In the final session of the first day of his Slovenia The Bitcoin Masterclasses, Dr. Craig Wright held a workshop involving student questions and ideas for implementing the Bitcoin blockchain.
Ideas for implementing the Bitcoin blockchain for businesses
“What have we learned so far? What sort of things could we build? How would this help a company?” Dr. Wright begins. He says that later in the workshop, they’ll cover specific industries, such as the food and hotel industries, but for now, he’s looking for student ideas. He asks them to form eight different groups to brainstorm.
The first group says it thought about the food industry and how to implement traceability from farm to fork.
They imagined IoT devices on farms, monitoring everything from water quality to the general environment. The data from these devices could be stored in an overlay network using multicast.
You could have a multicast address assigned by the entity that controls the farm, and the multicast address would then be used to broadcast data to group members. Every step, from the growing on the farm to the customer consuming the food, could be traced. This includes every time the food changes hands, where it is stored, at what temperature, and more.
These networks could almost make use of alert systems. For example, restaurants could be made aware of viruses or other problems in farms along the supply chain. People can be alerted to issues in something close to real-time.
Aiming for disruption, this group thought of an alternative to Airbnb. Travelers visiting given cities could join multicast groups where landlords advertise available rooms and apartments. Keys could then be exchanged for access to the lodging.
This would allow for several improvements, including anonymous data for all parties to rate each other and the services provided. Micropayments could also be used to incentivize previous travelers to answer questions about the lodging.
“Have you thought about what happens if you have group members who always rate something high or low?” Dr. Wright asks. The group member says they could be penalized by making their opinions worth less. Dr. Wright agrees, but says that results can also be normalized by indicating that a given individual usually rates things higher or lower than average. Statistical algorithms make all of this possible.
The third group looked deeper at how the insurance industry could be revolutionized, specifically in relation to fraud. It’s no secret that the industry is subject to many fraudulent claims—in the USA alone, 10% of all claims are fraudulent.
Focusing specifically on the car industry, the group has imagined a situation in which every car part is monitored and tracked on the blockchain. “The car has full traceability,” the group spokesperson says.
The advantages of this are many. When the car is sold, its entire history can be made public, helping to determine accurate prices. Car owners experiencing faults could be compensated more accurately, saving manufacturers money. Again, alert systems could be used to detect potential problems early and help mechanics find out what’s going wrong easily.
This group tackled peer-to-peer loans. The group spokesperson identifies and outlines the key problem: how can a lender trust that a borrower will repay them?
Building a reputation-based system on the BSV blockchain could solve this. This could track both user activity and could allow others to vouch for the person. Lenders, too, could have reputations in such a system.
“What do you think would happen if someone went bankrupt?” Dr. Wright asks. He answers his own question: full traceability would enable you to determine whether they are bankrupt, have moved funds, etc. It could also help determine what sort of activity led to the bankruptcy in the first place.
Dr. Wright imagines how such a system might have altered the outcome in situations like the FTX implosion. It would certainly make it easier to determine exactly what happened.
The next group looked at micro-business investments. They discussed Kickstarter and its problems, such as scammers, centralization, and no verifiable company history to determine viability.
How would they solve this? They’d build a system to enable decentralized crowdfunding using smart contracts. These contracts could specify the amount of investment, the terms of said investment, the conditions under which the funds should be returned, the timeline for repayments, and more.
Suggesting additional things, Dr. Wright speaks about investment contracts that pay over time. He points to the ICO problem in which scammers asked for lots of money upfront, detailing how their potential gains could have been reduced by making it so that investment funds are released from escrow after milestones are reached.
The sixth group tackled education and training. They imagined how the blockchain might make credentials and certificates more easily verifiable.
Hashes of these could be stored on the blockchain, allowing for authentication with confidentiality at the same time.
The group spokesperson asks the audience to imagine a CIA agent attending a conference; he wants to prove his credentials without revealing who he works for. Using IPv6 and zero-knowledge proofs, it’s possible to use two phones to verify the agent’s credentials without revealing anything else about them, including who they work for.
This group also came up with another idea: crowdfunding on the blockchain. The problems with crowdfunding platforms are well-known, such as political deplatforming and outright scams, and an electronic cash system like Bitcoin can help solve many of them. Things like tokens could be handed out as rewards for helping find given projects or ideas.
Dr. Wright speaks about education more broadly. He bemoans the state of the education system and its incentives and looks back at how things used to be: students paid good lecturers, and the less impressive ones didn’t have a guaranteed income equal to the great lecturers. He sees a role for crowdfunding in making things better.
The spokesperson for group seven begins by saying that Dr. Wright has already said all that needs to be said about Twitter. This group concluded that what they learned today could be applied to every social app.
Going into more detail, this group says that a profile could be linked to an IPv6 address which could be used to form multiple groups. For example, the groups you’ve joined on Facebook (NASDAQ: META) could be linked to your IP address. Likewise, the misinformation on social platforms could be reduced significantly if users could determine who posted it and when it was traceable on the blockchain. “In general, you could apply it to everything,” the group spokesperson says.
Dr. Wright says that groups could also be linked to membership. For example, legally qualified individuals could join groups with more experienced people in their fields, watching and learning from them, boosting their skills and making themselves more useful. These groups and the various records they produce would need to be managed.
The final group thought about optimizing processes within the travel industry using blockchain technology.
For example, losing luggage is a common problem when traveling. This group considered assigning non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to each piece of luggage. This could be combined with things like AirTags to enable GPS tracking that could be broadcast into the network. When it comes to the pickup, possession of the NFT could allow you to prove you own the luggage easily.
Another example is using blockchain-based identity to do away with physical passports. Paper passports are outdated, and with the technology being spoken of in this series, there are alternatives.
Yet another example would be the issuance of travel miles as tokens which would be tradable on secondary markets.
The bigger picture
Looking at the bigger picture, Dr. Wright says that all of this is about sharing information and knowing that what we share is real. It’s also about individual control, such as allowing us to get recommendations and pitches we care about rather than irrelevant things we don’t want to receive. It’s about the individual taking back control of their data, traceability, and greater security across all systems.
All of this will require the blockchain to scale. Dr. Wright and his team are working to make sure that as applications come on, the blockchain can handle it.
“All of this can be done today,” he says, pointing to the ideas discussed in the session.
Watch: The Bitcoin Masterclasses with Craig Wright – Confidentiality, Privacy, Anonymity, Party to Party
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