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Highly Recommended: Blockchain is Here And You Can't Ignore It Anymore...Even If You Don't Really Get It | HuffPost (
* This is the first in the “Get To Know The Blockchain Series” *

If you’ve picked up a financial publication recently or browsed through your favorite tech website, you’ve definitely come across the words “blockchain,” “crypto,” or “bitcoin.” Not knowing what they mean, you probably skimmed through, read about the latest SnapChat feature, and continued on with your day.

Most mainstream consumers have no idea what bitcoin is and why it needs the blockchain to function. But the blockchain industry is (sort of) easy to understand. With Bitcoin passing $4,000 a few weeks ago, there’s no sign that this industry is going to slow down. Rather than rely on innocent ignorance, it’s time for mainstream consumers, not just crypto aficionados, to learn about the blockchain.

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at the terms commonly associated with blockchain. You’ll see them a lot in the news nowadays, so better to get familiar with them before you’re the one person at the dinner table asking, “Now, what the heck is that?!”

Blockchain - Think of the blockchain as a giant online ledger that records transactions between users. The blockchain is better than a regular bank ledger, as it is decentralized, safe, and secure. There is no possibility for double spending on the blockchain because each transaction is verified by “miners.” For now, just think of miners as really smart mathematicians able to solve complex equations. These equations verify transactions and secure the chain.

Bitcoin - Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates on the blockchain. Bitcoin allows people to send or receive money across the internet. Bitcoin transactions are anonymous - you can be sending money to someone you don’t even know or trust. How is this safe? As mentioned above all transactions are carefully verified.

Ether - Ether is another digital currency. Think of Dollars compared to Euros - two different currencies that have different functions. Whereas the Euro works in Europe and the Dollar in the US, Bitcoin functions on the Bitcoin blockchain, and Ether runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Cryptocurrency - Cryptocurrency is another word for digital currency, simple as that. What’s crypto about it? The digital currency is encrypted with various techniques that allow the currency to be traded and used independently of a central bank. Simple!

Tokens - Just another word for a digital coin. Like an ether token or a Bitcoin token.

Smart Contracts - A smart contract is exactly that, smart! In a regular contract, two parties must agree when the desired result is achieved. But with smart contracts, the agreement between two parties is kept secure in the contract itself. The smart contract knows when a contractual agreement has been met and acts accordingly.

Ok so now that we’re all experts on blockchain, Bitcoin, and the works, let’s check out the different ways in which cryptocurrency is going to change our lives.

Blockchain Based Ballot Boxes

One of the coolest ways that the blockchain will affect the way we live is the possibility of changing how we vote. No matter where you live, there is always something to complain about when it comes to voting; whether it be inability to get to the polling center, double voting, or having to take a day off from work to vote (if you live in a country where election days are not national holidays).

Blockchain technology has the possibility to change this, making voting more convenient and secure.


One of the companies offering a solution to issues with traditional voting systems is Jelurida. Jelurida is the development company behind the Nxt and Ardor blockchain platforms. Both the Nxt and Ardor blockchains offer users many distinct features such as the ability to create assets that can be traded on a decentralized exchange.


Nxt and Ardor both have many benefits over their competitors. In fact, companies such as BNP Paribas and Accenture have already recognized the potential of these blockchains and are implementing them accordingly. But what’s most relevant to mainstream consumers is that these blockchains offer users the ability to create polls for decentralized voting.

Using the blockchain to vote, something Jelurida has already demonstrated as viable, offers many solutions to issues in voting today - such as double voting or the inability to actually make it to the polls that day.

A few months ago, Jelurida demonstrated the blockchain voting feature in action. Lior Yaffe, Co-Founder and Senior Developer, presented a voting case using its technology. In collaboration with Accenture Spain, Lior showed how easily Jelurida’s blockchain technology and its voting feature can be adapted to real world use cases.

Jelurida showed that using the blockchain, voting can be done in a time-saving, paperless, immutable, and highly secure way. In addition, results will be available immediately after voting is complete. It can even be done with a mobile application!

You can check out the blockchain voting feature in action. Imagine being able to securely and safely vote in the next election from the comfort of your home! This is just one of the many ways Jelurida is using the blockchain to enhance our lives.

Say Goodbye To The Financial World As You Know It

As a fintech tool, blockchain offers a lot of potential for bank and other financial institutions to protect customers and reduce overhead fees. The blockchain could also drive down costs for consumers while raising corporate profits. Seem’s amazing, right? Now you understand the boom in blockchain technology the past few months.


One company capitalizing on the blockchain to provide a better user experience in the finance world, specifically when it comes to investment, is CrowdWiz. CrowdWiz is an investment ecosystem that shifts the power away from intermediaries and puts it back where it should be - with the investors themselves.

Relying on the wisdom of the crowd to make decisions, rather than greedy middlemen, CrowdWiz makes the entire investment process more democratic. The platform solves many problems associated with centrally regulated financial markets, such as high fees and conflict of interest.

CrowdWiz plans to bring fairness and transparency to the market by using the wisdom of the crowd as, under the right circumstances, large enough groups tend to make remarkably good decisions and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.

Most of us have dreamed about opening our own business, or at least be a part of the growth of one; however, many time, lacking the knowledge and contacts, the dream seems more like a potential nightmare. Crowdwiz can really change all of this.

How does CrowdWiz use the wisdom of the crowd? It’s pretty simple. Let’s say we have two imaginary companies - Company A and Company B. Each user will use a WIZ token to vote for whichever company he/she thinks is a better investment.

If he feels strongly about Company A, the user can put more than one token - representing a larger stake in the investment. If Company A is, in fact, the better choice, the majority of users should choose it, and the platform will distribute the funds accordingly.


You may be asking yourself, what if people choose wrong. Well, statistics show that under the right circumstances, large groups tend to make better decisions than the smartest people in them. In fact, did you know that on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the ask the audience lifeline provides the correct answer 91% of the time; whereas if you phone a friend, you only have a 65% chance of being right?

Crowdsourced information is a powerful tool, and is often more reliable than we think, something CrowdWiz already is well aware of. So ditch that greedy fund manager, who probably makes decisions based on his own personal interest, and join the power of the crowd.


CrowdWiz is an example of a company using the blockchain to revolutionize the financial world. But, some companies are putting their efforts behind improving cryptocurrency in general. Zen Protocol, for instance, is a blockchain company focusing on making Bitcoin better, more usable, and useful.

Zen leverages the cutting edge technology of blockchain and the popularity of Bitcoin to truly decentralize the financial system by building a new protocol purpose built for finance. Zen allows anyone to create financial transactions, at anytime, anywhere in the world using Bitcoin technology.


So what exactly does all that mean? Zen offers an alternative to Ethereum, Bitcoin’s main blockchain competitor. Zen has created a blockchain that eliminates some of the problems associated with Etherum, while at the same time running parallel to the Bitcoin blockchain.

One of the main problems on the Ethereum blockchain is running out of gas. In simple terms, this means that your transactions could fizzle out and whatever currency you paid would be returned to you. There’s a more complicated explanation behind this, but just think that there wasn’t enough energy to complete your transaction, it was canceled.

Zen solves this because their smart contracts won’t initially send the transaction unless it knows there is enough gas to support it, making Zen a very viable alternative to Ethereum and other blockchains out there.

Ditch The Poker Chips

Who doesn’t love a friendly game of poker every once in awhile? There’s an undeniable thrill that comes with gambling or playing the lottery. However, you are always competing against an unknown middleman - the House. There’s an ominous third party controlling the money flow; blockchain is here to change all that.


One company trying to reshape the betting world is herosphere, the developer of the popular online esports prediction platform. herosphere announced last week an initial coin offering for the cryptocurrency HERO.

The company will issue the ethereum based platform, HEROcoin, in mid-September, which participants will use to predict the outcome of a variety of events and compete against friends for winnings.

Unlike traditional gaming platforms where users compete against unknown, often times greedy middlemen, the decentralized HERO puts control of the money flow in...continue reading: