If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, you may be wondering why anyone would consider using it for anything but financial purposes. Or, if you’re even newer to the world of crypto, you may not even be sure how the financial side of it works, let alone data storage.
Whatever your level of crypto expertise, thinking about keeping various information on a blockchain is an interesting puzzle in and of itself. After all, blockchain technology was born of a need—the need for full transparency and decentralization. Those two needs are realized in the various cryptocurrencies out there (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.), but also by the use of blockchain to keep data decentralized and secure.
Plenty of businesses use crypto-based systems to keep their information secure, so why shouldn’t a church do so as well? Sure, you’re probably not accepting donations to the collection plate in digital currency like Ethereum or Litecoin, but you can still make use of this tech advancement. Intrigued? Read on to learn more about just how to make it work for your specific needs.
How does the system work?
For all the crypto beginners out there, let’s start with the basics. A blockchain is a database, which means that it’s a way of storing information. It’s most commonly associated with cryptocurrency information (specifically transactions, like crypto trades or purchases made with cryptocurrencies). The genius of this new way of storing information is the full transparency of it. If you trade crypto (such as Dogecoin or Litecoin) on one of the best Bitcoin exchanges, like Coinbase, Gemini, or Binance, those crypto trades are fully visible to anyone with access to the ledger. If a trader buys and sells assets or fiat currency on the NYSE, that’s not the case at all. Only the buyer and seller know about the transaction. The chain part of it means that all these transactions are kept as datasets (or blocks) in a chain. That means that the chronology of crypto trades or purchases is completely transparent as well.
Can you use crypto-based technology if you’re not a crypto trader?
Absolutely, although it’s complicated to do, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s actually what you need. This will depend on the type of information you want to be storing. For example, you don’t need to keep the schedule of the Pastor’s appointments on the blockchain, but you may want to keep a record of the church’s purchases so that there are no doubts about where any money is going. Basically, anything that you want to have full transparency and a clear chronological sequence for is worth keeping in this type of database.
What can you store in this way? What can’t you store?
Basically you can store anything that’s transactional in nature, but there’s plenty that’s not worth the effort. If you’re trading in crypto assets or tokens as a way to earn extra funds for the church, you would of course keep track of those crypto assets and tokens in a crypto wallet (like your own wallet where you keep fiat currency, but digital and for crypto tokens). You may want to keep track of certain transactional-type events in this way as well. You could keep the information about a Pastor performing a baby dedication in this way, and you could even keep the baby dedication certificate safe this way. Seeing as a baby dedication is a transactional event (e.g., when Pastor John performs a ceremony for the Smith family, performing that baby dedication is the transaction itself) that’s the type of data that you might want to put into the chain.