The blockchain technology is a digital decentralised ledger that maintains a record of all transactions that occur across a peer-to-peer network. The innovation is that the technology allows for market participants/users to transfer assets (cryptocurrencies) across the internet without the need or purpose for a centralised third party. Blockchain has been recognised by the world as a new generation of powerful technology. Blockchain technology can considered as being able to change the world again just like how web 2.0 did. 

Here at Everything Crypto Currency’s we believe cryptocurrencies aren’t just decentralised technologies used to store digital currency and used to trade/invest on exchanges to make a profitable gain. The first ever cryptocurrency Bitcoin will spark a revolutionary in the world today for governments, banks and big corporations through its blockchain technology. Many speculators are adamant that cryptocurrencies are just one big scam that’s in a ‘bubble’ eventually leading to a crash, potentially affecting many people around the world today. Although many respected figures in the financial industry share this opinion with compelling arguments, what happens to the fascinating ideas and technology behind cryptocurrencies?. Even if the crypto world is in a ‘bubble’ like many people think, what about the technology behind the blockchain system and ideas cryptocurrencies have given us? Blockchain technology has huge potential to revolutionise economies by building a trust less infrastructure with transparency.

Although many speculators may be weary of cryptocurrencies as a whole, we will attempt to identify cryptocurrencies with fascinating ideas while magnifying their technologies that could help solve issues we may face today. By doing so, we may potentially be able to see the value cryptocurrencies can bring for millions of people around the world.

Counterfeit Products and RFID Technology: VeChain & WaltonChain

One epidemic the world faces today is ‘counterfeit consumer goods’. The business of counterfeit goods is one of the largest underground industries in the world today. Counterfeit consumer goods can range from electronics, clothing, jewellery, media and even food. Why do these present a problem for economies across the world today?

Firstly lets take a deeper look into the actual meaning. Counterfeit consumer goods are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another’s brand name without the brand owner’s authorisation. Sellers of such goods may infringe on either the trade mark, patent or copyright of the brand owner by passing off its goods as made by the brand owner. Counterfeit consumer goods have an impact on business growth, employment, and a growing scepticism of online outlets. Counterfeit consumer goods are said to bring in over $400 billion dollars a year competing with the likes of the sale of harmful illegal drugs. So what could be the answer to this?

VeChain (VEN). So what is VeChain ?

VeChain is a blockchain platform for products and information.VeChain strives to build a trust free and distributed business ecosystem based on blockchain technology. VeChain makes it simple and secure for product manufacturers to collect, manage and share important product data with vendors and consumers throughout the lifecycle of a product. VeChain makes business with famous European luxury brands by putting IoT (Internet of things) encrypted chips that is based on the blockchain technology into products. Being the medium of the data collecting for blockchain, the chip records all logistics, warehousing and transmission. After the customers get the product, they can scan the chip behind the tag allowing the history of the product to be tracked. This will mean the customers can identify the authenticity of the products, by making a statement of the product’s digital ownership using mobile phones. By providing this intelligent feature this could give back value of information and legitimise the authenticity of products.

VeChain attempts to provide solutions for the following:

  • Luxury Goods: VeChain will insert NFC chips into products (Near Field Communication, which is essentially a way for your phone to interact with something in close proximity) This could potentially deter the counterfeiting industry if it was mass adopted with most big retail brands.
  • Liquor: The blockchain wine tracking and authentication service platform monitors every bottle of wine throughout each step in its production process. VeChain are currently working with Direct Imported Goods (D.I.G) 
  • Retail: VeChain assigns a unique ID to each product and brands can receive real feedback from the end consumer, which in turn provides the consumers with better experiences.
  • Auto Industry: Car clocking is a growing international problem. For example, in most cases car maintenance records are still recorded on physical papers, whereas VeChain could provide digital profiles for each car based on its unique ID. VeChain is currently working with Renault.
  • Agriculture: China is facing a series of challenges including limited and decentralised production scale, poor products quality, insufficient product safety, low labor productivity, inappropriate use of fertiliser and pesticides causing pollution to the environment. VeChain can provide big data that can potentially help agriculture companies to enhance the planting method, improve the quantity and quality of the crops and increase product margin.
  • Logistics: The VeChain platform can provide customers with better services, accurate logistics information of each single product and possibilities for new logistics and business models.

So what is WaltonChain?

The main aim of the Walton Chain is to combine both Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and blockchain technology to help manage supply chains. What it basically does is to decentralise the supply chain, providing information on the product’s history, and decentralising the network to access and store this information. So what is RDIF technology? The RFID technology is a communication technology that can identify specific targets and read and write relevant data through the radio signals without building a mechanical or optical contact between the recognition system and specific targets. RFID readers are divided into mobile readers and fixed readers. At present, RFID technology is widely used for library access control system, food safety traceability, etc. Walton team has formulated a 4-phase development plan, starting from infrastructure platform establishment to gradually incorporating retail, logistics, product manufacturing, and to finally achieving the full coverage of business ecosystem.

  • Clothing system: According to the integrated solutions created by the team for the clothing industry based on RFID, it is expected to resolve a series of severe problems existing in storage, retail shops and after-sale service for the traditional clothing industry.
  • Smart Hanger function: this is when the customer picks up the clothes on the smart hanger, the smart hanger automatically identifies the clothing label in the hands of the customer.
  • Smart Fitting room function: This is when the customer walks into the fitting room, the smart fitting room automatically identifies the clothing label in the hands of the customer.
  • Quick Check-out function: using RFID can automatically identify the target information, the receiver can read multiple tags at once within its effective working range to achieve the simultaneous identification of multiple products.

These are just a few ways WaltonChain will use the RFID technology by combining it with the blockchain system. By combining these, customers can use the bar codes or RFID tags to identify all system information of every clothing product including: accessories, production process, fabric, logistics, distribution and store in the block chain system.This will validate the authenticity of clothing items and potentially enhance the shopping experience and improve consumer satisfaction. In addition, this could also potentially deter counterfeit products just like how VeChain attempts to do by inserting NFC chips into products.

Smart Guns and Blockchain Technology: Blocksafe

One problem that is reoccurring in the world today seems to be the gun control in the US. Why has the US been singled out? Well according to the Guardian “No other developed nation comes close to the rate of gun violence in America. Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult”. The US has one of the highest rates of death by firearm in the developed world, according to World Health Organisation data. Its known that American citizens have the ‘right to keep and bear arms’ in the United States, which is protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to Gun Violence Archive (which is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources daily, http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls) there was 15,081 deaths from gun violence in 2016. Recently we saw on the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at Route 91 music festival In Las Vegas Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Many of us ask why hasn’t guns been banned completely in the US today after so much violence. There could many reasons as to why it hasn’t, perhaps its down to politics, profit made from selling guns or the ‘narrative’ guns bring to the American people as a whole. Whatever the reason, if guns don’t get banned in the US once and for all, what alternative option do we have? Perhaps Blocksafe has the answer to this?

Blocksafe (Triggers/TRIG) So what is Blocksafe?

Blocksafe presents the first Blockchain solution for Smartgun safety. By using the consensus provided by Blockchain technology, Blocksafe allows for cryptographically enforced safety for connected Smartgun technology. Blocksafe undertakes to provide the solution to the gun safety debate. Correspondingly, Blocksafe provides the final argument by providing an all-inclusive solution to gun safety issues. The Blocksafe foundation believes that an anonymous, secure and decentralised infrastructure must be in place for Smartgun technologies to reach their full potential.

Smartguns include firearms that are locked to someone’s identity. So you can’t fire the firearm unless you’re the registered owner. Some use RFID chips or biometric sensors to verify identification. Blocksafe is designed to solve crucial problems of firearms ownership. So for example you may need a gun to protect your family from home invasions, but you don’t want to keep it locked and loaded on your nightstand around family or friends. Blocksafe lets you lock your identity to your gun without actually sharing your identity with a third party such as the government database. If an unauthorised individual fires your gun, you can receive alerts about the location of the incident and the time. This could help with cases in court where people are wrongly accused of murder. We could see better gun control without restricting access and passing different laws for different states. Blocksafe’s technology aims to make smartguns more accessible. Here’s the basic idea behind the technology:You add your identification and gun registration to Blocksafe where your data is stored in an encrypted and anonymous way. If your gun fires, it sends details to the Blocksafe ledger and alerts emergency authorities. If this was implemented in every state in the US this could potentially allow for better gun control as owners of guns would have to register their details onto the Blocksafe ledger. Although we know black markets will always exist for illegal purchasing of guns, Blocksafe could be the first step toward tackling the many deaths the US face year after year.

Blocksafe are thinking in a very ambitious way by giving a more secured approach of owning a gun and offering a cleaner approach to gun control. By placing this information on the blockchain, Blocksafe provides gun owners with a secure, private, and decentralised system for tracking gun registrations. However gun owners may not want to place their gun ownership in a government database. Blocksafe Smartguns has the potential for third parties like emergency authorities and governments to deactivate your gun remotely. This would put off a lot of users as they’d make a case of this actually giving a central control back to the authorities.

Blockchain meets Virtual Reality: Decentraland

The definition of virtual reality comes from the definitions for both virtual and reality. The definition of virtual is: almost or near and reality is: what we experience as human beings. So the term ‘virtual reality’ basically means ‘near-reality’. Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way. We know the world through our senses/perception which are: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. Of course we could argue that we have more senses, however we can stick to these basics as a foundation. Big brands such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Sony and Samsung have focused projects specifically to VR development. We saw Playstation release their ‘Playstation VR’ headset in late 2016 which enabled for better gaming experiences which proved to be successful as a reported 1 million units were sold worldwide. So why would these massive infrastructures be interested in virtual reality and what could it do for the world? Virtual Reality could be applied to wide ranging applications in the word today.

  • The real estate industry and the remodelling of buildings. Instead of showing potential buyers/investors in-house show rooms and lagging software, people will be able to be visually see and experience the building space as if they was actually there. Imagine using a VR headset and walking into the space of the building/house and seeing every corner of the house/building. This could cause a dramatic shift benefitting both businesses and consumers.
  • Teaching: Virtual Reality could be used to teach time consuming and overly complicated skills. Imagine if medical students could see a real life operation of heart surgery without actually experiencing it first hand. Or what If soldiers were shown how to drive a tank or dive out of a plane with a parachute using VR headsets ? This could help speed up the teachings of many complicated skill sets.
  • Another way that virtual reality could change the world is through experience marketing. For example if you’re looking to tour a university campus such as The London School of Economics, you’ll be able to do that by walking around with a group of students, touring classrooms, halls, checking out dorms and even possibly experiencing lectures first hand through virtual reality headsets. Imagine not having to leave the comfort of your home and being able to make a decision based on real like VR experiences of any potential situation. What if you wanted to travel around the world, but wasn’t too sure if the destination was right for you? Virtual Reality could help hotels and tourist destinations by duplicating real life conditions and offer a real life experience saving consumers wasted time and money
  • Rocketing into Space: Advances in virtual reality could create opportunities for individuals to immerse themselves in worlds that are complex and intangible. According to NASA, a new interactive virtual Mars experience called Mars 2030 could allow people to simulate life on the Red Planet. NASA in the past has relied heavily on mission simulators to prepare astronauts for every conceivable contingency. Virtual Reality has made the impossible possible in the world of Space Travel. 

Decentraland (MANA): So what is Decentraland?

Decentraland is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Users can create, experience, and monetise content and applications. The land in Decentraland is permanently owned by the community, giving them full control over their creations giving them full control over their creations. Land is a non-fungible, transferrable, scarce digital asset stored in an Ethereum smart contract. It can be acquired by spending an ERC20 token called ‘MANA’. The token MANA can also be used to make in-world purchases of digital goods and services. Unlike other virtual worlds and social networks, Decentraland is not controlled by a centralised organisation. There is no single agent with the power to modify the rules, contents of land, economics of the currency, or prevent others from accessing the world.

Decentraland will create a virtual reality platform, where users will be the main owners, creators, and players. In other words they will create a near reality world which will be decentralised and owned by users. Groups that currently gather in online forums, chat groups, or even other centralised multiplayer games could create their communities into Decentraland.

The project aims at solving centralisation problems of platforms, which host gaming and other applications. As you know, different platforms ask for high fees to enter the market. Decentraland wants to change this situation and invite everybody to their platform. The market of virtual reality will be a huge market with a lot of players in the near distant future. Many gaming companies will try to be the best at appealing to the virtual reality community. However this gives Decentraland the advantage by covering this market early and the potential to be the best in the virtual world. Brands may advertise using billboards in the virtual world where high-traffic lands could promote their products, services, and events. The Decentraland scripting language will allow the development of applications, games, gambling, and dynamic 3D scenes. This scripting language will be designed to handle a wide range of capabilities, including: creating objects, loading textures, handling physics, encoding user interactions, sounds and payments.

Although Decentraland hasn’t directly stated they will be attempting to solve or improve on businesses, real estate, space travel and teaching, this could be the very first decentralised virtual reality platform to build from using blockchain technology. In a hypothetical sense, we could imagine many solutions to problems which can be provided by the Decentraland ecosystem. All we can do at the moment is to imagine these scenarios, however when the virtual world meets blockchain technology the possibilities are endless.

The SAFE World Wide Web: MaidSafe

The Internet is widely perceived as a tool that has given voice to the voiceless, enabling individuals to author their own lives and to share their experiences with a vast network of people around the globe. The World Wide Web has given us news by the minute, online banking, online shopping, education, social media, video calling, Bitcoin, jobs, research, books, Google, networking and so much more. It has revolutionised communications, to the point that its now our preferred medium of everyday communication. If we go back in history to the emergence of web 2.0. In the first decade of the twenty-first century this was itself a revolution in the short history of the Internet, giving us the rise of social media and other interactive, crowd-based communication tools. The Internet was no longer concerned with information exchange alone: it was a sophisticated multidisciplinary tool enabling individuals to create content, communicate with one another, and even escape reality. Today, we can send data from one end of the world to the other in a matter of seconds, make online presentations, escape into virtual realities, send pictures and text to share our real lives. However one problem that seems to loom above like a cloud, is internet privacy and security. We see cyber attacks, hacking and intrusion of privacy, passwords and credit card details happen every single day. If we take a look at Google for example which is the mostly used search engine in the world in regards to privacy. We can see concerns with the Googles privacy change. This privacy change a few years back enabled the company to share data across a wide variety of services. These embedded services include millions of third-party websites that use Adsense. Web browsing and search histories are tracked by Google in many different ways. This concern causes many users of the internet to question the privacy and security of data on the net in general. We saw China ban Google and Facebook who both share information to third parties to ‘improve’ their services. For example we would have to agree to Facebooks terms and conditions if we could only contact friends and family on that social networking site. These massive corporations that have direct access to all of our information have no enthusiasm to protect our valuable information. (Read article: http://www.wordstream.com/articles/google-privacy-internet-privacy) As we are aware, its not only Google and Facebook that don’t provide the best security measures, but what solution could we have to make the world wide web safer for all its users? Have you heard of MaidSafe?

MaidSafeCoin (MAID) So what is Maidsafe?

So what is MaidSafe and the SAFE Network?

Although MaidSafe does not run off blockchain technology like Bitcoin, its a company that is designing and implementing what they call the SAFE Network which is supposed to be the next generation autonomous, decentralized and secure network. The SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) Network is a secure and decentralized data management service that is built by sharing the unused computer resources of the individual network participants. Each user of the SAFE Network provides a part of their computer resources: data storage space, processing power, and Internet connectivity thus forming a large decentralized network. So essentially what their aim is, is to take out giant monopolies such as Google with their safe networking ecosystem. They have be planning and implementing there ideas since 2006.

The SAFE network puts its user’s safety and security on top of everything else and so the user data is encrypted and broken up into chunks that are spread among the users of the network. This means applications, surfing the net and even emails will be broken up into chunks to create security across the SAFE Network. Bitcoin for example, miners compete to confirm block transactions which has increased the power of mining equipment that burns lots of energy and electricity. In the SAFE Network a user can share their unused computing resources where essentially they are compensated for doing so and get paid in Safecoin crypto tokens. The SAFE network is not being controlled by a single entity or multiple global ones. It is not controlled by anyone in fact as it is decentralized and the users participating are what is essentially building up the network itself. So without people actually participating, the future user of the network will no longer exist. There will be no privacy violations weather you decide to host your own website on the network, visit a website somebody else already made, create or run an application or just provide some of your spare computing resources to help make the SAFE network bigger and stronger.

So what is Safecoin?

Safecoin is a digital cryptocurrency token that is in the heart of the SAFE Network. It can be thought of as the oil in the engine of the SAFE Network, and is used as a way for all users of the network to be compensated for the value they provide. Safecoins are being distributed entirely automated with no human intervention by an algorithm called ‘Proof of Resource’. Only 4.3 billion MaidSafeCoins will ever be in circulation at one time and each coin will have its own unique identity. Safecoins will be “recycled” when they are being exchanged for network services, so there will be a new supply of coins for users to earn. Safecoins are given to users in return for them providing some of their unused computing resource to the network. These include free storage space, processing power, and Internet connectivity, this process of providing your resource and earning Safecoin in return on the platform is referred to as “Farming”.

SAFE Network Alpha Releases

MaidSafe have released alpha phases 1 and 2 so far and as you can see in the image below they are still in the process of finishing more Alpha phases. 

As previously mentioned, if Maidsafe ends up with their finished product or even get to alpha phase 4 they could present to us a very ambitious use case for the entire internet. Could they be the next technology to pave the way for a more safer and secure Internet?