Blockchain technology is present in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin, and has been hailed as a "game changer". The technology powers the currencies through a network-based approach. Each device on the system has its own secured and encrypted data set that includes a unique passcode and data about where that currency has been. This distributed approach allows the currency to be passed from user to user with little risk of tampering, and allows user-side transaction verification, secure transactions, and, of course, the very concept of bitcoin, being data that is secure enough to be used as currency. Because of the security and ease of use of the technology, it has garnered mass appeal and a number of different businesses in different sectors are looking into various uses of it.
The latest to join this list is apparently Verizon. While they have yet to announce anything officially, our source, Business Insider, managed to get their hands on a patent from May of this year, that proposes using blockchain technology to aid in rights management and security for digital content. The digital rights management system on display in the patent assigns unique data to each user and each digital goodie, then looks for a verified match before allowing the user access. The patent goes on to talk about transfer of rights between users, even during a rental period for rented content. This could mean that Verizon was looking into a digital rights management system tailor-made for pay-per-use content. This could even herald Go90 evolving into a full-on content platform, like a much improved version of the ill-fated V-Cast.
On a wider scale, this technology could usher in micro-transactions for viewing content as an alternative to models like permanent purchase or advertising revenue, allowing creators to be paid directly by consumers, who can in turn, due to the low prices, get the content they want without ads or hangups in exchange for paying a relatively low cost. This could also allow things like drop-in drop-out rentals of real time online games, akin to sticking a quarter into an arcade cabinet, except that cabinet is connected to a living, breathing online world, for example. Applications as simple as pay-per-view movies with practically no digital overhead are, of course, a simpler answer and will likely start showing up soon, with Verizon not being the only tech firm looking into uses of blockchain technology.