I very rarely publicly mention blockchain or cryptocurrency. You either get it or you don’t. Getting it requires at least one of two key things.

  1. You have to be open to the possibilities of a different parrallel economy.
  2. You have to be uneasy about the existing system which continually centralises control of every aspect of our lives.

I don’t want this to be a political post or another dry, boring rant against central bankers and rigged systems that suck the life out of the middle class. But I’m well aware of the danger of it becoming one or the other. I’ll try and play nice by highlighting the potential for people to create work independently.

Provoking the blockchain reaction

A couple of days ago, I checked my portfolio at a platform called Hive. Whenever I create a blog post, it gets syndicated via the magic of WordPress plugins to the Medium and Hive blogging platforms. Both have monetisation options. Medium pays really well if you’re prepared to play the game(which I am not) and Hive posts fluctuate widely in value according to a variety of factors including the tags that I use, the quality of the post and the people who see it. I’ve been paid around $100 for my best posts on Hive and as little as 75c for others. By comparison, Medium is way behind. The currency I get paid in on Hive is the Hive token. Its value has been fairly steady over the past couple of years, occasionally edging towards parity with the US dollar and then dropping back down to around 75c. It’s been no big deal. I’ve just let the earnings accumulate over time.

So, I was pretty astonished to see that Hive’s value had tripled in value over the past month. So astonished, that I posted a comment on Facebook to that effect. I also mentioned that blockchain had the potential to start a revolution.

That word blockchain sure got a reaction. I received one public comment warning me to be careful, or I could lose everything and several direct messages asking me if I’d lost my mind.

I understand and appreciate the concern. The word blockchain scares people and many equate blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency with pyramid schemes, funny money, Cuban cigars, white powder and money laundering. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but I’m not far off.

I understand but I don’t agree. To be honest I’m more comfortable with the future of most cryptocurrencies than I am with the future of any FIAT currencies including the US and Aussie dollars. Besides, I didn’t risk anything in creating the portfolio of crypto that I have.

Changing the world one Dapp at a time.

Dapps – Decentralised apps are exploding in popularity. Each one of them is using blockchain technology and many of the tokens that they create are not only tradeable but quite valuable.

Are you sick of Google’s monopoly on search and browsers? Switch to the Brave browser, and get paid a small number of Brave tokens (BAT) while you browse the web. THen try the Presearch search engine and get paid a small amount for each search you conduct. Do you want to play games online and get paid to do so? There are apps that do just that – try Splintrelands for starters. Are you struggling to earn an income as a writer online – switch to Hive and get paid for every article that you write. Come to think of it, when was the last time Facebook paid you for commenting on someone’s post because you’ll earn money at Hive for commenting on and even liking posts. There’s even an app that pays you to exercise.

I haven’t mentioned the YouTube alternative, 3 speak, or the various Twitter alternatives that are looming on the horizon. There’s stuff being built right now that is going to change the way we do business, how we get our information and how we value creativity.

Of course, it’s scary, but it’s scary good and it’s scaring the life out of institutions that want everything centralised and controlled. They’re trying to reign it in. I suspect Bitcoin is being set up for a crash. It won’t matter. The genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back.

So, what might a blockchain future look like?

Let me give you one example.

Within the Hive community, there is a community of professional artists. They call themselves Onchain art. They share their works online, pass comments and vote for works that they appreciate. Other members of the larger community can vote and pass comment as well.

Right now, those works are earning Crypto (Hive) to the value of varying amounts. No one is getting rich. But they’ve created an income stream for themselves that they didn’t have before. Now imagine, if Hive continues to grow in value much as Bitcoin has.

I really appreciate artists and their creativity. I’m also aware of how difficult it is to make a living creating art. All too often they become dependent upon government grants to survive. Governments like dependency.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the apron strings could be cut?

That’s what I mean by revolution.

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By Mark