Five More Industries to Be Disrupted by Blockchain: Cybergames, E-commerce, Social Media, and More
If you haven’t read Part 1 of the series (Five Industries to Be Disrupted by Blockchain: Energy, IAM, Food Supply, and More), you can quickly catch up - it explains what’s so special about blockchain technologies and what technical challenges still exist in the blockchain world.
In that previous post, we also covered five industries that may soon be disrupted by blockchain. The industries are energy, food supply, ID and access management, music, and healthcare.
Five more industries blockchain may disrupt soon
In this post, we dive into five more verticals; namely, we explore how blockchain may affect computer games, e-commerce, social media, ride-sharing, and recruitment.
1. Computer games
There are several problems associated with the gaming industry that blockchain could solve. In traditional computer games, the developer is in charge: they can shut down the game at any time, and any assets that players accumulated will be lost. With cryptogames, however, the community can fork a cryptogame and keep it alive (in theory). Many games offer assets and rewards, such as cryptocurrency, that can be traded across different games.
CryptoKitties is a game where you can buy, breed, and sell crypto cats. Transactions are handled on the Ethereum blockchain that also guarantees the origin, ownership, and uniqueness of each kitty. Launched in December, 2017, the game quickly went viral, with the first-ever crypto kitty being sold for 246.9255 ETH (equivalent to roughly $117,712).
Around the start of 2018, there occurred a jump in the number of cryptogames hitting the market. Some popular blockchain-based titles now include Decentraland (a crypto hybrid of Minecraft and Second Life), Etheremon (sounds a bit like Ethereum Pokemon), and others.
The downside of blockchain-based games is that the technology is a poor fit for real-time multiplayer games, because experts say the chain is too slow for that. So, blockchain may be suitable only for certain types of games.
One of the greatest e-commerce challenges is security. Since it’s all about money changing hands, online stores want to ensure their data and transactions are secure. Although traditional platforms like Magento and Shopify do accept cryptocurrencies, they are now being challenged by “crypto natives” that bring things like smart contracts and payment tokens to the table.
One such platform is Elysian, a distributed blockchain-based commerce system. In addition to the cool things you’d expect to find in a crypto platform, it adds A.I. and virtual reality features to up engagement and improve shopper experience.
Another similar project is Origami Network, an Ethereum-based ecommerce system that already has half a dozen corporate users in Europe. Interesting features include automatic Ori rewards to verified customers that leave product reviews, technical and legal support for merchants, and others.
3. Social Media
When it comes to blockchain-based social media sites, it’s complicated. While the technology allows platforms to stimulate social posting activity through tokens, it may also lead to more spam, especially when token rewards are involved. The Steemit network came under fire for allowing upvote factories to proliferate and for its payout system resembling a Ponzi scheme.
At the same time, there are some interesting-looking projects that could indeed disrupt social media. LinkedIn, beware! Indorse is coming after you. If you haven’t heard, Indorse is like LinkedIn, only based on the Ethereum blockchain. Their homepage promises unbiased/objective validation of skills and better protection of users’ data.
There is also Jobeum, which is another distributed professional network. It allows users to control “who sees a specific part of the information in their profile.” Each time a candidate agrees to share their information with a recruiter, they earn JobTokens.
Nowadays, many companies want to be “the next blockchain-based Uber” and do away with some of the flaws inherent in current ride-sharing apps. One of the problems is rider security. Another one is high commissions that intermediaries like Uber and Lyft impose on drivers.
Now, if we look at the present blockchain-powered ride-hailing market, we’ll see a pretty impressive number of startups. There is REV™ that promises 0% commission to drivers; Fair Ride (Ridecoin) that says it will let customers own their data; cryptocurrency advocate- and former Uber driver-cofounded CHASYR, and many others.
But the most curious-looking of them all is the Malaysia-born DACSEE social ride-sharing platform.
Please note the “social” prefix in their description. What’s unique about DACSEE is that, in addition to low commission rates, it offers some awesome-sounding features that even giants like Uber didn’t have the wits (or resources) to come up with! Here they are:
- Choosing a preferred driver.
- Choosing your driver’s gender.
- Connecting you to people with similar interests. For instance, you can ride with a fellow kizomba dancer or a fellow apple pie baker. The feature is called Trip Companion and it is what gives the app its “social” ingredient.
- Improved security: every trip is peer-monitored closely on the blockchain. If you’re in trouble, you can ask for help from a Companion closest to you.
For what it’s worth, I hope DACSEE expands globally in the future, or that some major global player comes up with similar features ;)
Companies in the human resources industry have been hopping on the blockchain bandwagon, too. The typical pain points of hiring are verifiability, gathering data from multiple sources, lack of incentives for candidates to share their data, etc.
Aworker is more than just a recruitment app. It’s a family of multi-chain technologies that serve a variety of purposes (people identification, data exchange, reputation analysis) across industries (HR, banking, education, contests). If we look at the Aworker DApp in particular, it makes matching talent to recruiters a priority. On the Aworker job marketplace, anyone can become a recruiter that can hunt employees based on recommendations, hire them using smart contracts, and get rewarded for recommending candidates.
Singapore-based Job promises to do away with the middleman in recruiting by connecting job seekers and employers directly - on the blockchain. They also offer a 5% salary signing bonus to platform users.
Having looked in depth at ten different industries that may soon be disrupted by blockchain, we can conclude that the obvious candidates are “people industries” like sharing economy verticals, social networks, computer games, etc. The blockchain allows users to break free from a centralized authority and participate in a platform on their own terms.
That said, the list of industries that could be taken over by the blockchain is far from being complete - this could be just the beginning.
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