At this point, you have likely heard of cryptocurrencies paired with stories of wild speculation; however, there is much more to the phenomenon than just fortune-hunters. Intelligent developers across the globe are leveraging the underlying blockchain technology to create innovative new solutions to age-old problems.
One such solution is Smart Contracts. In the past, contracts have required a certain level of trust between parties and were enforced by the law of the land. Smart Contracts allow contract stipulations to be programmed directly into the blockchain.
One use case currently being implemented is in the peer-to-peer lending space. Developers can program loan terms to be automatically executed. For example, loan payments can be automatically withdrawn, and account minimums can be absolutely enforced.
Other uses include the exchange of property, allocation of resources, voting protocols, security roles and permissions, along with a potentially endless range of other possibilities.
Not only do these contracts eliminate the need for trust-based transactions, they also allow interested parties to enter into agreements quickly and cheaply from anywhere around the world.
Surely, this technology has the potential to change the world for the better if used correctly. The main obstacle to mass adoption remains to be accessibility, however.