The excitement surrounding blockchain can be compared to the early days of the internet. Everyone knows there is a lot of paths to take, but nobody is sure which path will lead to success. Startups love living on the edge. So they are embracing the idea of blockchain and trying to create innovations that will change the world.
Here are 4 ideas that stand out:
Decentralized Freelancing Marketplace
The online freelancing marketplace has picked up steam relatively recently. Companies like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and more have gained prominence in the last few years. These companies have given rise to the gig economy. Through these services, freelancers and businesses are discovering each other around the world. It is bringing down global boundaries. However, there are already problems brewing. These freelancing sites collect high fees from both the freelancers and the businesses. Also, all users are dependent on the whims of the freelancing services. So, there is an opportunity for startups to create decentralized freelancing marketplaces. It will enable freelancers and businesses to work together without the need for an intermediary. Dashlancer is a company that is already looking at ways to use this startup idea.
Decentralized Search Engine and Ad-Network
Google, Bing, and Yahoo dominate the search engine market. They have collected petabytes of data on people throughout the world. They determine the advertisements we see and the products we consume. These centralized systems are benefitting from our user data. So there is an opportunity for startups to disrupt the search engine and ad-network space. Instead of search engines making money, users can directly benefit from their own data. BitClave is a decentralized search system that allows users to safeguard their privacy and earn cryptocurrency for sharing their information with businesses. It takes out the intermediary and lets customers and businesses interact with each other directly.
Exchanges for cryptocurrencies defeats the decentralized philosophy of blockchain. The idea of blockchain was not to rely on any single point of failure. But exchanges have become weaknesses in the crypto-world. In 2014, $400 million worth of bitcoin was stolen from Mt Gox. But the recent hack of Japanese exchange Coincheck is estimated to be $530 million. Entrepreneurs are trying to solve the problem by creating decentralized exchanges. Waves, OpenLedger, CryptoBridge, Bisq and Stellar are examples of decentralized exchanges.
Decentralized Content Platform and Social Media
Medium, Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube depend on the contents of their users. The content creators provide value to the networks. All content platforms and social media companies have realized the power of the creators and influencers. They have developed systems and processes to reward the movers and shakers of the social media landscape. But the systems and processes are often unpredictable. The central authorities can change the rules of the game anytime they want. It has given rise to a need for social networks and content platforms that are decentralized and gives the power back to the users. Steemit is an example of such a network.
The opportunities to create businesses using blockchain are numerous. Not all startups will succeed. But those who succeed have the potential to become the next Google or Facebook.