7 Promising Uses of Blockchain

Most well known as the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Blockchain technology is all the buzz today. Blockchain technology is a public distributed ledger of linked records—or blocks—that are used to facilitate and record transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Each of these records is secured with cryptographic algorithms and time- and date-stamped. With Blockchain technology, no existing block can be altered without altering subsequent blocks, creating a completely transparent record at every step of the way. It essentially lets users verify and keep track of transactions. It gives organizations a way to protect critical assets, prevent theft, eliminate human error, and bypass third-party processors.

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While some argue that the technology is still in a hype cycle, other research indicates that Blockchain is starting to take off in businesses. According to IDC, corporate and government spending on Blockchain technology is expected to jump 89% percent over 2018 numbers, hitting almost $3 billion in 2019. This number is estimated to reach more than $12 billion by 2022, which means there will be plenty of demand for blockchain experts. Let’s look a how blockchain is already showing up in a few industries.

Check out this video about how Blockchain is being used in these five industries.

Financial Services

Many financial services firms are using Blockchain to improve back-office settlement systems, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Banks like UBS have plans to use tokens for cross-border trades. While the Chamber of Digital Commerce was established to educate and advocate for Blockchain technology in the financial services industry and beyond. The chamber's initiatives include the Blockchain Alliance, which aims to use it to combat criminal activity. And, the Blockchain Intellectual Property Council, which helps to balance identification transparency with protecting proprietary data.

Loyalty Rewards Programs

Companies like Gyft and loyal have been using Blockchain technology for the past few years, rewarding customers with tokens rather than gift cards. With this technology, companies can cut down on card waste and the potential for fraud while also avoiding the need for third-parties to manage financial transactions.

Supply Chain Management

With Blockchain technology, as products change hands across a supply chain from manufacture to sale, transactions can be documented to reduce time delays, costs, and human error. Logistics and supply-chain management companies are increasingly looking into Blockchain technology to streamline processes and reduce errors. Groups like the  Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) have been created to develop open standards that companies can adopt.

Food Safety

Using Blockchain technology in the foodservice industry can help manufacturers and distributors avoid the spread of illness by tracking data to trace contamination issues better back to their roots. It can potentially protect everyone, from the food processor to the retailer to the consumer. Walmart and Sam’s Club have already begun putting this technology into practice, both for supply-chain management and food safety.

Music

Blockchain technology is being explored to help streamline and manage content creation and sharing, licensing and distribution, digital use, payments, and royalties for artists. Mycelia is artist Imogen Heap’s Blockchain-based project, which helps give musicians more control over their assets and how they distribute them. Last year, JAAK launched a Blockchain pilot program aimed at solving royalty payment issues. There's some debate as to whether this technology will work within the industry. Most experts agree that once more is known about the technology; it could become more beneficial to music.

Cyber Security

It's no secret that cyber attacks are a significant threat to the general public. This fact makes it essential to secure data against unauthorized access and tampering. By using a decentralized Blockchain system, data could be more secured because all information stored inside of the network would be verified and encrypted using a cryptographic algorithm. This practice ensures no single point of entry for a wide-scale attack. With Blockchain technology, it would also be easier to identify malicious attacks due to the peer-to-peer connectors, where data cannot be altered. By ensuring that there's no central authority, the technology provides a transparent and secure way to record transactions without disclosing private information.

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Weapons Tracking

Blockchain technology can also potentially prevent the sale of illegal arms on the black market. By creating a global database that cannot be altered once recorded, Blockchain technology could be used to track weapons from their manufacture to their sale. The database could primarily record every transaction and purchase.

These seven industries are finding new use cases for Blockchain technology, but they’re by no means the only ones. Other promising areas include managing insurance policies, government voting systems, Internet of Things (IoT) networks, smart appliances and contracts, and prescription and healthcare data records. For more information on creating applications for your industry, check out this Blockchain Certification Training Course.

Learn how different companies are already leveraging Blockchain.

About the Author

Danielle JacksonDanielle Jackson

Danielle Jackson is a writer, editor, and communications specialist with more than a decade of experience in print and online publishing.

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