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Blockchain Use Cases Expand Beyond Crypto

Blockchain’s Impact on Gaming, Banking, and More

Many people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency since it is the technology that underpins digital tokens. But blockchain has a myriad of other uses. People are increasingly using the technology to store vaccine cards, get access to financial services, play games, send money across borders, and more. As the market takes off in the coming years, the uses for blockchain are only expected to grow more.

The blockchain market size is forecast to hit $67.4 billion by 2026—up from $4.9 billion this year. A lot of that growth today is being driven by cryptocurrencies, but the market is expected to take off as blockchain permeates other aspects of people’s daily lives.

The Impact of Decentralized Finance

A big opportunity for the blockchain market in the coming years is decentralized finance, or DeFi. DeFi apps are designed to reach people without bank accounts across the world. According to the World Bank, this comprises around 1.7 billion people. Through blockchain apps, which are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, people can earn interest by saving digital coins, borrow money, or lend their cryptocurrencies to others.

The DeFi market was about $21 billion last year. So far in 2021 it has reached $110 billion. These apps are not regulated, so it’s important for users to be careful. There are no federal agencies backing deposits and scammers are active in the world of DeFi. If the market gets more regulated, some of that risk may go away.

Meanwhile, established companies like Meta Technologies (FB) are testing sending cross-border payments via blockchain. This could reduce the cost of safely sending money abroad.

Gamers Make Money Through Blockchain

Blockchain is also creating new opportunities in the video game industry. Gamers spend a lot of time and money in games acquiring weapons, gear, and accessories, but they can’t take these items with them from one game to the next and it can be difficult to sell their winnings to other players. Games like Axie Infinity are changing that with blockchain. Through the game, which has over one million daily active users, players pay to play and win nonfungible tokens which they can sell on cryptocurrency exchanges. For some people, this has become a main source of income.

From gaming to finance, blockchain can help people interact in new ways. But because of a lack of regulation in parts of these industries, it’s important to proceed with caution.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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