Field Note #21. On "Non-Financial Application of Blockchains"

Source: Vitalik Buterin, "Where To Use a Blockchain in Non-Financial Applications?," avail. online (June 2022)

  • The Issue Presented.  Where does it make sense to use blockchains in non-financial applications?
  • On Buterin's Middle Way.  It is critical to avoid extremes, particularly in domains where the probability space is impenetrably wide, and multidisciplinary attitudes and teams are necessary to enter the arena.
  • On Four Non-Financial Use Categories.
    (1) Account Management / keys;
    (2) Interoperability;
    (3) Negative Reputation;
    (4) Proving Limited Quantity
  • Of these categories, Buterin places highest conviction in the first two: “Out of all the above list, the two I am personally by far the most confident about are interoperability with other blockchain applications and account management.  The first is on-chain already, and the second is relatively cheap (need to use the chain once per user, and not once per action), the case for it is clear, and there really isn't a good non-blockchain-based solution." (Id.)
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