We’re all familiar with the classic superheroes: Batman, Ironman, Wonderwoman, and the countless others that lined our childhood walls.
What amazes me about a superhuman is not their power, but how they use it.
Superman could have just as easily been a hitman or supersoldier, or used his powers to heat his coffee.
Instead, he chose to save lives, or at least make them easier.
Today’s tech shares striking similarities with the superpowers that our iconic heroes use to fight crime and protect humanity.
Both enable feats once thought unthinkable, heighten our understanding of the world, and drastically improve our way of life.
But while technology can be wielded for good, it also has the potential to be a platform for abuse.
In November 2016, Twitter was found to have hosted over 50,000 Russian bots that were tweeting election-related content.
It’s a prime example of how technology can be used for evil.
The ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, is truly superhuman, but with great power comes great responsibility, and Twitter is no different.
Twitter is hoping to rid itself of this abuse by acquiring Smyte, an anti-abuse tech company.
Describing themselves as a “trust and safety as a service”, Smyte can prevent phishing, spam, fake accounts, and hate speech.
Twitter isn’t the first social media platform, let alone company, to attempt to wield technology for good. Many are using it to combat abuse, crime and inequality.
Facebook is adopting new technology to combat fake news that has plagued its platform in recent years.
It’s expected that this strategy will reduce fake news distribution on Facebook by around 80%.
Blockchain is an example of a tech “superpower” that companies are using to promote positive change in our world.
Many confuse bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has a criminal history, with the foundational blockchain technology that it runs on.
However, the fact remains that while bitcoin enables anonymous purchases and black markets, blockchain promotes trust and security.
It’s a decentralized, unchangeable digital ledger that removes the need for third party verification, saving citizens valuable time and money.
The potential of blockchain is endless. It’s single-handedly transforming industries as we speak, and will continue to do so.
Superheroes empower people with their superpowers, and companies spur innovation with their technology.
Blockchain is fighting the multi-million dollar counterfeit drugs market by providing tracking and verification to pharmaceutical supply chains, from creation to consumption.
Not only is the tech bringing legitimacy to an industry often judged for unethical pricing and practices, but it’s also ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers.
Blockchain is building digital identities for citizens that need documentation to secure employment or receive government benefits.
Immigrants, or individuals lacking access to traditional forms of identification, can obtain a digital wallet that follows them wherever they go.
And blockchain is banking the unbanked, providing emerging markets with the tools and resources necessary to participate in the global market.
Not only is there merit in building companies around technology that serves society, but there’s profit too.
Payments company Veem uses technology like blockchain to redesign how businesses send and receive payments, overthrowing the former financial system that relied on expensive and unreliable bank wires.
Blockchain is proving that good guys and girls don’t have to finish last.
It’s exciting to see how technology is developing, and inspiring to see how often it’s used for good.
The beauty of blockchain isn’t just its limitless potential, but that it’s a self-regulating superpower that can’t be used for evil.