The Blockchain is the latest buzzword in nearly every business domain you can think of. The applications of this technology are limitless, and because of the same reason, there is rarely any industry that can’t reap the benefits of this technology. Using peer-to-peer networking, the Blockchain technology is completely revolutionising the marketplace. The Blockchain infrastructure ensures a solid level of trust and confidentiality – this ensures smoother and hassle-less operations.
This end-to-end network transmissions create a decentralised public ledger. This allows for a truly distributed consensus which isn’t controlled by a single governing body. Therefore, the blockchain is considered to be the infrastructure that facilitates trustworthy business models and smart contracts for independent transactions.
The terms “Blockchain”, “Cryptocurrencies”, and “Bitcoins” have really dominated the headlines for making accidental Bitcoin believers in 2013 multi-millionaires by 2017. However, those who are actively involved in working with Blockchain projects know that these fleeting moments, that make Blockchain hit the headlines, aren’t even close to being the point of this technology.
These overnight success stories of Bitcoins pale when compared to the slow but massive progress happening on the very fundamental level of nearly every industry.
For those who care about Blockchain beyond the Bitcoin-buzz, let’s tell you about the industries that are leveraging this technology to overcome legacy challenges:
Ever since we’ve seen digitisation of assets and online funds transfer, the bureaucratic infrastructure in the banking domain has seen a massive hit. The Blockchain revolution brings to us what we know as crypto coins, which are basically encrypted currency. We don’t doubt that at this point, the word that’s popping in your head is “Bitcoin”. Which is understandable, since it is one of the first stellar implementations of Blockchain in the banking sector.
The Blockchain technology gave birth to a number of currencies and tokens that went on to form the basis of digital commerce through ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). This has allowed users to perform everything at hand, without hassle. From creating funds, leasing assets, transferring or accepting payments, to even contributing to new businesses – the Blockchain technology facilitates it all, and that too with utmost security.
Other than just helping with digital currencies, the Blockchain technology also helps the Banking sector in other crucial areas including Cross Border Remittance, Trade Finance, and others. Further, by removing most of the manual intervention from the operations, this technology can help banks execute and verify transactions with improved accuracy and efficiency.
It won’t be wrong to say that the banking industry is safe in the hands of the Blockchain technology. Since every transaction here can be easily cross checked by participating nodes, all the while keeping the identities of transacting parties safe, we can certainly say that Blockchain facilitates a much safer environment for the users. Further, these operations can now also be cheaper and faster, owing to the benefits of the Blockchain technology.
The past couple of decades have seen a massive increase in the concept of “online brokerage”. The users can merely compare policies and offer through an online portal and pick whichever suits them the best. However, to buy insurances or inquire about new policies, the users are expected to call brokers. These processes are executed over paper contracts – these paper contracts are extremely error-prone and stand the chance of being compromised due to human negligence.The Blockchain technology, on the other hand, will provide a fool-proof mechanism to create perfect solutions for users to aid them in buying insurance and even filing claims.
With Blockchain managing these operations, users can easily solve the otherwise complex issues involving brokers, consumers, insurers, reinsurers, risks, etc.
There’s no denying that Blockchain holds a plethora of advantages when we talk about real-world solutions to complex problems. The ultimate security of Blockchain prevents data alteration and makes it an extremely reliable technology. Our world expects functional changes to existing businesses in such a way so as to eliminate the middleman, reduce the costs, and create an extremely secure information transaction pathway. With Blockchain growing rapidly, we’re close to achieving that!
Supply chain management:
Supply chain management is the base of every product-based industry. However, the problem here is that the transfer requires a lot of intermediaries. This costs a lot of resources – both monetary and timely. Under such a situation, this industry is all set to make use of an alternative solution that not only speeds up the transportation, but also doesn’t compromise with accuracy of delivery.The Blockchain can help create automated transportation where the parties can implement smart contract systems. This will help them check the authenticity of their supplies. It will also minimise the intermediaries required. Further, implementing Internet of Things will sufficiently ease up the authentications and validations required.
Smart contracts coupled with IoT services will help this industry trace goods, manage records and storage, and enforce all the requirements to create a truly transparent and secure transport business system.
Healthcare sector is always prone to disadvantages when it comes to managing and transferring the patient data and information. The industry has, since long, lacked specific standards that can manage medical records and create proper technical upgrades that solve security issues.The Blockchain technology, that is inherently immutable in nature, has helped create a functional solution to this glaring problem. The healthcare industry has created satisfactory answers for themselves by implementing this technology to manage patient records.
Using Blockchain-based systems, hospitals will be able to access patient files without dealing with the additional hassle of paperwork and (inefficient) verification methods. Patient’s digital records can be made available over a cloud-based network that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. This can help doctors provide a prompt as well as well-informed treatment to the patients.
By creating a union of databases over a decentralised network, the healthcare industry can solve the problems of security, fraudulent impersonations, and data duplication. This technology will be extremely useful in situations where precise information is required in real-time to make life-changing decisions. Further, it’ll also help in protecting patient’s data as it can only be viewed by people having permissions. This can be achieved by implementing a private blockchain network.
Blockchain uses a decentralised ledger which is basically a publicly stored encrypted user data that secure the identity of all the users while preserving the integrity of data. This stops malicious attackers from altering the system data for personal benefits.This creates brand new opportunities in the Real Estate sectors where records are easily accessible. The accounting is often ubiquitous and hence facilitates a global business. Using blockchains, users can enjoy a transport record to store property details. This will not only save significant amount of time, but will also deliver a system that reduce processing costs. As an estimate, real estate firms will save up to $550Mn by merely minimising errors and implementing an automated methods of managing and controlling information.
Another advantage that this technology holds for the Real Estate sector is reduced paperwork. Because of digital transformation, futile processes such as registration can be made possible by eliminating the escrow. Further, parties can independently create business operations by following predefined conditions, just by using smart contract systems. This ensures user satisfaction through procedural executions which are conducted every time a predefined condition is met.
Blockchain provides truly cost-effective alternatives by eliminating the excess intermediaries. Hence, the real estate business is seeing a transformative improvement in trades and purchases, thanks to the Blockchain technology.
The education industry is another such domain that’s a growing member of the Blockchain community. With rapid advancements in distance learning alternatives, it isn’t surprising that the education sector is truly set to place its foot in the Blockchain realm.The Blockchain infrastructure can serve as an authorised body for educational records. This will create much more secure records and transcripts. Further, this infrastructure will be capable of creating on-demand classrooms too. Thus, a student will be able to enrol in a course without having to wait for the “next batch” to start.
Things like certificate validation and online course streaming are merely a part of the big picture. Blockchain technology truly has the potential to completely overhaul the education sector as we know it today.
Governments are often responsible for managing and regulating a tremendous number of assets in any country. Blockchain technology can help make this management/regulation completely immutable and instantaneous.The Blockchain technology will ensure that we move from a paper-based, delayed-reporting world to a much more dynamic, real-time world. Imagine the changes it can bring to voting systems, new markets, and deep liquid markets. It’ll also bring forth new ways of managing properties. Further, we can also expect a lot more cooperation and interoperation between countries and economies, owing to the usage of the Blockchain technology.
Another relevant application of the Blockchain in government services will be tax collections. Using smart contracts, we’ll be able to build escrow conditions that’ll divert payments to certain places automatically and in real-time – without any back office costs. With smart contracts, governments can also collect tax in real time, which will provide a more dynamic way for government to collect and manage taxes. Further, the Blockchain technology would also provide transparency when it comes to taxes. We will be able to see precisely where governments are using our taxes.
Digital identity is another factor that’s crucial to recognise. In the past decades, many government agencies have transformed from a paper-based system to a digital one. However, hackers are still able to access the records and compromise someone’s identity. By moving to Blockchain-based solutions, the government will be able to protect citizens better.
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Also published on Medium.