Blockchain Integrity is what we want
Integrity is like buying wine because it’s on sale and discovering it’s phenomenal. Most people think that the bigger name equals better wine. Few people know that the bigger names buy their wine from innumerable smaller vineyards and slap their label on it to get it sold. Surprise: you never know what you’re gonna get.
Nowadays everyone expects integrity. Remember that first season of Portlandia, where Fred Armisen asks the waitress if the chicken on the menu had been well-treated? In a turn of hilarious overreaction, she brings him a curriculum vitae of Colin, the chicken whom they were going to eat. Yeah, that’s what we all want: Where is it coming from, is it trustworthy, is it worth it? Maybe it’s because we’ve all been given enough reasons to not trust anymore, like if the expensive wine really is better than the cheaper.
Ever had a bounced check? Well then, we’ve been part of the game called “disintegrity.“ We’ve (knowingly or unkowningly) tried to spend the same dollar twice. And it is an awful experience to be on the receiving end of a double-spent dollar – it just doesn’t arrive. Blockchain technology can ensure integrity in payments. A bitcoin, for example, is time-stamped at the moment of its transaction. That means it simply cannot be spent again. The members of both parties reach a consensus: This dollar has been spent here and only here at this point in time. It would take a lot of resources, time, money and work, to fraud or manipulate such a process. And that’s what keeps bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies upright! There is a common consensus of users that would not allow someone to manipulate the chain. Behind blockchain technology is the assumption that in the majority of cases most people would do the right thing. Even if someone were to try fraud, a large number of people would call foul.
Imagine the impact this could have in other fields. Using the blockchain technology that’s behind bitcoin, we can uphold legal records for example. Who owns what intellectual property? Who really graduated from medical school or passed the bar exam? Who bought which guns? Where did these diamonds originate? Where was this blouse or this pair of trousers made? Blockchain can ensure it all. No fake labels, no overpriced bad wine. We can all see the label of its origin, and I prefer a good wine with a known origin over an overpriced one with a snazzy label. It’s all about integrity nowadays, so let’s put our money where our mouth is.