So my last article about the Helios Protocol detailed out the project, its concepts, technology and vision. In this article, I wanted to take a step back and focus on some of the possibilities and use cases for the Helios Protocol. Keep in mind that these are just examples that I have seen posted on the Helios Discord from community members as well as ideas from the development team themselves.
I was thinking about this for awhile and how IDs and personal identification could be improved upon from the centralized standards that we have today. Of course you have the immutability of the blockchain backing up and forever preserving your identity if it were to be written to the blockchain, but how could Helios take it one step further? The one example that I thought of was airports. At every single airport across let’s say the United States of America, which according to this website is right around 5000, there are thousands and thousands of travelers that pass through the security checkpoints. Each person’s ID is scanned and verified before they are passed through the checkpoint and onto their destination. In the two busiest airports, ATL and LAX, 50 and 40 million passengers passed through in 2016. That is 136k passengers per day for ATL and 109k for LAX. If we say that Ethereum has the capability for 20TPS, that means it can process 1.782million transactions per day. These two airlines alone would account for around 7% of all possible transactions of the Ethereum blockchain for the day if each and every passenger going through security would have their ID checked on its blockchain. Airports alone could completely bring the Ethereum blockchain to a standstill. With Helios, every person would have their ID on their own personal blockchain, and would only need to interact with either the airports specific smart contract or the smart contract of a database of all citizens IDs. The masternodes and full nodes would do all of the processing and things would move along quickly, efficiently and cheap. The immutability aspect of the blockchain would still be present and your identification would be secure on there.
Now airports aren’t the only place where identification is checked but the numbers are what got to me. The sheer volume makes it almost impossible for most of today’s blockchain throughput numbers. I am not a TPS junkie and I believe the million TPS projects that are announcing themselves lately are ridiculous, but I wanted to bring to light a reason why TPS is an important factor when designing a DApp or project on a specific platform.
Voting: With the recent scandal occuring in the United States about the 2016 presidency being rigged and potentially votes tampered with, this world NEEDS to have voting occur on the blockchain. This could even tie into the identification on the blockchain from earlier, proving that only those with valid identification for a county/town/city/state/country would be able to successfully vote at the polls. Votes would be counted according to a smart contract and would be stored forever, immutable, on the blockchain for reference and count. To add an extra layer of protection to this process, a town could give its citizens a special voting token that they would have to use to cast their vote. This would allow the municipality to see who voted and who didn’t for statistical analysis as well as being able to limit the voters by the amount of tokens distributed for the election. I bring up TPS of Helios again to be able to handle large turnouts for larger elections, but there are other projects that are also making their name in this space. The Horizon State project already has a partnership with the UN to use blockchain technology in their voting process. This is a huge step for blockchain adoption and one step in the correct direction.
As with above, your health record is sacred to you as it is your entire history of any conditions, medications, procedures that you have went through in your life. It is also something that needs to be secured and only seen by qualified individuals who are sworn to secrecy and professionalism. On top of this, it is something that you do not want altered, tampered with or edited without your prior knowledge. It is literally a matter of life and death that it is secure.
Storing your health records on a blockchain is a great way to keep them immutable, always available and uneditable. If the right security is in place, allowing only yourself and required individuals through a smart contract to view your health records is easily accomplished using Helios. A DApp could utilize encryption to store the files on either the smart contract of the DApp, hospital or clinic or you could store it on your own personal blockchain and grant users access when needed. This would give you the power to control your medical record. Also, I come right back to the TPS bottlenecks of other platforms above when I am thinking about the amount of records that are accessed daily by doctors around the world when treating patients. Helios would not have a problem with this per design of more nodes = more TPS.
These are certainly not the only use cases for blockchain technology, but I hope that this breaks down the importance of this technology and the power that it can bring to our everyday lives. I would love to hear about use cases that you can see coming out of blockchain technology, more specifically the Helios Protocol. Feel free to comment below any you can think of or if you have any questions. Also, feel free to tweet at me on Twitter!