The first wave of the digital revolution inspired an internet of access and information. The second generation, powered by blockchain technology, “is bringing us the Internet of value: a new platform to reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better,” says crypto-expert Don Tapscott. This second flood of disruption can fundamentally move industries forward, past problems that have afflicted humanity for centuries.
Inherent in blockchain is its ability to manage highly secure, decentralized systems that can be implemented to manage the trust, access, and verification across a network. And in a world where many of the core functions of our society are moving online (government, education, consumerism), this capacity will prove to be more and more useful.
When executed practically, applications of blockchain have the power to optimize industries, often entirely eradicating the need for costly middlemen and verification fees. It is this potential that is inspiring a new cohort of “blockchain entrepreneurs” to build out innovative startups that are disrupting a broad set of extremely lucrative industries.
Brian D. Evans is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur and was ranked as one of the top influencers in the world on Forbes, and as the 4th most influential business journalist in the world. He has spent over 15 years in online advertising and directly helped multiple top-10 apps acquire millions of users. And now he is using his years of experience as a creative marketer to help ShipChain, a disruptive blockchain startup, make waves in the market.
ShipChain’s platform will unify tracking across the complicated multi-trillion dollar shipping and freight industries, which are currently plagued by fraudulent players, inefficient intermediary parties, and a lack of transparency. To overcome these obstacles, Shipchain is developing an Ethereum smart contract to track and verify shipping contracts on top of a distributed ledger system.
As soon as an order is placed on the platform, a contract is generated describing critical transportation data like route, number of items, etc. All of that data is immutable, meaning no single individual can edit or manipulate the data. And finally, when the delivery is confirmed, the contract is automatically completed and logged on the public ledger (which automatically frees any payment escrows). At a high level, Shipchain can supplant the need for costly intermediaries, which are prone to human error, by using blockchains to manage trust and access.
Kevin Harrington is another influential entrepreneur leading the blockchain revolution. He recently joined the advisory board as an active participant in the John Monarch led ShipChain project. He is well known as an original “Shark” from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. On top of that, he is an internationally acclaimed speaker, coach, and celebrity entrepreneur who has launched over 500 products and businesses, generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide. In the past few years, Harrington has begun shifting more of his time into helping blockchain startups find product market fit and reach the masses.
He recently joined the board of Lottogopher, a platform that enables California residents to “buy their MEGA Millions, SuperLotto Plus and POWERBALL tickets online, avoiding lines that, on occasion, are longer than those at banks.” To sign up, users simply register, pay a subscription fee, and then get access to buy their tickets for, effectively, the same price as at a traditional retailer. And the site will soon allow customers to use Bitcoin and Ethereum to make payments.
As more entrepreneurs begin to see the long-term value of decentralized, blockchain systems, we will continue to see more innovative implementations make their way into every niche industry. Prime spaces for change (finance/banking, charity, voting, etc.) are the industries that are still lagging years behind regarding technological efficiency. These are the sectors of the global economy that still, in today’s day and age of self-driving cars, rely on manual human labor and complicated processes for managing delicate and fragile infrastructure.
It will be interesting to see exactly which applications of blockchain survive long term.