Social media privacy issues could help blockchain technology grow


The recent fallout involving Facebook’s privacy issues could be good news for blockchain technology, according to RCBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves.

Steves explained on CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Wednesday how blockchain could benefit from social media.

In the future, we no longer have to give our photos to Facebook. Instead, Steves said, “you could just share that photo specifically with people, and then you’d be able to track it and make sure it’s not shared with someone who gets access to your information”. Sounds like a good deal.

It’s 100% possible for you to track all this stuff, he said. “I think that’s where we’re going long term,” he added.

Although blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, would enable users to track their data and how it is being shared, it would not allow users to avoid misuse to begin with. According to Steves, blockchain could solve the issue with transparency, but it would not solve the control issues.

Privacy issues were highlighted after The New York Times and the Guardian’s Observers reported that political data analytics from Cambridge Analytica were able to gain illegal access to personal information of approximately 50 million Facebook users. Although Facebook was aware of the misuse since 2015, they ignored the issue and did not alert its users.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement on Wednesday for the first time since the news blew out of proportion. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” he wrote in a Facebook post. Despite that, Facebook’s stocks dropped considerably this week.

Big tech and a centralized control are clearly not working, which is why the idea of a distributed ledger technology, like blockchain, is a more sensible solution.

Despite the recent drop in prices of bitcoin and other major digital currencies, Steves predicts that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology could grow into a $10 trillion industry in the next 15 years. The utilization of a decentralized computing system and open source software will aid in the development of this industry.

Bitcoin was one of the first applications created by the blockchain technology almost 10 years ago. The technology to create bitcoins is the same one developers use to create other digital currencies today.


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