Like many others, I started working in crypto in 2017. It was the golden age of ICOs and everybody wanted to get a piece of the pie by creating yet another unique and promising solution or decentralized ecosystem. And judging by the copy on their websites, I suspect that more than half of the participants had no idea what they were doing.
One of my tasks as a complete crypto beginner was to research and analyze various ICO projects and I’ve seen some weird stuff. Here’s a good one. How do you feel about “the world’s first rocket and space technology to produce fuel by using oil residues from refineries offered by Anatoly Papusha”? And the main question is what does that have to do with blockchain?
Some people believe that if you put it on the blockchain, it automatically becomes ‘unique’, ‘transparent’, and ‘revolutionary’. Not everything that is labeled blockchain really needs blockchain, but the human mind and ambition are unstoppable.
In fact, some people contemplate whether a bunch of popular blockchain use cases are actually artificial. Blockchain is great for keeping your data safe but it won’t guarantee this data is legit. Even voting on the blockchain has its own issues. And most importantly, tokens that were created just because why not are only hindering the development process and making a bad name for the tech.
So if you’re thinking of launching a blockchain startup, think again. Does this idea really need complicated tech to back it up? And while you’re processing this info, here are the top 10 most bizarre blockchain use cases I’ve come across so far. Some of them were quite cool though.
One of the most honorable lines of development for Blockchain tech is philanthropy. I do believe that empowering people in third-world countries and helping them get access to welfare can become blockchain’s best success story. Unfortunately, currently the big change is not yet on the agenda as it needs more funding and attention. However, that doesn’t stop people from trying.
The Irish medical aid project together with Dutch foundation PharmAcess launched an unusual initiative to help underprivileged mothers-to-be in Tanzania. The idea was to provide pregnant women with a digital ID that they could use to get access to pregnancy vitamins, track the pregnancy’s progress as well the delivery and postnatal progress by recording medical data from doctor’s appointments.
Although slightly futuristic, it is still worth a shot. Sadly, there hasn’t been too much news since 2018 when the first blockchain baby was recorded.
I always wondered what happens to big Bitcoin reserves when their owners die and leave no mnemonic lying around. Are they gone forever? Can you do something about it? And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who gave this a thought.
DigiPulse, a blockchain project from Latvia, came up with a great idea. They came up with a technology that allows crypto owners to put their money away in a special wallet that will release the funds and send them to the heir after the initial owner dies. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
However, there’s a catch. How would you let the system know that you’re dead? Well, there’s no need because the tech will figure it out by itself. It will track your social media as well as crypto-trading accounts and if you’re not active for a certain amount of time (that you specify in advance), it just assumes that you’re no longer with us. The project, however, turned sour.
If you’ve ever planted a tree but haven’t received a crypto reward for it, you’re clearly missing out. ForestCoin is on a mission to make people plant trees and reward them with crypto. As they put it themselves, the mining process is done by planting trees.
So basically, all you need to do is plant a tree, record it via a special app, wait until other users confirm it, get the coins, and spend or sell them later on. Stage one tree planters receive 10 coins per tree, but in the future the ‘block reward’ will be reduced. They say 166 trees have been planted and their website features a bunch of pictures with the people looking enthusiastic, showing off their creations.
The Fuck Token
At one point, things got out of control and people started matching wits. Quite a few useless tokens with a ‘funny’ concept came out. Some of them, like DogeCoin, even managed to make something decent (more or less) of it.
The FUCK token is one of those ingenious-wannabe projects that you cannot take seriously. Best case scenario, the FUCK token, short for finally usable crypto karma, could be used to tip people on social media.
Imagine that you could reward the person who created that meme you laughed at on Reddit. Would you tip them? Well, if you would, there’s a FUCK that you can give. However, the project has been dead for a while and Reddit now has its own coins.
Proof of Steak
Proof of Stake is complicated and boring, why not use Proof of Steak instead? According to the whitepaper (yes, they do have an 11-page long whitepaper), “Proof of Steak can be used to curate a registry in any situation where the proofs are a function of opinion and not mathematics.” In other words, it’s useless.
Steak Network is obviously a joke. But I have to admit that the website looks better than half of ICOs put together and clearly there has been some work put into creating the content. Judging by the people who are listed on the website, that’s how cryptocurrency enthusiasts spend their free time.
I’m not sure why, but I keep touching on blockchain projects that are connected with distributing marijuana. PotCoin, DopeCoin, and ParagonCoin are only a few of them. So what’s the catch?
Apparently, the weed-growers who don’t want to sell their stuff on the darknet and want to go fully legal can use the blockchain to take care of the financial side. Potcoin, for example, allows its users to easily send transactions and thus provides the legal cannabis industry with its own payment solution. Although you can’t get the token on Coinbase, a few mainstream exchanges like Changelly have it.
If there was a competition about the most ridiculous blockchain use case, I would bet on Legal Fling. Currently, the project is no longer available as both of the app stores removed it because of the adult content. Although I do believe the whole idea was doomed from the start.
After the #metoo movement gained hype all over the media, sexual consent became the number one topic of discussion. Legal Fling was supposed to be the only app that would record your consent before you hook up with somebody. Also, it would help you with building your court case if an intimate video of you somehow leaked to the public.
Blockchain Life Forms
I don’t know about you, but the concept of Plantoid gives me chills. It’s kind of cool and artsy and at the same time very unconventional and bizarre. Plantoid is a hybrid creature that exists in two worlds: in the physical world in the form of a mechanical contraption made from the recycled steel and electronics and in the digital world as software on a blockchain network.
Plantoid needs to be fed and you can contribute to it by sending Bitcoin donations. Once it has enough, it will reproduce itself and you can watch a new creature growing. As an art lover, I find this idea brilliant. Way to go for raising funds and attracting extra attention to your work. Besides, these Plantoids look incredible.
How about the blockchain solution for pet lovers? Yes, this is also a thing. CogniPet created an app for all pet owners and, apparently, you need badass blockchain tech to make it work. The app synchronizes pet pics on family and friends’ phones and also helps find missing animals.
Once you upload your pet’s photo, all the people from your circle will automatically see it in their app. You can make the pictures public and private as well. Also, the app gives you a chance to send a ‘Missing Pet’ notification to all CogniPet users around you so they can help you find your missing friend.
Blockchain Moon Ownership
I bet, all of you space lovers would love to have a piece of the moon, wouldn’t you? With Diana, a blockchain lunar registry, you have the chance to make your dreams come true. But who owns the Moon anyway? Right now, nobody does. That’s why the creators of the Diana project decided to prepare for a future battle for the Moon and decentralize the ownership.
The economics are simple: you buy Diana tokens and in exchange, you get your dreamy moon land. The tricky part is that Diana doesn’t own the Moon, but describes itself as a civil movement for Moon ownership. Which in fact means, that you will pay for a fantasy.
The Bottom Line
Blockchain tech has been praised and attacked throughout the years. And although there are a lot of reasonable use cases, the hype around the tech was way too loud. It attracted a lot of people with crazy ideas who wanted to become a part of this new techie trend.
Some projects, bizarre as they are, might even end up having a few devoted fans. Others are made out of thin air. As long as you don’t take them too seriously, there’s nothing wrong with joking around for a while.