Smart Charlottesville: Designing the Future; The Societal Impact of Blockchain

Tufts, Jared, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gorman, Michael, TCH Respiratory, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, University of Virginia

Blockchain is an extremely innovative and disruptive technology. It allows data to be
stored in a decentralized way while also being unchangeable. While this sounds very simple, the
effects are massive. We have already seen a rise of cryptocurrencies that is only possible due to
this technology, and this is only one small impact of blockchain. This could lead anywhere from
the decentralization of content that is currently on Netflix or YouTube to helping establish
property laws in poor countries to assist them in growing their GDP. The impact blockchain
could have on people’s lives across the world is massive, and many people, governments, and
companies are putting money into researching this technology to determine how it could help
them achieve their goals. These goals often contradict each other, so it will be interesting to see
in the future who is able to really take the lead on the future of blockchain. The government will
most likely really start to try and guide the growth of blockchain technology towards where they
want it to be through anticipatory governance. They are not huge advocates for the decentralized
nature of blockchain, though the security is much greater. Something being decentralized makes
criminal activity much easier and makes a technology or industry much harder to regulate. It
remains to be seen how the government views blockchain, and what they will do to make sure
the technology serves society in the best way possible.
Blockchain is still in its early stages, having mainly been used for cryptocurrency so far.
However, a plethora of money is getting spent on research right now, giving blockchain
technology a good chance to have a massive impact on our society and the world in the very near

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Michael Gorman
Technical Team Members: Sanjana Hajela, Kajal Sheth, Cory Ayers, Luke Deni, Conner Hutson, Anthony Lancaster

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