Blockchain Adoption: Individual citizens need to choose blockchain solutions where possible to retain their autonomy and sovereignty. People need to accept and get familiar with crypto payments, says Kurt Ivy.
The world as we know it is being shaken up in many different ways. There is significant geopolitical tension, war, social fragmentation, an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, volatile weather conditions, banking instability, and serious threats to free speech. It’s easy to fall into despair when reading national headlines.
But we do have a remedy in the form of distributed ledger technology. And it’s vitally important to understand that this technology is going to empower individuals to make sovereign decisions. This means that social media, finance, health, gaming, freelancing, digital identity, and all online activities remain within the domain of the actual owner, not the service provider.
Ultimately, this could mean that large corporations and governments will be less relevant in terms of global governance. Blockchain will give small business owners and individuals a means to vote and govern. This group is also responsible for promoting and adopting this technology.
A Mistaken View Of Blockchain Adoption
There is a common misconception that increased regulation is required in order to bring blockchain mainstream. However, third-party regulation goes against the decentralized nature of blockchain and the principles of self-governance.
More important is that increased regulation and the release of state-owned cryptocurrencies would just give national governments (and their friends in the commercial industry) increased power. It would be the same, except privacy invasions would be even more absolute on a supposedly open-source ledger that was completely owned and controlled.
While it helps to have political support as much as possible, wide-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies will only arrive when business owners in mass start to migrate their operations to distributed ledgers. When you can easily go to a restaurant or retail outlet and pay for the service in BTC, ETH, LTC, XMR, or USDT, then adoption is taking off.
Currently, this is available only in select locations in a small number of outlets and cities. When it is no longer thought of as “niche” or “novel”, then it has truly become adopted.
Small Business Blockchain Onboarding
Online businesses can now go through providers that allow them to easily accept cryptocurrencies as payment, with integrated wallets and fiat to crypto exchanges. This is very useful in facilitating the transition from fiat to crypto, Web2 to Web3, centralized to decentralized – in an organic and seamless manner.
The organization that I represent, SHOPX is a bridge between blockchain and eCommerce. It is changing the way that sales are made through branded NFTs. This system allows increased control over inventory, brings brands closer to customers, reduces customer acquisition costs (CAC), and increases lifetime value (LTV). The major benefits include a reduction of fraud and counterfeiting, enhanced product insights, new revenue streams, increased market reach, removal of intermediaries, and a strengthening of brand confidence.
This is unique in that it improves the situation for both the customer and the online retailer. The NFT-As-A-Service model gives brands the power to mint NFTs and to create true interoperability between eCommerce systems. Simultaneously, it allows customers to retain control over their information and to benefit from crypto-enhanced online shopping at the click of a button.
It is these types of innovations, brought to both merchants and consumers, that will greatly assist in blockchain adoption. Existing online businesses can be onboarded to SHOPX without having any knowledge about blockchain.
Blockchain Adoption In The Freelancing Industry
Blockchain adoption will occur organically, on a small-scale basis. There are many interesting areas of application, but perhaps the most relevant would be freelancing or “gig” work. Most people now work remotely and independently to some degree, with increased fluidity. So a large bulk of the world’s economic output is now conducted through freelancing mechanisms.
Many decentralized freelance platforms are being launched that are aimed at Web3-related projects and facilitate crypto payment for freelancers. It has a snowball effect because many of these freelancers will also work in Web3-related tasks, further enlarging the overall ecosystem.
If more people get paid in crypto, more people will look to pay in crypto. It will become the norm, and it will also serve as an outlet for further involvement in this area. Moreover, the growing Web3 industry is itself promoting adoption due to the side industries in PR, graphic design, computer engineering, journalism, etc.
With freelancing or “gig” work, the centralized intermediary platform takes between 10% – 20% of all work, and that’s without including withdrawal fees, VAT, additional charges, invasive KYC measures, and the fact that your account could be suspended at any time. Decentralized alternatives can do the same thing, except at a much lower rate and leaving project participants with full autonomy over their accounts.
Blockchain Adoption: Other Industries Ripe for Take-Up
Social media is another industry where decentralized platforms could effectively replace centralized media, which have enormous power of influence, both politically and commercially. The scams within the social media industry are well documented, and blockchain-based platforms can serve to promote free speech and ensure that the information cannot be harvested by a third party.
The cloud hosting industry is another area set for disruption. Instead of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, small businesses could use a distributed provider where no centralized third party owns the servers. The Parler social media platform had its servers confiscated by Amazon in 2020. Small businesses might need to think twice about where they store their information, and what the track record of the provider is in terms of keeping information confidential.
With Canadian media now effectively socialized, this is another area where blockchain adoption needs to take center stage. Major print media outlets have to answer to the government about their narratives, which is a complete antithesis of independent reporting. In other regions, while it has not come to this, media companies are influenced by corporations and alternative opinions on other platforms are heavily scrutinized.
Blockchain Adoption: It’s Your Vote
Clearly, the ongoing blockchain revolution is taking place on both a micro and macro level. If people want more liberty, they need to vote for it with their decisions and daily actions.
By migrating as many activities as possible onto a blockchain, people are essentially voting for their own empowerment. This includes social profiles, financial accounts, digital security mechanisms, data storage, and crypto payments.
The less data and information in the hands of governments and corporations, the less damage they can do. But definite action is needed, on an individual level, if real change is to take place.