Blockchain is all the rage these days. When cryptocurrency made its debut, the need to protect ownership of online currency became a huge issue. Blockchain is the way to own online data, and its applications far exceed keeping cryptocurrency safe.
In fact, blockchain could be extremely helpful when it comes to online dating. Since blockchain keeps data from being modified while also providing a complete history from the moment the first piece of data is created, it could help keep dating profiles safe and to prevent the creation of fake dating profiles that scammers use to extort victims.
How Blockchain Works
Blockchain has been in constant development for years now, and it is a great tool that allows online data to be protected against modification.
Once a data block is created, each new block contains an encrypted copy of the previous block along with a timestamp and a copy of all of the new data. Each time there is a change, a new block is created and so forth and so on. In this way, nothing is ever deleted and there is a trail of data that goes all the way back to the original creation of the block.
Blockchain has been instrumental as cryptocurrency like bitcoin becomes more prevalent. The idea is that bitcoin is not physical currency, so the only way to prove ownership is to create a system that tracks origin and changes to the original data point. For example, if you start out with five bitcoins and you spend two, then there would be a chain of data that shows where you obtained the original five bitcoins, when and where you spent them and how many remain in your possession.
That’s the simplified version, but you can see where this is going.
Now, when it comes to the creation of data files on the internet, we all know that data can be breached. With blockchain, this data is impenetrable. That means you could create a profile that has been verified and matched to your identity, and then that profile will follow you wherever you go. That means no one could impersonate you because the blockchain would prove that you are who you say you are.
How Blockchain Can Improve Online Dating
1. Verified and Protected Online Dating Profiles
The biggest issue confronting online dating platforms is that scammers have found ways to create fake accounts to pose as users on the site, and then they target their victims in countless romance scams that usually cost their victims thousands of dollars.
Blockchain could help protect online dating profiles because all of the data would have a very clear user history. Every change and every interaction with the profile would have a history, and that means it would be like a digital fingerprint for each user. Each profile would be unique to that user, and everything would be completely traceable back to the original owner.
Like a verified social media account, a blockchain dating profile would mean that the user is who he or she claims to be. Since the data couldn’t be manipulated, online dating platform users would be able to rest easy knowing that they people on the site are, in fact, real people.
While the same rules of being safe on the internet will always apply, the question of whether or not some users are “real” would be a moot point because the blockchain profile would help verify their identities.
2. Prevent the Creation and Use of Fake Dating and Social Media Profiles
One of the biggest problems impacting online dating is that scammers use online dating and social media platforms to prey upon unsuspecting victims who are using the sites to find love.
Scammers create fake profiles all the time and they’re so good at what they do that they’re usually running multiple scams with several different fake accounts at any given time. They utilize photos from unsuspecting social media accounts and then they either buy profiles, cut and paste them from other accounts or websites or they try their hand and create their own.
There are so many fake profiles out there on dating sites that it’s hard to users to really feel comfortable meeting people. It’s hard enough opening up on a dating site, let alone trying to determine whether the person you’re talking to is real.
Anything that makes it harder for scammers to create fake profiles is a good idea, and it’s something that would have very useful implications for social media platforms as well.
3. Stop Romance Scammers from Using Dating Platforms
Scammers create fake profiles all the time to use in their schemes, but wouldn’t it be great to stop scammers from using dating websites entirely? Wouldn’t that be lovely?
With blockchain it would be possible to prevent scammers from creating profiles since everything would need to be verified, and since there is a complex system that tracks changes it would be impossible to modify an existing account as well. Blockchain could also make scammer accounts easier to trace and that could be a major deterrent in the fight against online romance scams.
Though stopping scammers outright will be a big task, there’s no question that making it harder to create and use fake profiles would put a major dent in their operations. Most romance scammers are based in Africa and they’re impossible to track as a result. They buy and sell profiles because they’re currently so easy to create and use, but forcing users to adopt a blockchain-based profile would literally stop them in their tracks.
4. Stop Data From Being Hacked
Dating sites are prime targets for hackers trying to steal data. Not only is there a wealth of personal information on dating sites, but since most sites offer paid memberships there is also an opportunity to steal financial information. Thieves target dating sites because of the lucrative data that is housed there, and blockchain might be a fantastic way to keep data safe.
One of the dangers of data breaches with online dating platforms is that there are privacy concerns outside of the loss of financial and personal information. The massive Ashley Madison data breach revealed the names of its users publicly, to disastrous consequences. There are a lot of people who don’t want their online dating habits to be made public after the Ashley Madison debacle they stopped using online dating platforms entirely.
The high level of encryption used by blockchain would create a nearly impenetrable online dating system.
5. Increased Peace of Mind
While all of these are valid and important reasons that blockchain would be useful to improve online dating, they all come together for the most important reason that blockchain would improve online dating: Increased peace of mind.
The threat of scammers and fake profiles, along with the possibility of losing information in a massive data breach, all come together to take away the ability of users to be completely confident and at ease with the online dating process. Knowing that measures have been taken to ensure that the other users are real people would go a long way to help create a sense of security and authenticity with the online dating experience.
The Evolution of Online Dating
Online dating is always evolving. As soon as dating websites began popping up on the internet, scammers started trying to figure out how to work the system and target unsuspecting victims.
In the early days, online dating started with message boards and instant messaging, and now there are algorithms and mobile apps, and even the ability to track when you cross paths with your matches throughout the day.
Online dating is always changing and adapting to new technologies that come available so that they can better serve a constantly changing world. Blockchain is also changing and adapting to meet new purposes, and there’s no question that the data encryption programming could really make strides in the online dating world. Being able to have completely verified accounts with little risk of breaches or scammers would go a long to make a very pleasant online dating experience, and it could revolutionize the way people find love on the internet.
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