Between Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: Which one is Better?

Beginner’s Guide / 26.05.2020

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies became popular in 2008 with Satoshi’s whitepaper on Bitcoin. Since then, there have been numerous debates over the two terms. One of the most sought-after answers is which of the two is better. Is it blockchain or cryptocurrencies?

Notably, the blockchain is more instrumental in any industry than cryptocurrencies. That’s primarily based on the fact that the blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies. However, despite being engineered on the blockchain, cryptocurrency’s dominance in the fintech industry distinguishes them as independent entities second to none that can disrupt the traditional financial system. In the same rationale, most blockchain projects are operational if the basing crypto on the chain is active. That means, in some rare aspects, they coexist with one another. 

On that note, superiority between the two can be evaluated when you look at their input on the various sectors constituting the lifestyle of humankind – how they can either benefit or add value in the network.

In this guide, you’ll look at the breakdown of blockchain and cryptocurrencies applications in the various industries then determine how the two can supplement the functionality in those industries: 

Blockchain 101 vs Cryptocurrencies 101

Blockchain is a distributed and decentralized public ledger that holds all the transactions on a peer-to-peer network. The technology allows blocks of information to be stored on a public chain, hence its name. Blocks once added to the public ledger cannot be altered. Also, there needs to be a majority consensus before information is added to the public ledger. Thanks to all the underlying concepts, the blockchain technology allows systems to function without intermediaries. 

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are simply digital assets. These virtual currencies use cryptography to ensure their legitimacy and to avoid double-spend problems. Most of the available cryptocurrencies today rely on blockchain technology at their core. Through blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies become decentralized, transparent and gain immutability. 

As a technology, blockchain can be applied to various industries. But, it’s an indisputable fact that the blockchain has been most impactful in the application of crypto projects. These virtual currencies have dominated the fintech industry, establishing their position as independent entities. Their capability to disrupt the entire traditional finance system is quite a lucrative feature. Similarly, blockchain projects may, to some extent, rely on the underlying token for their success. In this way, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies may coexist.

So, how do we determine the superiority of one entity? We can only do so by determining their impact in the various sectors of human lifestyle. 

Impact of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies in Various Sectors

Since 2008, the sole focus of developers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space has been finance. However, thanks to the endless opportunities offered by the two, more people are looking at the impact on other industries. Here, we look at how the use cases of blockchain and cryptocurrencies compare in four different sectors. 

HealthCare

The US recorded data breaches for 41 million patient records. Therefore, it is no surprise that the most widely used blockchain application is in securing patient data. 

Health practitioners get to store patient documents on a distributed ledger. Data on the ledger cannot be altered, which ensures that every record remains safe and hack-proof. Besides, doctors and other health professionals use the ledger as a single source of data. This makes it easier for them to access any patient’s history by getting onto the public ledger. Having all the information stored in one place makes it easier for researchers to carry out any health studies based on the ledger’s information. These studies could prove to be the basis for ground-breaking medical discoveries. 

BurstIQ is one such company that is using blockchain technology to help health companies store their patient data. 

Integrating cryptocurrencies into the healthcare system could provide a token of trust between involved parties. A significant hindrance to the progress of the healthcare systems is the lack of reliable information. 

Crypto tokens could be used as an incentive to get more people to provide the necessary data. The tokens would also provide an incentive for miners to transact on the ledger. Health care professionals, on the other hand, get access to a public ledger that contains medical records that would allow them to provide better care for their patients. 

An excellent example of the use of cryptocurrencies in healthcare is Dentacoin. Patients get to earn dentacoins whenever they provide feedback or review the services at their dentist’s office. They can then use the tokens to pay for dental services. In return, dentists have access to information that allows them to provide better healthcare to their patients. 

Education

Besides storing students’ data and credentials, blockchain technology can come in handy in various ways in the education sector. For starters, the technology can help counter plagiarism, one of the vices that plague the industry. Academic resources get to be stored on the ledger, and the owner has complete control over who can access it. Besides, the ledger records every usage of the content, making it easier to track any material to the right owner. 

Another menace in the education sector is employers receiving fake diplomas and certificates from potential employees. With blockchain technology, employees would only need a digital link to access the employee’s credentials. MIT, for example, began issuing digital diplomas to its students in 2017. The qualifications are stored on a blockchain, which prevents the submission of fake degrees. 

Cryptocurrencies have also made quite an impact in the sector. For example, Success Resources Group of companies created the SuccessLife Tokens. These tokens allow students to pay for personal, professional, and developmental courses. The entire project aims to lower fees and make education more affordable in the US. 

Fashion Industry

Many people will wonder how blockchain and cryptocurrencies can come in handy in the fashion industry. The most common use case of blockchain technology is in the apparel supply chains.

Blockchain helps to link everyone in the supply chain from the fibre providers, to the processors, manufacturers, all the way to the retailers. All the participants get to include data in the public ledger, which increases transparency, credibility, and trust among them. An excellent example of this at work is the partnership between Provenance and Alpaca Apparel. The solution helps track raw material from the shearing farm, all the way to the studio. The clothes also get a smart label with a unique ID, which gives timestamps from every step of the production. 

With cryptocurrencies, making secure payments is the most significant use-case. However, crypto enthusiasts are exploring new ways to incorporate the digital tokens. In 2018, FashionTV, a leading international fashion broadcasting station, announced the launch of its cryptocurrency, FTV Coin Deluxe.

 The tokens are ERC-20 based and used in buying various FashionTV products. FTV Coin Deluxe would also help models to get rid of intermediaries like talent agencies, allowing them to earn more money.

Entertainment

The possibilities of blockchain technology in the entertainment scene are endless. One of the biggest hurdles in the industry is the constant battle over ownership. Often, you will hear artists fighting over the original copyrights of a specific project. 

Blockchain technology could help solve this problem since all transactions about a project are recorded on a public ledger. Anyone on the ledger can track the transactions right to the beginning of the project. Thanks to the timestamps on the blocks, it is easier to interact with the folks contributing on the project and still get transfer to attain 40% when you need you. 

Verifi is a blockchain startup that helps manage rights for music. The company links media files to help synchronize ownership across various stakeholders. Through the platform, both record companies and artists get the power to make and broadcast amendments to any party involved in the project. 

Cryptocurrencies in the entertainment industry primarily come in handy when paying for services. Some streaming platforms, for example, will allow the users to pay for their subscriptions using digital currencies. The adult industry mainly benefits from these currencies with coins like Titcoin and SexCoin. Besides allowing them to pay for the services, they also get to benefit from the anonymity provided. 

ThetaFuel is another use case of cryptos in the industry. The token operates on the Theta protocol and helps to power the on-chain operations on the blockchain. Users get to earn TFUEL tokens whenever they relay a video stream to others on the network. Deploying and interacting with smart contracts also warrants a reward of TFUEL tokens. 

Author’s Note

Blockchain and cryptocurrency both play a significant role in the advancement of various industries. Besides the sectors named above, these two play an essential role in transport, technology, crime, food & travel, and agriculture. Determining the superior one between the two becomes a challenge since they correlate in more ways than not. 

We cannot say for sure which one is better. But, it is essential to note that they both have the potential to disrupt traditional systems. The transparency they offer makes both blockchain and cryptos lucrative for any sector. As such, we can only wait and see what solutions developers will come up with and how they will integrate the two to help solve some of man’s lifestyle problems. 

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Wayne is a Blockchain enthusiast and expert in crypto trading. Currently, he covers trendy issues on digital currencies.