In early 2008, a group or lone person who identified themselves as ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ invented what is now popularly known as ‘blockchain’. The blockchain was specifically designed to be an ultra-secure and unalterable public transaction ledger for the cryptocurrency; bitcoin. So whenever someone sent bitcoin, all the data and information about said transaction would be stored securely on the blockchain.
What actually is a blockchain?
Essentially the ‘blockchain’ is a chain of blocks and each block in the chain is linked to the block behind it. It does this through advanced and rather complex cryptography as each new block in the chain contains the ‘hash’ (Which is a unique and non-repeating number) of the previous block in the chain.
The blockchain itself is just a theoretical practice of data storage, actual things must be built to utilise the theoretical technology. Blockchain is in essence just the building base for new and innovative types of software that can be built to be decentralised, as opposed to the centralised applications that are built by huge technocratic megalomaniac ruled corporations.
A decentralised application is a type of application that no-one party owns, the code for the decentralised app is open-source and available for all to see and expand if they see fit. These decentralised applications are maintained by computers all around the globe that ‘mine’ and work together to keep the global mesh supercomputer working.
Since the invention of blockchain, its use has become more widespread. Some of the biggest decentralised blockchain applications include bitcoin and the operating system Etherum, but why use it?
The blockchain is designed to be as secure as physically possible. For example, take the blockchain that’s used for storing bitcoin transactions. It contains every single transaction for bitcoin ever; all the transactions from January 3rd 2009 (The ledger start date for bitcoin) till now is stored on the one giant chain, in order for you to go back and delete or modify something it would be almost impossible, as the chain is constantly being updated and secured by millions of computers every minute.
The giant bitcoin blockchain is constantly being validated and thus it’s nigh impossible to change or modify data. This makes it perfect for storing sensitive data that otherwise would be wiped away, take political decision making as an example; instead of recording a politicians voting habits on an easily changeable database that could be modified by a tyrannical government, the system could be made more accountable by being made from the blockchain. It could in a political sense eliminate the Orwellian ‘Memory-Hole’ dystopian future that may arise whenever humans eventually morph with A.I and VR. Though that’s a topic for another time, as here we’re focusing in on its application on MMA and sports.
Blockchain technology too has paved the way for the creation of new software projects like Etherum; which is an open source operating system based on blockchain technology. Etherum facilities the creation of these things know as ‘Smart contracts’. The creation and adaption of smart contracts will completely change and flip the worlds of banking, accountancy and finance on their axis.
Contracts in the real world are usually drawn up and created by three parties, there’s someone who signs the contract and agrees to the terms, somebody sets the terms of the contract and a lawyer or broker who acts as the intermedium between the two parties and adds clauses to the contractual agreements and amendments are made.
With a smart contract the need for a lawyer or intermedium entity is washed away. This is because the blocks in the chain can contain individual pieces of code that literally enforce the contract. As the world adnvances and becomes more digital through 5G technology and the IOT (Internet Of Things) it’s obvious that these smart contracts paired with a God-like AI will moderate all our living choices. A businessman in the near future could theoretically create and get someone to code out the contract and when signed, the AI could interact with other devices on the network to make sure the contract is upheld.
It sounds rather complex, but take a rent contract as an example; the smart contract dictates that a user must pay their rent. If the user decides to not pay, their smart WIFI doors will lock shut and will never open again until the money is sent to the businessman. These super secure smart contracts allow for this as everything happens constantly online in real time. A God-like AI in this case would help as it could judge why the user hasn’t paid their rent, the AI of the future could in theory be lenient or strict based on the user, essentially meaning that through smart-contracts the AI would be humanities own judge, jury and executioner.
These contracts will move to MMA
These contracts will be a part of everything in the future. Every industry will be reshaped and remodelled to work with these contracts as businesses will save money by eliminating the middle man.
So long as the Ali act stays out of MMA, the promotions will be able to use their extra leverage to rip fighters off and these contracts will only help further fighter pay inequality as without extra support from management, fighters will be unable to collectively bargain for more money. It’s either accept the contract or fight somewhere else.
A blockchain ledger & A.I helps the athletic commission
In MMA, the athletic commission works to legislate the sport and regulate fights. They try to ensure fairness in matchmaking by allowing contests to take place and for a while (Pre-USADA) they were tasked with carrying out drug testing within MMA.
With the rise of blockchain technology, it’s certainly conceivable that a government entity like the commission would want to adopt blockchain storage to stop corruption. It’s unknown what type of data and information that they would want to store, but everything is possible from fight results, to fighter pay to drug testing results.
Safer and more secure storage is amazing in the effort to fight corruption, but if the athletic commission were to use the blockchain to order and logically store data, it makes it way easier to implement better AI technology in the future. The AI would be ‘feed’ data from the commissions well established blockchain and thus become smarter and better, faster than the AI would using a traditional jumbled up dataset. This is done through the process of machine learning (Where a computer learns to make future predictions based on past outcomes). Though an AI sounds scary, it could be immensely helpful to a commission as they could use it to help make drug testing better and better gauge a fighters ability.
If you liked this story, a more in-depth and expanded edition will be published by StipeTapped supreme leader Desmond Madden on Medium.