Blockchain is already becoming popular, as you know. But it’s also beginning to challenge practices in business sectors, too. In fact, many industries are finding blockchain technology better than current use measures for completing important elements of work. Let’s look at the five major sectors blockchain technology is affecting.
Pretend you send $100 to your friend through a conventional bank. The bank charges you a $10 fee, so, in fact, you’re only sending her $90. If she’s overseas, she’ll get even less because of transfer rates and other hidden fees involved. Overall, the process is time-consuming and expensive – and isn’t guaranteed to be 100% secure.
Blockchain, on the other hand, disrupts the commercial banking system by providing a peer-to-peer payment system with high security and low fees. No central authority exists, so you don’t have to pay one. How cool is that? This eliminates the need for a third party to make a transaction using a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or one of the many others. Your transaction to your friend is recorded in a ledger that is viewed and reviewable by any of the cryptocurrency users – giving you true autonomy over your transaction.
For example, a cryptocurrency application called Abra provides peer-to-peer money transfers. With Abra, users can store, transfer, and receive digital money on their PCs, tablets or smartphones. A recipient can withdraw cash via an Abra teller. Users don’t need to have a bank account!
As you can see, then, the use of cryptocurrencies instead of banks truly disrupts the personal finance market, endangering the latter – as it should be. Why pay fees and fear safety when blockchain can complete transactions quickly, freely, and without worry?
Cyberattacks are the top threat to our digital world. Look what happened to our data when Equifax announced its gigantic data breach in 2017 that affected 143 million consumers – we went crazy. Blockchain technology can end such nightmares. It can secure our data against unauthorized access and tampering.
Because blockchain is a decentralized system, it’s ideal for environments where high security is involved. Here, all the information stored on a bitcoin or other blockchain network is verified and encrypted using a cryptographic algorithm – which leads to no SINGLE point of entry for a wide-scale attack. Also, you can easily identify malicious data attacks with blockchain due to peer-to-peer connections, where data cannot be altered or tampered. And, by eliminating a central authority, blockchain provides a secure and transparent way of recording transactions without disclosing private information to anyone. One example of a company successfully using cybersecurity this way is Guardtime. Because of its success, we expect that many companies will follow, further disrupting this industry, too.
3. Supply Chain Management
Blockchain technology can trace all the steps of a supply chain, so that, let’s say, you placed an order for food, had the food delivered, and found the food disgusting. The owner of the company from whom you ordered it could go back through his blockchain ledger and find out where in the supply chain the order went wrong to displease you. For example, he can go from the farmer to the producer, to the distributor, to the retailer, then to you, the purchaser. In other words, in supply chain management, blockchain provides permanent transparency and validation of transactions shared by multiple supply chain partners. All transactions are permanent and verifiable, making it easy for an owner or a customer to view each record.
It can be used for any type of verification – for example, seafood verification, where it can track the seafood from ocean to market. The Pacific Tuna Project uses blockchain to manage fishing information, exporting/importing details, and purchasing details to track tuna fishing. This prevents illegal fishing.
In other words, using blockchain for supply chain management work allows you to fish for the information you need and reel in the right answers every time.
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Let’s face it. Today, myriad problems exist in the storage of people’s health data. Anyone can have access to this very private information because it is all contained in centrally located files. When someone asks someone else for a person’s information, it can take hours for that person to locate the right file, offering opportunities for data breaches, theft or losses. That’s why blockchain technology in this industry is so important.
Blockchain technology here eliminates the need for a central authority and enables rapid access to data. Here, each block is connected to another block and distributed across the blockchain nodes, making it difficult for a hacker to corrupt the data. Keeping personal medical file information private is of the utmost concern, so blockchain technology makes the most sense, no?
Another healthcare concern revolves around counterfeit medication and blockchain technology can control this, too. The problem is that, often, counterfeit medications are difficult to distinguish from real ones. Blockchain technology solves this problem by using supply chain management protocols where the medicine provenance can be traced.
United Healthcare has improved its privacy, security, and interoperability of medical records using blockchain technology. It’s seen its operations improve dramatically as a result. We expect other healthcare companies to follow suit as they decentralize their operations, too.
Blockchain technology can end voter fraud.
In a traditional voting process, most voters stand in line to cast votes or send in mail votes. Then, the votes must be counted by a local authority. Online voting is possible in this scenario, too, but as with all other industries we’ve discussed, because a central authority is used, problems of fraud arise.
Using blockchain technology thus becomes the wisest choice. Here, people can vote online easily without revealing their identities. Using blockchain, officials can count votes with absolute accuracy, knowing that each ID can be attributed to only one vote. Fraud cannot occur because it is next to impossible with blockchain technology. And, once a vote is added to a ledger, it cannot be changed or erased.
One blockchain voting platform is MiVote, a token-based platform like a digital ballot box. Voters vote through a smartphone and their votes are registered into a blockchain ledger. Safe, secure, reliable.
Other applications for government include digital asset registries, wherein the fast and secure registry of an asset such as a car, home or other property is needed; notary services, where a blockchain record can better verify the seal’s authenticity; and taxes, in which blockchain technology can make it easier to enable quicker tax payments, lower rates of tax fraud and have faster, easier audits.
Overall, blockchain can increase transparency and security in governmental bodies. In fact, by 2020, Dubai wants to become 100% reliant on blockchain technology for all its governmental functions, making all its government services available on the blockchain.
As you can see, then, these are five large industries the blockchain is already disrupting. Here are a few more where its influence is growing.
A Few More
Because blockchain technology never relies on a centralized authority, it will also disrupt these industries:
With blockchain technology’s decentralized system, insurers can identify false claims and prevent forgeries.
Utilizing blockchain technology enables traceability in the transportation industry, where the shipment of goods can be easily tracked.
Storj is a decentralized blockchain cloud storage system. By eliminating servers, Storj uses blockchain to store data in the cloud. With high speed and low cost, users can earn money by sharing their storage space on Storj.
Deploying blockchain technology in real estate increases the speed of the conveyance process and eliminates the need for money exchanges.
Clearly, the Future Lies with Blockchain Technology
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