Blockchain ideas are a dime a dozen right now, and entrepreneurs have scrambled to fill every available niche. There’s blockchain insurance, a Bitcoin pawnshop, and various contrivances to chain up anything you can imagine—including a few you can’t.
We’re usually pretty hungry for new blockchain ideas, but here are a few projects even we had trouble swallowing.
Blockchain Vegetation – A Growth Industry?
People have tried putting art on the blockchain before, but usually it’s something boring like copyright tokens or on-chain licensing. One group of UK artists went a step further by creating the first crypto-life forms.
The result is Plantoids: robotic synthetic organisms that look like commonplace vegetation. Each planetoid is “an autonomous blockchain-based lifeform that is able to reproduce itself. ”
Each plantoid has two elements: a physical existence as piece of recycled art, and a “soul,” a piece of software that is perpetually active on(we assume) the Ethereum blockchain. “These 2 components interact with one other in order to bring the Plantoid to life,” the website says, “and most importantly—to ensure that it can reproduce itself over time.”
If the idea of a piece of self-replicating computer code isn’t science fiction enough, the creators have contrived a way to make the physical plantoids reproduce as well, in a procedure so simultaneously brilliant and bizarre that we’re pretty sure there were some “plants” involved when they thought it up.
Here’s how it works:
Each Plantoid has a physical aspect(say, a bunch of wires twisted into the shape of a flower), which is associated with a few lines of code(a smart contract on a blockchain). The function of the smart contract is to help both aspects of the plantoid reproduce.
However, plants require pollenators, and in this case, you’re the bee. “When [a plantoid] enters into contact with organisms in the physical world,” the artists say, and those organisms appreciate the plantoid enough to make a donation, the robot will “awaken into a dance of music and lights, animated by a mixture of mechanical greed and gratitude.”
Once a plantoid is pregnant with donations, it starts planting some seeds. This is where the blockchain comes in–the donations are secured in a smart contract, and can only be released after the plant “reproduces” with the help of a human sculptor.
Strangely enough, this isn’t one of the worst blockchain ideas around, even if it is one of the weirdest. For one thing, it’s not just another case of blockchains shoehorned where they don’t belong. In order for the plantoid to ‘work,’ the code needs a reliable host, and a blockchain is a less fickle habitat than a solo computer.
That’s not to say the system is reliable–it’s pretty hard to provide the flexibility for such a sophisticated smart contract, and there probably are ways to “cheat the system.” Still, credit is due for what is probably the most creative—and original—idea in blockchain space.
Blockchain Pets, Because Duh, Pets?
Whenever someone trashes crypto, the first comparison they make is to pets.com, the enormously overvalued dog food store that symbolized the internet boom in the early 2000’s. If you believe in the tech, you might insist that crypto would never produce blockchain ideas that ridiculous.
You would be wrong.
Now animal lovers can invest in Pawtocol, “a blockchain-based, member-owned pet care community whose primary function is to help all pets around the world live healthier and longer lives using artificial intelligence and cutting edge technologies.”
Pawtocol is a blockchain-based AI system to make sure your pet gets all the nutrition it needs—and you know it’s high tech, because there’s two buzzwords in the sentence. The project is led by “a team of experts” which includes at least two dogs.
Part of the system relies on Paws, a scanning device for “incredibly accurate molecular analysis of pets.” The Paws device uses “photospectrometry” to check your pet’s food and toys for toxins, vitamins, and minerals, which are then shared to the blockchain and digested by the systems’ AI.
Of course, no blockchain startup is complete with its own company scrip, and, and that’s where BitPaw comes in. Bitpaw is the “new currency of the pet care world,” issued as rewards for the people who upload pet data. We’re not quite sure how the bitpaw economy works—there must be a pretty robust marketplace for pet data, if it makes it affordable to order lab equipment for your pet.
This isn’t to say there isn’t room for more tech in the blockchain industry. IoT feeders and fishtanks are already a thing, and there’s room for blockchains too. For example, my cat is very insistent that she hasn’t been fed, and my roommate is equally insistent he fed her. In the absence of a trusted third party, there’s a clear need for an immutable blockchain ledger.
Blockchain Buddhism… Because Yin And Yang Are Binary?
Have you ever been downward-dogging in Yoga class and thought, “You know what? This should have it’s own blockchain.”
Well, now it does. Usually, Religion only enters cryptocurrency in parodies like Jesuscoin, but this time is no joke. Lotosnetwork puts “Buddhism on the Blockchain” with the first cryptographically-secured network for meditation and enlightenment.
In short, Lotos aims to use the blockchain to fix the problems in the world of Buddhist teachings. “The current state of affairs contradicts and distorts what appears to be Buddha’s original intent,” says the website, “Lotos is a project to explore and realize Buddha’s vision in modern times.”
The goal is to replace brick-and-mortar houses of worship with digital temples. “Physical temples can be hard to find and hard to travel to,” Lotos says on its website. “With digital classes, you can bring teachers from the other side of the world inside your house without needing to travel anywhere.”
There are a whole range of services for onchain enlightenment. For quick questions, there’s “Buddhabrain,” an AI-driven chatbot to answer simple questions on your roadmap to enlightenment.
Blockchain Ideas For Serious Study
For more serious study, the Lotos Network will hook you up with anything from Live Group Classes to Live One-on-one Classes. You can can even do solo study, uploading your progress reports to virtual teachers.
You might think this isn’t the kind of project that needs a blockchain, but Lotos Network is quick to dispel any doubts. “Decentralization also allows true egalitarian communities to emerge which is the Buddha’s original vision for a healthy society,’ the website explains. “While digitization can help us achieve many of our goals, decentralization completes the vision.”
Of course, no wacky crypto project is complete without it’s own money, and Buddhism is no exception. The cryptocurrency of Buddhism is called—what else?—Karma, and it’s an ERC-20 token. Karma is used to pay for spiritual teaching, and can also be earned by meditating.
Karma is there “to instantiate “Buddhist Economics” on the blockchain, offering an alternative vision to standard corporate capitalism,” the Network explains. “In economic terms, people are guided to allocate their time between consumption and meditation—with optimal allocation occurring when meditation lowers the desire for consumption with no change in satisfaction. Furthermore, in Lotos, some “successful” consumers (students) are transformed into to producers (teachers).”
So there you have it—a cryptocurrency to attain inner peace. And you’ll probably need it, with the way markets are going.
Humor aside, several religious bodies have dabbled with other blockchain ideas and cryptocurrency acceptance, either as a form of payment or as a way to reliably secure information. One London Mosque is accepting charitable donations in BTC and ETH, and some of the faithful have undertaken to preserve religious texts on the blockchain.
Got any weird blockchain ideas for our next piece, or a plan to send your cat into orbit using crypto to pay Richard Branson? Email [email protected] – we love this stuff.