I have a paper coming out about blockchain’s non-financial applications, particularly relevant to government and near-government organizations. It’ll probably be a few months before it’s published but I’ll try to remember to share it!
Just for you, though, an executive summary:
If conventional third-party/middlemen organizations and brokers are like boats helping people cross bodies of water, blockchain tools are bridges. If we can learn to trust the bridges (and their engineers), we might avoid a lot of ferries, saving a lot of money, time, and increasing reliability to boot. Four potentially powerful areas of opportunity are digital dignity, digital scarcity, digital governance, and digital collaboration.
Restoring digital dignity: Blockchain tools may give people more secure, specific, and granular control over their identity/data, including who can see it, who can use it, and how it’s used. E.g., Taqanu.
Encouraging digital scarcity: Blockchain tools may create new ways of controlling and securing access to digital goods in order to increase the value of those goods. E.g., the Content Blockchain Project.
Facilitating digital collaboration: By changing how contributions between people are valued at scale, blockchain tools may change the ways we participate online. E.g., Steemit.
Enabling digital governance: Blockchain organizations offer new ways to organize and coordinate decision making across borders and scales. E.g., Aragon.
I personally haven’t seen these visions borne out at scale yet. A lot still needs to be figured out—in particular, the social, political, and values-based changes that will need to take root in society in order to adopt blockchain alternatives. Still, a lot could change!