Bitcoin and the alternative coins receive different acceptance from people: from a speculative tool for trading to an investment option, digital gold, etc. Yet, most of them have another, more meaningful purpose that is somehow neglected by the masses when they see only their coins’ prices.
While most people are aware of the top digital assets and what they are supposed to do, let’s take a look at other, less-known cryptocurrencies and their usage in the real world, if any.
Beginning With The Big Shot
Let’s start from the top of all cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The first-ever is Bitcoin, and it serves as a peer-to-peer electronic payment method. It’s a digital currency with value and it’s not owned by any central entity like a government or a central bank, whence comes the word “decentralized.”
As it’s the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency, it naturally gets most of the attention. CryptoPotato has previously reported about five of the major industries where you can use it to buy different goods or services.
In terms of actual usage as a payment method, a recent video from a non-cryptocurrency YouTuber shows how far it could go. He tried living a full day in London only using BTC, without relying on cash or credit/debit cards.
He starts with how to purchase some from the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange – Coinbase. Since he couldn’t use actual bitcoins to order a taxi, he had to do it through cryptocurrency-based pre-paid cards. Further on, he managed to buy food, found a few Bitcoin ATMs, and even purchase a plane ticket to Amsterdam.
Overall, he goes through the day with some troubles, proving that Bitcoin has come a long way for the last ten years, but it’s still not as mass adopted as the community might like it to be.
What About The Rest?
If the largest cryptocurrency has some issues being used for its true purpose around the world, what’s left for the other, less-known projects. The topic was brought up in a Reddit post a few days ago, and it attracted a lot of responses. Users are showing several examples of how different crypto projects are implemented in the real world, but the number is not that impressive. Yet, some of them are:
- Steemit – a blockchain-based blogging and social media website rewarding users with its own cryptocurrency – Steem.
- Particl – an open-source and decentralized privacy marketplace platform built on top of blockchain to work with any cryptocurrency.
- LBRY – a decentralized content sharing and publishing platform. A few weeks ago, the largest (centralized) video sharing platform, YouTube, started removing cryptocurrency-related content from its site, and the community urged for more decentralized options.
- Travala.com – one of the largest blockchain-based travel booking platforms, accepting not only Bitcoin and its native cryptocurrency AVA as a primary payment option but also PayPal and Credit/Debit Cards.
- Golem – Decentralized cloud computing.
- Arweave – Decentralized platform for archiving content.
- Sia & Filecoin – both generally have the same idea, serving as decentralized digital storage for data.
Some other mentioned projects used in the real world included NANO, VeChain, Factom, Brave (BAT), and Monero.
However, for the most part, the post is focusing on actual arguments among users whether or not blockchain has delivered on its promise to help decentralize common fields of our livelihoods. Most people agree that the technology provides excellent potential uses but is yet to be implemented in a way that will assist the “average Joe.” It’s also worth noting though that we are still in the initial stages of its evolution, similar to where the internet was in the mid-90s, and that turned out to be rather disruptive, didn’t it?
In this chain of thought, it’s perhaps worth noting the prognosis of one of the most vocal proponents of blockchain-based technology, the prominent investor Tyler Winklevoss.
He recently stated that he believes digital ledger technology will become as essential as emails. Moreover, he thinks that it has already managed to become more than just a niche.
While there’s still a long way to go, it’s perhaps safe to say that implementations are evident and that the field is maturing, hopefully, in the right way.