What it is: Microsoft and Ernst & Young teamed up to create a blockchain to track royalty payments for game developers.
When most people think of blockchains, they only think of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. That’s because cryptocurrencies are the most popular and common use for blockchains, but it’s not the only use. The main use for blockchains is to act as a transparent and trustworthy ledger. That ledger can track anything from cryptocurrency prices to royalty payments, and that’s exactly what Microsoft plans to do with their blockchain.
Right now, game developer royalties are tracked but this information isn’t always easy to find or even accurate. Microsoft’s blockchain hopes to make this royalty payment system accurate and transparent, allowing game developers to see their royalties at any time and verify that they’re getting paid on time and the proper amount.
Blockchain technology can theoretically be used for tracking any type of payments beyond royalty payments to game developers. Think of authors, musicians, and photographers. Kodak has created their own cryptocurrency to help track royalty payments for photographs. That way any time anyone uses a copyrighted photograph, they’ll have to pay a nominal fee and that transaction will get recorded in Kodak’s blockchain.
Whether Microsoft’s blockchain experiment proves feasible or not isn’t as important as the fact that a large company like Microsoft is willing to try. This should point out the flaws of blockchains and also the advantages. Others will learn from Microsoft’s experiment and create additional blockchains of their own. Eventually blockchains should be commonplace because of their open and accurate nature.
Remember, cryptocurrencies aren’t the only use for blockchains. If you want to get rich, you can avoid cryptocurrencies and focus solely on blockchains. That’s a far more stable route, much like investing in the companies that make slot machines and run casinos rather than gambling money in a slot machine yourself.
Blockchains are here to stay. Now we just have to figure out how to use them in business where Microsoft’s blockchain experiment is just one of many that will show us the potential of blockchains in everyday life.