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The roadmap to mass adoption: What agencies need to know about blockchain technology

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Brands and agencies should take note: Digital ownership is poised to significantly impact both commerce and everyday life.


Mark Soares, CMO and Founder, Blokhaus Inc.

If you’re an agency servicing the tech sector, then you’ve undoubtedly come across discussions about ‘Web3’.

Despite various attempts to define it, Web3 isn’t a single type of technology, but a blanket term for a myriad of applications that have emerged from the invention of blockchain. At its very simplest, a blockchain can be thought of as an immutable digital ledger. Blockchains are extremely resilient, in part because they’re decentralized, which means that rather than being hosted in a single place, or administered by a single authority, the ledger is stored on a network of computers - nodes - that use the blockchain.

Blockchains have been around for some time, but recent technological advances have set the stage for mass adoption. We’ve all heard about cryptocurrency, but the potential applications and implications of blockchain technology go far beyond digital money.

At Blokhaus, the marketing and communications agency that I founded, we’ve been working in the Web3 space for several years, providing services for startups and global brands. Let me explain just a few of the many ways in which advances in blockchain technology might soon transform your working life, and even the world.

#1: Faster, cheaper, and fairer ways of transferring value

With traditional fiat currencies, sending money around the world is far from simple. Not only is the process slow, but it’s costly, only reliably available in some territories, and involves complex verification steps and fees. In contrast, when you send money to someone in the form of cryptocurrency, funds can be transferred directly between wallets in seconds, to and from anywhere in the world.

That being said, blockchains like Bitcoin are slower and costly to run – sure, there is a reason for this (some of it is by design) but it also renders them all-but impractical as everyday digital money. That’s where stablecoins, which can utilize faster and more flexible blockchains, come in.

Imagine a real estate market where buyer and seller deal with one another directly, without intermediaries, and transactions are recorded on a blockchain

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are typically pegged to the value of a fiat currency like the US dollar or the Euro. They’re designed to combine the stability of traditional currency with the convenience of crypto. A user can hold tokens from multiple different stablecoins in their wallet, and keep or trade them wherever they are in the world without needing to go to a bank or a traditional in-person currency exchange, or open a foreign account.

Among other mechanisms that govern their value, stablecoins can make use of smart contracts. A smart contract is a program stored on a blockchain that runs when certain conditions are met and does not require an intermediary legal authority to facilitate. Imagine a real estate market, for example, where buyer and seller deal with one another directly, without intermediaries, and transactions are recorded on a blockchain. It’s not just theoretical - this technology is already being used around the world to create enforceable legal contracts.

#2 Powerful tools to fight authoritarianism (and empower end-users)

Governments have the power to cut individuals or groups off from conventional financial systems, and even to deny or revoke citizenship. These powers can be abused to suppress legitimate opposition by making it difficult for groups or individuals to fund their operations. For the oppressed and ‘unbanked’, blockchain and cryptocurrency can provide a lifeline.

The concept of ‘self-sovereign identity’ (SSI) is relatively new, but could have a major impact on communities around the world, including some of the most vulnerable. Imagine a system whereby you could manage your digital identity without needing to rely on government-issued ID cards or documentation from third-parties. That could be everything from your professional qualifications and credentials to proof of citizenship or immigration status.

Whereas physical identity documentation is vulnerable to loss, damage, forgery, or even cancellation after the fact, the blockchain serves as an immutable record

While the decentralized identity space is still fairly unexplored, there are real-world examples of blockchain being used to empower disenfranchized groups in this way. The Rohingya is a Muslim minority group in Myanmar that has been subjected to a campaign of violence by the military and denied citizenship in their home country. In 2018, the Rohingya Project was created with the aim of ‘digitally empowering the stateless’ by means of a blockchain-based ‘SSI’ system. Specifically, the project was set up to allow Rohingya individuals to manage their personal data without recourse to the (hostile) government of Myanmar. Whereas physical identity documentation is vulnerable to loss, damage, forgery, or even cancellation after the fact, the blockchain serves as an immutable record, and for communities like the Rohingya, it represents a potential means to reclaim their identity.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency enables the exchange of value between parties in an unstable, hostile or repressive environment, with less potential for corruption. Disaster relief represents a powerful use-case for blockchain-based solutions, by speeding up the process of delivering funds to affected communities. ‘Building Blocks’ was an experimental blockchain-based cash distribution system, incubated by the World Food Programme in 2017. By the time the project ended, more than $500M had been transferred, saving an estimated $3M in bank fees.

#3 Stronger democracies, and maybe even a healthier planet

With traditional voting methods, vote-casting and vote-counting alike are subject to error, and a lack of transparency can breed mistrust in the results. It’s not enough just to prevent voter fraud, governments also need to provide transparency, to prove to their citizens that fraud did not occur. And then there’s the cost of election administration - estimated to be at least $2 billion per year in the US alone.

In a blockchain-based voting system, many of the headaches associated with traditional voting could be avoided. With a public ledger, precise vote totals would be available for anyone to check, without the need to expose any confidential voter information.

The potential of blockchain-based solutions to assist in the democratic process is currently being explored around the world. Among the most active projects is community-based E-voting project Electis. Electis has been used by the governments of Switzerland and France, and was selected last year by the UN Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) to select representatives for the COP27 climate conference in Egypt. Recently, the Electis team announced a new Web3-based voting platform in partnership with King’s College London’s Blockchain Society.

Potential applications of blockchain technology include the creation of smart grids, frictionless peer-to-peer energy trading platforms via privately-owned household solar panels, and transparent tracking and reporting of emissions

On a warming planet, it is vitally important that our environment, as well as our systems of democratic government, is protected. Blockchain technology can play an important role in environmental protection by deobfuscating data collection and reporting across multiple aspects of resource management and trade, such as fishing quotas, forestry, and the tracking of endangered animals. Other potential applications include the creation of smart grids, frictionless peer-to-peer energy trading platforms via privately-owned household solar panels, and transparent tracking and reporting of emissions.

Governments and institutions in several countries around the world are already integrating blockchain technology into their plans in various ways. In 2021, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, announced ‘Digital Dubai’, a major project to overhaul the city’s IT infrastructure using developments including AI and blockchain. Meanwhile, research is ongoing into potential applications of Web3 technology for urban planning, policy making and civic engagement.

Final thoughts:

Compared to the systems and services that we use today, Web3 equivalents can be made more robust, more secure, and more accessible. Mass-adoption is just around the corner, and agencies and brands should be prepared to reimagine what it looks like to engage with their clients’ users once digital ownership is part of the mix.


Blokhaus is a marketing and communications agency with a focus on Web3 and emerging tech. Since we were founded in 2021, Blokhaus has supported numerous high-profile projects and activations around the globe, working in partnership with some of the biggest brands in the world. To learn more about our work, check out our Case Studies. To get in touch, visit our Contact Us page.