In the beginning, Blockchain seemed to be all about Bitcoin, but the technology is rapidly expanding beyond that initial use case. In fact, Blockchain is rapidly finding implementation in some unusual areas. One such area is the monetization of unused assets, such as Internet bandwidth and SMS services.
From novelty to opportunity
The Founder of Helium, Jason Cassidy, describes this development as one of the beautiful aspects of Blockchain technology. He notes that the ability of Blockchain tech to eliminate inefficiencies across the board makes it stand out. The ability to put unallocated resources to purposeful use is quickly becoming possible.
“Looking back in the brief history of cryptocurrency, we can see there are examples of Blockchains that put this into practice. [One such project] puts wallet users computational resources to use to help find causes for diseases while [another] takes a similar approach and applies it to scientific research.”
Cassidy further explains that this trend will continue as Blockchain developers discover new ways of putting resources to use by bundling them together to work towards a common, unified goal.
A typical example is the A2P SMS services market which boasts of an expected $63 Bln revenue in 2017. Blockchain-based services will soon offer the opportunity for individuals to sell their unused SMS to social networks and other companies. They use it for SMS notifications, SMS-based two-factor authentications, automatic booking confirmations, one-time passwords, and similar services. Users who contribute will become significant players and earn part of the huge revenue that exists within this market. In a sense, this Blockchain-based service might end up creating the first universal basic income.
Internet powered by the Blockchain
Michaels Vogel, CEO of Netcoins tells Cointelegraph that it might be possible to create a whole new Internet built on Blockchain. Vogel notes that Kim Dotcom is working on something dubbed the MegaNet, an alternative internet that doesn't use traditional IP addresses and is significantly more secure because of its Blockchain backbone.
The interesting part of this idea is how unused computing power (e.g. your phone when it's not in use) would then contribute its storage and processing power to the MegaNet. Says Vogel:
“I think there is huge potential for other ideas in the future to make use of the world's dormant computing power, and harness it through Blockchain applications.”
Jeremy Epstein, CEO of Never Stop Marketing explains that this whole movement is about improving the utilization of assets. According to Epstein, unused bandwidth is an asset and before now, there was no effective way to get compensated for it.
An inevitable development
The combination of Blockchain technology and crypto-economics makes such projects not only feasible, but inevitable.
Epstein notes that we will see this play out in any industry where assets are undervalued because they are underused. Entrepreneurs will find ways to utilize nearly any excess resource, in time. Empty shipping containers, cars traveling from city to city and even premium website domains that people are just squatting on can now be leveraged via Blockchain technology.
This is the power of decentralization, a collective of individuals voluntarily working together. Anyone is free to join or to leave as they please. This freedom of choice aligns well with a humanitarian mindset and we expect to see much more of this innovation in the future.