Investigating Non-Financial Applications of Blockchain Technology and The Distinctive Challenges of Working in the Field.

Blockchain Technology

We recently conducted a roundtable discussion at the Blockchain Zoo Headquarters, where our co-founders Roberto and Barton engaged in a conversation with David Moskowitz, the co-founder of, and Raman Shalupau, the founder of, to discuss the current state of the blockchain industry.

In this article we will discuss:

  • Unique challenges of working in the blockchain/cryptocurrency space
  • Leveraging blockchains for non-financial uses cases
  • How governments are approaching blockchains for administrative reasons
  • The future of data and digital identities

Working in the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry

Working in the blockchain industry has several unique characteristics that may not be immediately apparent to newcomers. Similar to the early days of the internet, the blockchain space moves at a rapid pace and demands specialized skill sets that may be difficult to acquire.

To be truly successful in this field, job candidates must possess a broad range of skills, including expertise in distributed systems, game theory, and economics. As Barton noted, there are very few individuals worldwide who possess such a diverse set of skills. Additionally, evaluating the technical aptitude of potential hires can be a challenge for recruiters, which makes it difficult for companies to identify and recruit top blockchain talent.

There’s also a talent shortage in the industry. There aren’t many well qualified candidates and with the recent surge in excitement, most companies in the space are fighting over good engineers. Thankfully, companies like help companies source technical and non-technical talent.

The talent shortage brings up another good question: how do people learn about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology?

Sadly, the industry is still lacking in educational materials. We’re seeing some top universities start to offer courses which is a good sign, but not nearly enough. It’s important that the top companies in the space provide educational materials to support the growth of the industry. This is why we decided to create educational material here at Blockchain Zoo.

Other good examples of companies in the space providing educational materials include:

  • CoinShares released an in-depth report on the mining industry
  • BitMex has an impressive research department
  • BitWise released a report examining exchange volume legitimacy

Not only does providing good educational material help the industry and as a whole, but it also helps draw attention to the companies producing the content. The internet is full of noise and good content will rise to the top.

For those who want to work in the industry but aren’t sure how to get started, we recommend Meltem Demirors article: So You Want to Work in Crypto. She explains how the industry differs from others and gives practical advice on how to get hired.

If you’re wondering "is it too late to learn how to code," it’s safe to say the answer is NO.
"Software is eating the world" - Marc Andreessen
As we transition into the information age, the demand for quality software engineers only continues to rise.

Non-financial Use Cases for Blockchains

Here at Blockchain Zoo we believe that blockchains and related technologies will disrupt much more than money and finance. Two interesting examples are storing accreditation on a blockchain and improving governmental administrative processes.

Currently there is a problem with potential employees faking college diplomas. Employers have a hard time verifying the truth. David Moskowitz is focused on solving this problem directly with his company They believe storing hashes of diplomas on a blockchain will allow employers to verify "facts" which will improve hiring practices.

They face several challenges which David is confident they can overcome:

  1. How do you verify the information going onto the blockchain was accurate initially?
  2. How to motivate incumbents to both pay for and adopt this new system?

Another interesting example of a non-financial use case for a blockchain is government administration. It’s no secret that most governmental processes are archaic. We live in a digital world and yet most governments do business with pen, paper, and rubber stamps.

We’re starting to see some disruption in the government sector lead by countries like Estonia. Blockchains can provide more transparency and efficiency to government, both are a welcomed improvement. This transition is just beginning but the writing is on the wall.


Before we apply blockchain technology to every problem faced by our governments, we need to carefully consider certain factors. The issues surrounding "digital identity" and "data ownership" carry significant consequences for the future of humanity.

Currently, we are living in a flawed system where individuals struggle to manage a multitude of passwords and "social security numbers" that are nearly impossible to keep secure and are often compromised. Even the most reputable corporations and government agencies are unable to safeguard their data. When data is leaked, it can cause significant harm to individuals, including fraud, theft, and in some cases, even loss of life.

On the other hand, decentralized technologies such as blockchain aim to restore ownership of personal data to the individual. This would transform digital identity, creating a more secure, private, and socially scalable world that is less susceptible to corruption.

Identity can be defined in many ways:

  • Physical body – a biometric record such as DNA, iris scan, or fingerprints
  • Government record – tax ID, birth certificate, or social security number
  • Memory – username/password combination
  • Reputation – a set of attributed given to you by a community

Each method of identification comes with its own unique set of tradeoffs. One real concern is using biometric data to identify citizens. On one hand, it’s very effective because it’s hard to mimic someone else’s DNA or iris scans. However, it also comes with tremendous potential for abuse.

Like all technologies, blockchains and biometrics are amoral. At the end of the day, they are simply tools which can be used for good or evil. It’s our responsibility as technologists to steer our use of technology towards the greater good of humanity. Join us on this mission.

Let’s Wrap Up

The blockchain industry is a dynamic and exhilarating field, with rapid advancements and innovations. It draws in some of the most fascinating and brilliant minds globally, and we consider ourselves fortunate to be a part of it. We will continue to contribute by creating informative content to promote awareness about this technology.

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