Tokenizing Real Estate with Blockchain

Blockchain technologies seem to have a solution to most problems, even if the problem is that I need to sell my house fast. The merger between blockchain and real estate promises to simplify and cheapen the process of buying and selling property. This process traditionally involves a sleuth of entities who each take a cut from the deal made between the buyer and seller. The bank, broker, seller, buyer, and local government all are involved in this process, and currently any real estate transaction requires heaps of paperwork and hours of coordination between these entities and individuals.

A seller could, if unwilling to pay these fees, list their property for sale by owner (FSBO), but then she doesn’t have access to the MLS (multiple listing service) that real estate agents use to search for property when they have a new buyer. Notoriously, the MLS is fragmented, walled off, and complex, so navigating it as a seller is a daunting task. However, transferring these property listings to a blockchain would mean opening up access to all the available property for anyone to review. With each listing, the seller could advertise the price of their property as well as any terms and conditions which need to be met upon purchasing.

How is the property secured financially and contractually? Smart contracts. Smart contracts are becoming popular, but they are far from being the standard method of finalising contractual agreements. They are exactly the same as paper contracts, however they are digital. The difference is in how they are implemented and who is involved. Let’s take the platform Kickstarter as an example to demonstrate the difference between paper and smart contracts. Kickstarter is a platform through which product teams can request funding from supporters for their newly-developed products, or products in the making. The platform acts as an intermediary between these supporters and product teams, meaning that both sides have to trust Kickstarter to manage their money safely. If the product teams manage to have their projects successfully funded, they expect Kickstarter to give them their money; on the other hand, supporters want their money to go to the project when it is funded, or get a refund when it hasn’t reached its goals.

Essentially, both sides have to trust Kickstarter if they want to succeed. This opens up each of them to counterparty risk. Smart contracts provide a similar system to facilitate this exchange without the third-party risk. Returning to the real estate example above, if a seller wishes to advertise their property, we can programme a smart contract to facilitate the transaction online. The smart contract is programmed with the seller’s price and other criteria, and only upon the meeting of that criteria can their property be sold. So why should we trust a smart contract? Because smart contracts are located on a blockchain, they are immutable and distributed. Once a smart contract is created, it can never be changed again; and being distributed means that the output of your contract is validated by everyone on the network. If a bad actor decides to tamper with the contract, everyone else on the network is a witness and can invalidate them.

So, seeing as any real estate transaction requires so much paperwork in the form of deeds, contracts, tax records, and other documents required for making the sale, smart contracts could facilitate these transactions more securely and faster. Furthermore, smart contracts could take care of any ongoing real estate transactions such as rental agreements and home warranties, simplifying the process even more.

Another exciting idea within real estate smart contracts is the ability to fractionally own properties. As the owner of an apartment building, you can programme the smart contract which facilitated its sale to invite investors to purchase shares within the building. These new owners now own a share of the property which they can sell at any time, through the same smart contract.

Traditionally, real estate has been concerned with listings, in order to connect buyers and sellers together. However, blockchain and smart contracts are introducing new ways to purchase real estate: real estate can now be tokenized, allowing the sale of properties to be handled like a stock sale on an exchange. Real estate has long been thought of as highly illiquid due to the time it takes for sales to be finalised. However, tokenizing properties opens up the market to more liquidity: properties (or fractions of properties) in the form of tokens can be readily traded on exchanges for fiat, increasing their liquidity.

Buying and selling property is time consuming, risky, complex, and expensive. Solutions on blockchain will save time and money by releasing the resources currently used for registration and settlement. With blockchain and smart contracts, there is hope that these drawbacks are mitigated.

Transparency as a Driver of Value

Transparency is a buzzword often ascribed to blockchain, and for good reason. We know of blockchain’s potential benefits in delivering more transparency to supply chains so that consumers have a much fuller picture of the provenance of their meat and fish, t-shirts and clothing, and even their custom logo rug. In so doing, blockchain strengthens traceability, and reduces costs by enabling cross-border payments without the need of a third-party bank. This independence from third parties in terms of payments also naturally accelerates the supply chain process.

Transparency in payments; transparency in logistics; transparency in provenance and traceability. But with all this transparency, what of privacy? How can a technology be transparent if the users on the blockchain are pseudonymous, for example? The pseudonymity of its users enables blockchain to remain transparent as they are more open to interact with the technology when their actions can’t be traced back to an actual identity. This, of course, may pose somewhat obvious problems. That being said, all transactions on the blockchain are recorded on the network’s ledger, available to view by anyone on the chain, rendering any malicious action vulnerable to invalidation by its other users.

The distributed nature of a blockchain’s ledger therefore makes it fully auditable. If a bad actor were to change one block within the chain, all succeeding blocks would need to be changed as well: each block contains its own hash (which we can think of as the digital fingerprint of each block), and the hash of the preceding block. So by changing the hash of one block would mean having to change the hash of the block following in order for them to correspond. It would be virtually impossible for anyone to do so and not worth anyone’s financial investment either. As this one-way hashing is rooted within blockchain technology, and is therefore automatic, there is a vastly reduced requirement for routine checks and balances of the network as well.

Blockchain networks can also take the place of regulatory bodies such as the SEC by implementing more transparency in their place. For example, there is a massive regulatory burden for a company or organisation with going public at an IPO. Firstly, this new regulatory spending is expensive. Goldman Sachs even released a study suggesting that it would be more financially beneficial for companies to remain private. Secondly, once a company goes public, its financial information is available not only to a select few venture capitalists, but to everyone who wishes to take a look. This expanded viewership means greater potential for scrutiny into company records. Early venture investors might exaggerate a company’s valuation pre-IPO in order to improve their returns on paper. However, when the company’s records are available to view by everyone, including perhaps a few scrupulous analysts, they may, on account of those records, impugn those initial valuations, resulting in a loss of faith and confidence in the company.

What if the company’s financial transactions were transparent from the beginning? Blockchain can prevent these exaggerated valuations from ever being made, by ensuring that a company’s full financial record is transparent from the outset. Inflated valuations are less likely to be made by early investors if everyone is able to view the records. Blockchain in this sense can award the best behaviour on the part of the company, as companies would be assessed on their ability to sensibly manage their finances. In a blockchain world, companies would actually compete to be the most transparent, as transparency would end up driving their value.

From the business sector, to the online gaming industry: transparency through blockchain would facilitate the existence of provably fair games. While in any casino, the house always has the advantage, provably fair games allow the players to check the server seeds to verify the results of the game to see if they are genuine. This is a revolutionary aspect to online gaming and one which is already beginning to be employed by online casinos and gaming sites.

The transparency of blockchain networks is in part down to their leaderless existence. Blockchains, in the form of Proof of Stake or Proof of Work protocols, are inherently decentralised. Arguments have been made on both sides as to which is or will end up being the most decentralised protocol. However, the key takeaway here is that they are both decentralised protocols: they are peer to peer networks within which miners (in the case of Proof of Work like Bitcoin), or Validators (in the case of Proof of Stake systems), validate each transaction.

We are seeing the emergence of myriad blockchain networks which aim to make improvements in various sectors from healthcare, to advertising, to finance, and to real estate. Blockchain is here to stay, and it’s here to disrupt not just the financial market but any ecosystem which values value.

Not All Software Was Born Equal

The dominance of personal computing devices over today’s world is constantly on the rise. We use our phones to socialize, communicate, stay updated on news events, and much more. PCs and laptops are also being depended on now more than ever in light of the recent pandemic. Whether for employees who work from home or students who pursue their online education, personal devices and the internet have become an absolute necessity in every household.

Today, software engineering is one of the most sought-after skills not only by tech companies but also by other institutions unrelated to tech. This is due to them now requiring specialized applications to run their workflows as opposed to a decade ago where generic programs were enough. With the emergence of new technologies like machine learning and blockchain, software will only become more intricate going forward.

Software Varies with Purpose

Computer software is generally split into two main categories: System Software and Application Software. System Software is essential for the basic functioning of the computer while Application Software is mainly used by general individuals like you and me.

The main example of System Software is the operating system (OS) found at the heart of every computer. It contains the kernel which governs the entire system and acts as a conduit between software and the hardware it runs on. Without the OS, a computer would be completely unusable. Some of the most widely used operating systems are Windows, macOS, and Linux. To ensure wide support of peripheral devices like keyboards and USBs by different operating systems, device drivers are put into action. They are low-level pieces of code that allow smooth communication between the OS and plugged components.

Application software is the type of software we’re all familiar with. It is not related to the operation of the computer and is utilized by users for other purposes. Examples include web browsers, music players, games, and much more. Developers use IDEs to write code in programming languages and build these applications. Some developers can even choose to charge money for their products.

Software Licenses and Pricing

Some application creators make the source code of their software available for everyone. This is called open-source software, and in most cases anyone is allowed to view and edit their own copy of the source code without having to ask any permission. Most security-related software boasts being open-source to provide a sense of trust and transparency with users. This type of software is also generally of higher quality since anyone can make improvements to the source code.

Closed-source applications are those that don’t make their source code publicly visible and do not permit any modifications. It is categorized into three parts based on pricing: Freeware, Shareware, and Proprietary software. Freeware entails applications that are provided free of charge and can be downloaded by anyone on the internet. Shareware is similar to freeware, but users need to pay a fee to continue using it after a certain period of time. This acts as a free trial for them to try the software before having to spend money on it. Finally, proprietary software is software that cannot be obtained without payment, and the makers retain certain rights for its modification and sharing. Some examples of proprietary software are Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

The Evolution of Software

Software has come a long way since its debut back in 1948. Back then, it was written directly in binary code which the processor understands. Today, applications are written in high-level languages which are later translated to binary instructions by a compiler or interpreter, making the development of complex software possible.

An increasingly interesting phenomenon in the world of software is that of blockchains. Currently, blockchains are mostly being used to operate cryptocurrencies due to their public, secure, and decentralized nature. In fact, the technology used in blockchains is so secure that it is deemed virtually impossible to compromise. This is possible thanks to cryptography, particularly the SHA-256 algorithm used on the Bitcoin blockchain. It would take the fastest supercomputer exponentially more time than the current age of the universe to successfully crack SHA-256.

Going into the future, blockchains could be put into purposes besides cryptocurrency as more and more software engineers switch to blockchain development. The fact that they are tamper-resistant could entice governments into using blockchains to run elections or even keep track of sensitive information like criminal history and medical records. Blockchains could also pave the way for the distribution and management of open-source software.


The internet, computers, and software have become an integral part of the world today. Innovations like blockchain technology are showing promising potential and will continue to constantly evolve. Financial companies have already begun adopting blockchain technology and other businesses are expected to soon follow suit. It is only a matter of time until this technology shapes the main underlying infrastructure of the entire digital realm.

The Blockchain Revolution Facing Real Estate

Purchasing a home is a fundamental pillar of the American dream, but in the modern real estate market, it can prove to be a nightmare. Constant roadblocks, astronomically high fees, and massive amounts of upfront capital are all capable reasons to make any sane person shy away at the thought of buying a new home.

This doesn’t change the fact, however, that by 2025, Millennials are expected to form up to 20 million new households in the U.S. and a solution needs to be found fast. But one serious player that can challenge this reality is blockchain technology.

The same technology that makes the exchange of digital assets like cryptocurrencies possible could be applied to similarly change real estate as a whole. The adoption of blockchain technology would allow for properties and houses to be tokenized and traded like the common currency of bitcoin.

It’s hard to find a facet of life now that cryptocurrency doesn’t seem to have a posed solution for, but in the specificity of real estate its technology could revolutionize the industry. Here are some ways that the blockchain could forever change real estate as we know it:

The Blockchain, Explained

Now, the field of cryptocurrency is extremely technical, and can sometimes feel like you need a degree in computer science before wrapping your head around it. But, it can be understood simply as a secure database of receipts.

Every time a transaction is made with blockchain technology, the “receipt” of that transaction is logged, confirmed on a block, and added to a chain of other blocks (hence the name blockchain). With this, all transactions that have ever taken place on that blockchain are stored and confirmed for as long as transactions are occurring.

This receipt proves ownership of the digital asset and lets the owner do what they please with it. The real-estate industry could adopt this mode of purchase confirmation and fundamentally change how the common person trades property.

Benefits of Blockchain Technology Within Real Estate

Many issues face the average buyer in real estate. For one, the marketplace of real estate is very centralized. Using a real estate agent to sell or find a house is almost a necessity in the market and introduces many unnecessary intermediaries in the process. Most technology that is introduced for real estate is to pair those selling with those buying, but this can be taken even further with the ability to use marketplaces online to sell or buy a property through tokenized property assets.

Overall, the decentralization of property transactions would make all transactions transparent and easily accessed upon inspection of the blockchain. This is a welcome concept, as the last major market crash in 2008 shows us the effects of a lack of transparency in the housing industry.

Another common problem solved by the implementation of the blockchain is arguably one of the most important reasons. Cost. Massive amounts of fees and upfront capital go hand in hand with the purchase of property in America. By not only cutting out intermediaries like agents, lawyers, etc. the price of purchasing a home could drop drastically. This would also include inspection costs, taxes, and loan fees. Then, the focus of your capital could go towards something much more useful like paying for cross country moving services to quickly and reliably move your possessions.

Lastly, the ability for a homeowner to quickly sell their property would become a reality. Real estate is notorious for being extremely difficult to liquidate and it’s no wonder why. Many hoops need to be jumped through to sell a home and it can often take months to finalize. With the adoption of blockchain technology in the market, properties can quickly be tokenized and sold on a marketplace designed to pair buyers with sellers. This would expedite the process by a substantial amount.

Overall, there are a multitude of faults within the current real estate market structure. The adoption of blockchain and smart contract technology could greatly benefit the majority of people who need to buy or sell a property without a great deal of trouble. It would also allow for more people as a whole to get involved in the purchasing of real estate through multi-signature purchases of tokens. This means that you could own a fraction of a property without having to purchase the entire thing.

We have experienced many changes in the financial norms over the last five decades. From the adoption of credit cards to the common layman profiting from the stock market, the changes we see today will define the future ahead of us. It is estimated that around 46 million people, or 17% of adults in America, own some sort of cryptocurrency. Knowing this, the possibility of a revolution of blockchains within the real estate industry grows more realistic with every passing day and has the potential to change it for the better.

Unifying Online Security and Privacy

In our current tech-rich era, it seems like a new invention gets released every day. Our everyday life has become so dependent on the internet that we can’t function without it. Today, we use the internet for just about anything, but as we grow increasingly tethered to the online world, some dangers might arise. For instance, we might be forfeiting a little more of our privacy than we know. This is due to the very centralized nature of the internet where online corporations can collect tons of information about their users with ease. This information is then pinned to specific individuals and sold off to data brokers who are free to utilize it as they please.

In addition to that, the increasing prevalence of online payments and finance can impose some security risks like credit card fraud and data breaches. Fortunately, some innovations in online data management and security are showing promising potential. For example, the recent widespread implementation of blockchain technology is shedding light on the flaws of conventional online finance. Right now, blockchains are mostly being used in the realm of cryptocurrency – a form of digital currency that runs on the internet. Due to their superior security and anonymity, cryptocurrencies are proving themselves better than conventional money in many ways. Besides cryptocurrency, blockchains can also be put into a never-ending number of purposes.

Modern Privacy

Who doesn’t like scrolling through their favorite social media apps and double-tapping posts they like? Social media platforms have taken the world by storm and continue to grow more and more popular every day. While they do provide great opportunities to socialize, meet new people, and keep in touch with loved ones, they can also be a huge privacy risk.

By simply scrolling through your social media page, one can tell a lot about you. If you tag your location on posts, a potential stalker can easily find out where you were and what you were doing at a specific time. In certain cases, they might be able to analyze patterns in your activity and predict your next move. It is therefore unsurprising to see an increase in the number of reported cases of cyberstalking. To protect yourself, be more wary of who you allow onto your social pages and pay attention to how much sensitive information you’re exposing with every post.

Besides that, massive online companies are working non-stop to get as much data about you as they can. It has been recently shown that data is rapidly becoming one of the most valuable resources worldwide, and there is a good reason behind that. Nowadays, most websites and online services have embedded trackers and data collectors that read your browser cookies and track your activities across platforms. This data is then compiled and interpreted by advanced AI to infer your specific interests and target you with relevant ads. Geolocation may also be factored in to provide location-accurate ads like newly opened stores around the block or water restoration services near you. Generally, this is useful not only to advertisers but also to users who are delivered relevant offers and opportunities that they are interested in. User data may also help in research and content tailoring, especially by creators and service providers.

On the other hand, certain corporations collect this data for the sole purpose of selling it to data brokers and other entities. In most cases, these buyers’ intentions remain a mystery. To stay safe, use a VPN as often as possible and avoid sketchy websites altogether.

Blockchains: A Breakthrough Innovation in Security

Blockchains are an easy way to mitigate many of the newfound dangers in the online world. The technology employs intricate cryptography to achieve unbreakable security. Once data gets added to a blockchain, it is impossible to go back and change it, making them extremely resistant to counterfeiting and fraud.

In cryptocurrency, blockchains store and validate transactions between users. They run on global decentralized peer-to-peer networks, so they are not owned by a specific entity. This makes them more private when compared to the conventional centralized internet as there isn’t any corporation that governs its activity. They are also publicly accessible, so anyone can see the transaction history at any time. This eliminates confusion and reduces misunderstandings in payments. As a result, cryptocurrency is non-custodial and has almost no limitations on transactions. Most payment services owned by private financial companies are limited to certain countries and are under massive amounts of surveillance. This is not the case with crypto, however. Any person in the world is free to create a crypto wallet and receive as many payments as they want with no limitations and very low fees.


For the future, blockchains and cryptocurrencies are bound to take over most online operations and data management methods. It is only a matter of time until proper software is developed to leverage the true power of blockchains. Due to the massive advantages that crypto has over traditional money, we can see the future world ditching conventional payments in favor of the more secure and environmentally-friendly cryptocurrency. In fact, the entire crypto network uses only a fraction of energy compared to that of the current banking system, and could soon use even less with the new emerging power-efficient transaction validation methods.

Transparency in Blockchain

Any organisation’s data needs protecting. It is also important to know that within any large organisation or corporation, each department produces its own specific data. For example, within a large corporation it might be necessary to agree on certain language in order to keep the sales process running smoothly: within an e-commerce company, its separate departments might have different definitions for the term ‘delivery’. The warehouse management company defines ‘delivery’ as their product leaving the warehouse; the sales team defines it as the product arriving at the buyer’s house; and the support team only calls ‘delivery’ once the product has been installed. This discrepancy may seem trivial, however, in order for the business to run smoothly, this terminology needs to be agreed upon by all departments within the company. This is a small part of what a data governance consultant can help businesses with.

Consider a business user within an organisation, called Tom, who has just purchased a laptop and is expensing it to his company account. The accounting team flags the purchase and asks him to provide more details about the expense. He replies: ‘You’re the money guys, figure it out yourselves!’ This doesn’t help Tom in getting his money back for his laptop, but it also doesn't help the accounting team better understand his purchase. Inconsistencies like these between the business team and the accounting team occur frequently when applied to data as well. The data guys in the IT department don’t create the data, but they have to monitor it, and when your data is inconsistent between systems, they have to figure out what’s going on. And who are they going to call? Tom, of course, the business user. Unfortunately, data problems arise in mass quantities of transactions and interactions inside application systems, and as a result of this, these problems can’t just be fixed with a meeting or telephone call. The IT team doesn’t have enough context to fix the data, and the business users believe that it is an IT problem. Reports begin adding up incorrectly as the data isn’t corresponding, different systems have their own customer records, setting up a new system requires lots of rework, and business roles end up consisting of rectifying spreadsheets between departments in search of consolidation.

Consolidation means harmonising the data resources to achieve consistency across all departments. An effective way we can achieve this harmonisation is through the implementation of blockchain technology. In the healthcare industry, hospitals and healthcare centres all use different methods of storing and using patient data. We are already witnessing in the industry the effective use of blockchain technology in consolidating patient data across these different institutions and centres: Medicalchain aims to create a smart medical ecosystem which gives patients total control of their medical records, making it easier and more efficient to provide their data to hospitals on the chain.

Good data governance implementation means that quality data is accessible to the right people throughout an organisation. It is about the accuracy, ownership, transparency, and routine use of the data. Transparency is another fundamental aspect of blockchain technology. Blockchains are distributed digital ledgers. What does distributed mean? Distributed in this context means that all users on the blockchain network are able to witness any transaction which occurs there. It means that if any bad actor were to attempt to tamper with the blockchain’s list of transactions, all other users would be able to publicly object, and in so doing, nullify the actions of the bad actor.

The transparency that blockchain facilitates can also be implemented throughout supply chains. Perhaps you are concerned with where your food comes from exactly; it is important to you, from an ethical and sustainability point of view, to establish where the beef you buy from the supermarket actually originates from. Or perhaps you are a coffee aficionado in search of your favourite bean, and the origin of your coffee beans is important to you. Blockchain ledger technology facilitates the storing of relevant data along these supply chains. We can store each and every transaction on a digital ledger from the sale of a Chianina bull, sold by a herder in rural Tuscany to a butcher in Florence, and then packaged by a distributor, before a customer in a restaurant orders it as a bistecca alla fiorentina in New York City. By scanning a barcode or QR code, this whole supply chain could be visible to the consumer and each stage within the chain, making the provenance of our meat much more verifiable. Total transparency and traceability.

This technology can be applied to any consumer supply chain, whether it is T-shirt production and sales, food production, or wine production and distribution. Georgia (the country) boasts a history of wine production spanning millennia dating back to the neolithic period: at least 8000 years of wine production. Georgia’s position as the home of wine is little known, given the proclivity towards French, Italian, and New World wines especially.

Blockchain technology has the ability to bring this kind of transparency and traceability to life in many consumer-based supply chains, and it is only getting started.

The Future of Business

Running a business today is not what it used to be a few decades ago. As the world grows increasingly tethered to the internet, the basic functioning of society continues to rapidly change. Before computers, companies relied on conventional methods to run their workflows. Today, almost everything is digitized. Most institutions now use digital documents as opposed to paper due to the massive facilitations that this switch brings to their operations. Computer documents are way easier to store, edit, categorize, and transfer. A single modern hard drive has enough capacity to store millions of digital documents. Should the need to transfer any of them arise, all it takes is a split second to send via email or cloud storage.

Modern business undoubtedly has a lot to thank today’s technology for, especially for the revolution of advertising and online payments. Previously, advertising was limited to radio, newspapers, and billboards. That was not very effective since it wasn’t possible to target ads at a specific audience. Today, most advertising takes place on the internet such as on websites and smartphone apps. Advanced algorithms govern the delivery of these ads based on the user’s interests to ensure their relevance and effectiveness. Besides that, the emergence of new technologies like blockchain are providing more diverse ways of payment that pave the way into the future of online finance.

Business in the Modern World

In addition to the digitization of documents, modern business workflows rely on computers to smoothly plan and execute their strategies. Especially in the current pandemic-infested world, dependence on the internet to keep teams connected is higher than ever before. Online video conferencing services have quickly become the new standard for everyday work-from-home endeavors. Team operation is undeniably optimized by the help of these new ways of planning and communicating, with services like shared calendars and synced documents, although simple, becoming indispensable in an integrated and well-rounded team. The ability to automate boring activities in order to make time for more intricate ones has also further contributed to the evolution of teamwork. Gone are the days where employees have to spend days on end just to complete simple repetitive tasks. Automated scripts have become the obvious candidate for such duties due to their faster and more accurate operation compared to humans.

For most businesses, customer satisfaction is one of the most prominent indicators of success. Fortunately, the internet puts thousands of marketplaces right at users’ fingertips. Anyone can now instantly order goods online from their phone and have them delivered right to their doorstep. Some online vendors even provide the ability to order custom-made products like logo mats and engraved rings. This wouldn’t have been imaginable without recent groundbreaking innovations in online payment. It is now possible to transfer money to virtually anyone in the world with ease. Especially with the recent widespread prevalence of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies which are built specifically for this purpose, sending money online is now easier than ever before.

Blockchain and the Future of Business

Blockchain technology is one of the most interesting inventions of the 21st century. The technology had its debut in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto who released the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. At that time, one Bitcoin was valued at around $0. In April 2021, it reached around $64,000.

Blockchains’ mode of action comprises keeping track of information in a way that is decentralized, secure, and public. Any data added to the blockchain cannot be edited later on. This is possible through the clever use of peer-to-peer technology and cryptography. In the case of cryptocurrency, the blockchain keeps track of the transaction history between users, and this history can be later used to determine one’s balance. What makes crypto special is the fact that it is non-custodial and imposes very little fees on transfers. This means that anybody anywhere can create a wallet and instantly transfer thousands of dollars to anybody else with no questions asked.

With that said, blockchains provide potentially limitless solutions for businesses. One of the most useful blockchain implementations besides cryptocurrencies is Smart Contracts. In a nutshell, Smart Contracts are small applications that live on the blockchain and run only when previously defined conditions are met. Due to them being stored there, these contracts cannot be counterfeited and their code remains publicly visible by anyone. This way, everybody can be certain of their outcome and there is consequently less room for misunderstandings and conflicts. Going into the future, Smart Contracts can be a game-changer in the realm of finance and multi-sided business models.


Despite some of the complications that might arise with the use of crypto like their price volatility, their dominance over the world is inevitable. With the emergence of stable coins that do not change in value but possess all the other advantages of crypto, such issues can be easily mitigated. As more and more blockchain applications get developed, the technology can soon be put into purposes other than cryptocurrency. It is only a matter of time until businesses utilize it as the main substrate to their operations.

Expediting Cash Flow for Small Business

When you think about the challenges of starting a small business, concerns such as how to provide an interesting product and how to attract customers would no doubt come to mind. Indeed, finding your niche in the market is important to a small business’s success. However, that is only the first step. After your business is all set up and running, you will be faced with a major issue that is often initially overlooked—getting your clients to pay on time.

Show Me the Money, Please?

Cash flow is king in the small business environment. Delayed payments from clients could mean not being able to pay your suppliers and employees as promised. To ensure that your business can run smoothly, it is vital to be in full control of your accounts. An ad hoc accounting structure may seem more convenient in the beginning but will become confusing and unreliable in the long run.

Undeniably, the invoicing process can be tedious. It involves a lot of data and information, and business owners—especially those who also double as account managers—can be tempted to offer clients a simple outstanding balance amount instead of a proper invoice with a list of goods or services purchased. This is why many SMEs have now made the switch to online payment solutions that offer digital inventory management, invoicing, and bill collection.

At first glance, specialized online invoicing and payment solutions may seem like an additional cost for the company. But, consider the costs of all the paper invoices, print-out receipts, carbon copies, and postal supplies. Add to this the dollar value of lost invoices, late payments, and time spent on the administration of paper accounts, and you will find that digital invoicing will ultimately save you money. Some online invoicing solutions feature automatic recurring invoices and payment reminders, ensuring that you do not miss any payments.

In addition, creating thoughtful and tailored invoices for your clients makes your business look more professional and trustworthy. Having a documented list of each sale also helps clients feel more secure in their purchase and allows them to keep a mental gauge of each product or service and their respective costs. This means that they will remember you first when they need a similar product or service again. Furthermore, a detailed list aids with the processing of any claims such as exchanges or returns.
Despite the many benefits of online payment solutions, anxiety about transaction security is the main obstacle that prevents businesses moving from analog to digital cashflow management. Thankfully, Internet security has advanced by leaps and bounds and there are a myriad of legitimate and verified online invoicing platforms, including plenty of tools, such as an invoice template for Google docs, for businesses to choose from.

The Powerful New Ledger

Blockchain is a trending database technology that is revolutionizing the security of the e-commerce and online payments space. Renowned for being the backbone technology supporting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is moving into the mainstream with global companies making use of its cutting-edge Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

To briefly summarize the concept, blockchain stores data chronologically in blocks that are linked together to form a chain. Once formed, blocks and chains cannot be edited or deleted. The blockchains are then stored across numerous computers and networks, which form what is known as a distributed ledger. This distributed ledger is constantly cross-checked by all the members in its network, ensuring that any unauthorized changes are quickly rectified. The transparency and immutability of blockchain can help small businesses increase their cash flow through a variety of applications.
A central feature of blockchain is smart contracts. Smart contracts use blockchain technology to build and enforce contracts between users and their clients. Smart contracts build unchangeable chains of relevant milestones, executing contract actions when certain conditions are met. This automation of contracts between businesses and their suppliers or clients essentially cut out intermediaries, streamlines the cash flow process, and, in doing so, saves businesses time and money.
The adoption of blockchain technology also enables small businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments—instead of fiat money—with faster transactions and lower processing fees. With cryptocurrency blazing up digital trading markets, they are a new and competitive cash flow option for SMEs who are game enough to take the plunge.

Blockchain’s decentralized nature and security features protect every user’s sensitive personal, financial, and identity information, allowing businesses to rest assured that their client’s data will not be used for unauthorized reasons. This works twofold for businesses, removing their risk of handling and storing client data while guaranteeing higher privacy for the clients. This way, businesses reap the profit without the probability.

Small business owners have a lot on their minds. From maintaining stock to providing quality service, balancing accounts, and simply being available to attend to any emergencies, they have plenty to think about each day. By making the switch to online invoicing and payment, small businesses can better manage income and cash flow, while freeing up time to focus on things that really matter.

Modern technology is consistently delivering more efficient business management solutions to the SME space. Small business owners who want to succeed should keep in step with such advances and make the most of the tools designed to help them rise above the competition.

Bitcoin and the Environment

According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Bitcoin mining consumes as much energy as the entire country of Morocco. Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than some countries, and a single Bitcoin transaction uses as much energy as the average American household does in a week. Bitcoin’s energy consumption is expected to grow with the network’s popularity - and this is showing little sign of slowing down.

On the other hand, Bitcoin mining is beginning to become a major driver of demand for renewable energy. It is a natural fit for renewable energy, such as hydroelectric and solar. By harnessing the power of water or sunlight, miners are able to offset their carbon footprint. Green energy is always a good thing, even if it is for a process that is as controversial as Bitcoin mining.

So what will the ultimate environmental impact of Bitcoin be?


In the early days of Bitcoin, mining was done primarily with the CPU. When Bitcoin was created, it was possible to mine Bitcoin on a desktop computer. As more people started mining, people attempted to figure out how to build more powerful computers and dedicated mining machines. As mining difficulty increased, mining shifted to GPU mining. When mining shifted to GPUs, Bitcoin mining started to be dominated by a few big players.

A few years ago, Bitcoin mining shifted to ASICs. These are specialized computers built just for mining Bitcoin. The increased efficiency and speed of these devices has made mining Bitcoin much more centralized. Today, the majority of mining is done in China, by large mining companies.

As mining difficulty increases, Bitcoin mining requires more energy. This drives up the cost of mining. As the price of Bitcoin increases, the mining arms race continues.

Environmental concerns

When it comes to Bitcoin mining and the environment, it’s important to look at both sides of the issue. Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of energy, there's no doubt about that. The reason for this is fundamental to the design of the blockchain itself: security.

Bitcoin mining is about making sure the blockchain is valid and secure. This is done by solving the computational problem of the proof of work. The winner of the computational puzzle has his or her block added to the blockchain. In order to make sure the computational puzzle is hard enough to solve but not too hard, the Bitcoin protocol automatically adjusts the difficulty based on the speed of mining. In order to determine the speed of mining, you need to look at the hash rate. The higher the hash rate, the harder it is to solve the computational problem. The Bitcoin protocol adjusts the hash rate to keep the average time between blocks at ten minutes.

The hashing process is basically a very complex mathematical puzzle that must be solved in order to add a block to the blockchain. The more difficult the puzzle, the more energy is required to solve it. The proof of work algorithm was designed to make sure the average time between blocks is ten minutes. That's the whole point of the Bitcoin protocol: to make the creation of new blocks roughly ten minutes apart.

So the bottom line is that without the energy expenditure, there would be no way of ensuring that the system remains secure, and the whole premise of Bitcoin as a secure, trustless system would fall apart.

Looking towards renewables

As Bitcoin mining grows and its energy usage increases, it is important to figure out how to make it sustainable. That’s where the growing interest in renewable energy comes in. There are several mining companies that have already begun to harness the power of the wind, the sun and water.

For example, HydroMiner, which operates out of the Austrian Alps has a number of green energy sources at its disposal. The company is able to use green energy sources such as hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power. Another example is the company, BlockBox, which runs off of solar panels.

This is the direction that the mining business is moving in. Those that are looking to stand out from the crowd and provide a more environmentally friendly service are going to be the ones that come out on top. Companies that choose to use green energy sources will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Increasing efficiency

The first thing to consider is the hardware that is being used. If the hardware is old and inefficient, it may be time to upgrade to more efficient hardware. The more efficient the hardware, the less energy is required. If miners are using old hardware, it may be time to upgrade to more efficient mining hardware.

The next thing to consider is, as mentioned, the electricity source. Miners should consider moving to renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power.

The third thing to consider is the cooling. Miners should look into techniques for cooling mining rigs that don’t require as much energy. For example, there are mining rigs that can be submerged underwater for cooling.

Do we really need blockchain?

Amidst the frenzied rise of cryptocurrencies in recent years, we often forget to ask the most fundamental question: what does blockchain, and all its associated energy usage, really gain us? Is it really necessary?

Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency hype, have infiltrated almost every sector of our economy. People are trying to market everything from Bitcoin property trusts to vending machines. But property investors were quite happy without blockchain-secured property ledgers, and custom vending machines available on the market today far outperform their niche crypto-powered alternatives in terms of flexibility and function. We need to keep this in mind when discussing energy usage and possible alternatives - Bitcoin definitely has advantages, and offers a lot of potential. But for certain applications, perhaps the best alternative is not to use blockchain at all.

On the energy side, the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what the ultimate impact of Bitcoin mining will be on the environment. What we do know is that there is a lot of potential for green energy to be harnessed in the mining space. The future of green energy lies in mobile mining. As Bitcoin mining becomes more powerful and more energy intensive, the future lies in being able to harness the power of green energy wherever possible.

The Moral Importance of Cardano

Imagine that you are a farmer from Syria, displaced with your family due to the war and violence. Syria, eventually, finds a fraction of peace, after some years. Finally, you are able to return to your country, to your land, to rebuild your life with your wife and children. You arrive home, upon your land, to find it has been seized and reallocated by the authorities who were paid for its reallocation by another party. You plead that it is your land and it has been in your family for generations, but the government land register states otherwise. You have no way of proving that it is your own property. The record states that you don’t own it. This is the reality for around a billion people worldwide.

You are a hard-working man brought up in rural China, now living in Toronto, from where you send money to your family back home, every month. You go to Western Union to make your transfer and pay a remittance cost of 15%. For every $100 you send to your family, $15 of that is taken as a fee.

The fees remain extortionate when we talk about credit too. For a microfinance loan (a loan under $100) in the developing world, the rate of interest can be anything between 35-85%. How do you get ahead if this is your reality? How do you build wealth? Moreover, you are unable to get insurance, because you have no history of credit. When the storm comes and destroys your crops, who pays for it? You do - with the resources that you don’t have. And when you do manage to own something, to reach the next rung of the ladder, that something can be taken away from you without explanation.

In Cambodia, there is a huge identity crisis. You can buy a passport there for around $100 without even having to be a native. What does this tell us about the country as a space for identity? Is it a stable identity space? If these documents are invalid, how can we do business using them? Can we rely upon these documents and can we use them to build reputation and trust?

These are the types of stories that Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson says are lived out by over a billion people worldwide. They are some of the problems that he intends Cardano to alleviate. The Cardano blockchain aims to grant its users first of all with the luxury of secure identities, something the majority of us in the developed world would never consider a luxury. With these secure identities, protected on the blockchain network of Cardano, individuals can begin to build a reputation for themselves in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and predominantly Africa. For without identity, you can’t build a reputation; and without reputation, you can’t build credit or work. It is then that we can decide who are the good and bad actors within the blockchain; we can decide that once the network is established, just like it is done on eBay. Enterprises are quickly becoming interested in incorporating blockchain technology into their companies’ infrastructures because of the benefits associated with it: cost-effective, more efficient, and higher levels of security. For example, companies are able to combine blockchain technology with that of docker registry technology.

Returning to Africa, Owen Martin-Jones is the founder of a micro-loan distribution network in Malawi called Mayankho, which focuses on empowering women in the region to become entrepreneurs. He told me that it wasn’t enough, for most of the recipients of Mayankho’s micro-loans, to be given the money without some instruction towards its productive use. It was only when these women learned that they had the choice to put their loan towards investing in their families’ futures instead of spending it impulsively on the present, only then did the floor begin to rise. The money, without the education, is worthless.

These women are the kind of people Cardano seeks to raise with their network. They represent the massive amount of untapped liquidity in these countries and tremendous financial potential can be unleashed if we are only able to help them become financially and socially free. Hernando de Soto Polar urged us in 2003 to consider this untapped financial potential: “In Haiti, untitled rural and urban real estate holdings are together worth some 5.2 billion. To put that sum in context, it is four times the total of all the assets of all the legally operating companies in Haiti, nine times the value of all assets owned by the government, and 158 times the value of all foreign direct investment in Haiti's recorded history to 1995.”

A quiet revolution in the form of blockchain and crypto technology has been taking place around us and within us. What might end up being even more important is the ethical and moral revolution that may occur as a result. If Cardano’s goals are realised, we might see the emergence of billions of new individuals into the global financial sphere through its blockchain. For Hoskinson and Cardano, the two revolutions go hand in hand.