How the chaining of blocks could build a transformation

Blockchain. So hot right now.

And misunderstood.

Look, I’m not really going to try and explain blockchaining. Go and read the Re/Code article, and try not to get distracted by the other interesting articles that you might…squirrel!

It’s incredibly clever in its simplicity by creating security through a distributed network of trust and self-validation, that gets more powerful the more users you have. It also is tied into Bitcoin, that digital currency that is as synonymous with secrecy as it is with being worth a lot of money.

There has been a lot of corporate interest in how Blockchain can be used – the intrinsic security in the concept could allow for safe financial transactions with a very low failure rate. The power of distributed computing places trust in the hands of the customers, which both removes third party services currently essential for transferring money, and also could build trust with the customers. This has been mooted as a transformation for international transactions, real estate and more.

I also spent some time workshopping the concept around how it could be used for content and content production. By and large this didn’t go very far, mainly due to the fact that blockchain is at its best when you need something highly secure and spread across a distributed network. Content production isn’t at a state where we need to be able to validate our writer’s workflows to that detail.

Or do we?

It seems that someone has made some great headway into the concept. Blockai got featured on Techcrunch recently, proposing that Blockchain could be used to validate DRM – digital rights management. It could store the creator’s ID against every asset that person creates, and be transferred along the production workflow. This means that each asset is tagged against misuse. If a dispute arose about the misuse of an asset outside of the agreed contract (eg a photo of a man is used to illustrate a story about a murderer, without consent), the original creator could be easily validated through the Blockchain methodology.

This is something with limited use outside of content production, but amazing value. Validation of legal ownership and intellectual property is one of the great bugbears of content – how do creators get recognised and protected for their work, while also being able to trust that they can send work along securely and simply for their clients to use.

It sounds like Blockai are getting some support to become a real deal. Something I’m definitely going to continue investigating.

Brilliant. Both for the industry, but also that someone managed to find an angle for Blockchain outside the already proven use for finance.

Wikipedia on Blockchain


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