoft, which used the Ethereum blockchain and its smart contract format, to develop Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service, a cloud computing platform. Azure will become a hub for developers to create their own applications using the tools and templates provided by Microsoft. This allows other businesses, such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to create their own services and blockchains that will be customized to their own needs. By using the tools on Azure, BAML can create a private blockchain that can execute cheaper, faster, and more transparent transactions.
BlockCypher is a blockchain development startup that offers businesses the ability to build applications on Ethereum. In line with its goal of making it easier for businesses to build applications, BlockCypher’s platform does not require businesses to have technical knowledge. This allows businesses to easily develop public or private applications with using the full operation of the blockchain.
As can be seen in this article, many applications have been created in a wide variety of areas using the Ethereum network. As the technology develops and matures, the ETHnews team hopes to bring you more information about the ever-growing applications and possible uses of this innovative platform.