Blockchain has many sensible uses, but what about the strange and unusual? Here are some blockchain projects that will make you do a double-take.
1. The Blockchain Fridge
Yep, you read that right. A fridge. Running on a blockchain. Austria’s largest energy provider Wien Energie teamed up with appliance manufacturer Bosch to produce this decentralized fridge.
On the surface, this idea sounds daft, but the concept and thought process behind it is astounding. This fridge keeps track of where its electricity comes from, be it an off-shore wind turbine farm, steam power station, or the solar panels on your roof.
The core idea here is that you can choose the electricity to power your fridge. Not a big fan of coal? Go ahead and set your preference to renewable energy sources. You may pay more for electricity generated in certain ways, but you remain in complete control.
To prevent abuse of the system, this fridge uses blockchain smart contracts to store fridge data. It’s not mentioned what blockchain powers this technology, but it’s possibly Ethereum.
This fridge is undergoing pilot trials with three customers right now, and if successful, you may see more technology like this arriving in short order. Read the blockchain fridge press release to learn more.
2. Garlicoin (GRLC)
Started as a joke on Reddit, Garlicoin is enjoying a surprising longevity. This cryptocurrency project doesn’t even have a website, yet people refuse to let it die. With a market cap of $39,000 at the time of writing and a 24-hour trading volume of $165, Garlicoin is hardly shattering any records.
On Christmas day in 2017, Reddit user DigitalizedOrange created the Garlicoin subreddit and set the Internet on fire with his elegantly titled post.
If this post gets 30,000 upvotes, I will make a garlic bread cryptocurrency called garlicoin” to /r/garlicoin
While enthusiasm has died down since its creation, Garlicoin still has a loyal fanbase. With over 105,000 subscribers to its subreddit page, this meme has more followers than many social media influencers. Just don’t tell Count Dracula, ok?
3. Plantoid: Blockchain-Based Lifeform
The Plantoid project is an interesting one. Described as “A Blockchain-based life form”, this project replicates a plant-based lifeform, but on a blockchain. This isn’t some unrelated data such as plant details, this is a living, growing, blockchain-based “lifeform”.
This Plantoid is a bionic creature. Its body lives as a metal structure, and its soul lives on in its blockchain.
The Plantoid’s ultimate goal is to reproduce, and so to do this, it accepts Bitcoin donations to its very own Bitcoin address. Once the project raises enough Bitcoin, the Plantoid will attempt to reproduce. Presumably, this involves paying someone in Bitcoin to build a second Plantoid.
If you look closer at this project, you’ll see that it’s a part art installation, part blockchain educational resource. While you could argue that it’s a scam, aiming to rob people of their hard-earned cryptocurrencies, it’s still a fun project. A living breathing art installation, powered by Bitcoin. It’s the crypto-equivalent of a Tamagotchi.
4. Blockchain Mozzarella
Italian dairy producer Spinosa has one of their Mozzarella cheeses on the blockchain. Ok, you can’t download some cheese, but you can track exactly where your produce comes from. By using the “Blockchain Quality Certificate” present on every packet, you can see every aspect of the cheese supply chain involved in the production of every cheese.
Spinosa attempt to provide a 100% traceability for their products and this latest effort aims to combat a rise in counterfeit Italian food. Through the blockchain quality certificate (that’s a QR code to you or me), you can trace each cheese through its processing and packaging stages, down to its origin farm.
We’re not quite sure why Spinosa chose a blockchain to store this data, neither do we know the specific implementation details. Perhaps the immutable nature of blockchains was appealing to them.
5. Blockchain Weddings
Back in 2014, an American couple became the first to have a blockchain wedding. They used Bitcoin to store their marriage details, so it’s not like they merged with the blockchain or any other science fiction style augmentation.
David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo married through a traditional civil service. Afterward, they attended a Bitcoin conference at Disneyland Florida and submitted their details to Bitcoin’s blockchain by spending 0.1 BTC, and then sharing their transaction QR codes.
While an unusual choice for a wedding, the couple didn’t want to define their relationship by a single entity or organization.
We believe that like the blockchain, our love and marriage are forever and that our relationship is not defined by governments or the church. So enshrining our commitment to each other in the blockchain in front of our friends is very dear to us
While this inspiring show of affection wasn’t binding, it was enough for the happy couple. Perhaps in the future, we’ll see legally binding prenuptial agreements run on smart contracts, with automatically executing conditions should the marriage dissolve.
It’s About to Get Weird (In a Good Way)
These projects show off the strange and unusual side of blockchain. While they may sound odd on the surface, many of them have legitimate and novel use cases.
Over the years since Bitcoin’s creation, there have been many attempts to capitalize on blockchain hype. At one point, changing your business name to include the word blockchain yielded a reasonable uptick in stock prices. These projects all have a sensible aim and show that the rate of innovation in blockchain is as fast as ever.
If you’re looking for a more sensible list, go read Dan’s piece on the real-world uses for blockchain.