As businesses are still trying to decide if they should jump on the blockchain bandwagon, a growing number of blockchain solutions are swiftly making headway, engulfing every figment of our imagination in the process.
A lot has been said about the potential of blockchain technology to reshape the fundamental power structures of our society but so far many of the promised benefits have yet to be delivered. Well, up until now.
Blockchain-based identity app Civic has successfully realized the benefits of blockchain for identify management—they are bringing beer right to your doorstep. That’s right. The San Francisco-based startup piloted the first “crypto beer vending machine” at Coindesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York this month.
The blockchain vending machine prototype, which was developed in partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev, is designed to dispense beer only after the app has verified that the customer is above the legal drinking age.
Vinny Lingham, the co-founder of Civic was, however, quick to clarify that his company is “definitely not in beer-vending business” and that the vending machine was merely a demonstration of the power and versatility of blockchain-based identity verification.
Nevertheless, the prototype is a proof to the world that in the near future blockchain will help verify that you are above the legal drinking age. All you have to do is download the Civic app, verify your age and identify, and then use the app at the crypto vending machine to get your Budweiser.
Civic believes that the potential of identity verification goes far beyond a vending machine for alcoholic beverages and could very well be used for other age-restricted products. Titus Capilnean, Civic Communications Manager, provided more insight, adding:
“It’s not limited to just beer, it could be for any kind of age-restricted product. Unmanned entrance to casinos, and then for the vending machines, we can see this going into concerts, ballgames, venues, conferences”.
However, the success of this blockchain vending machine project depends on the governments’ willingness to tie national identification verification process to blockchain technology. That is, a highly secure public ledger that is capable of accurately verifying people’s identity without revealing too much information about the individual.