Blockchain is still far from perfect, but there are numerous applications in the real world.
In 2017, the cryptocurrencies hit everyone with their rapid growth, and blockchain should be thanked for that.
According to this blog researches, blockchain is a digital, distributed and decentralized record. It underpins most virtual currencies and is responsible for recording all transactions without the involvement of a financial intermediary, e.g., bank. In other words, it is a new way of transferring funds and storing information.
Why did blockchain become necessary? The new technology has become the quintessence of the developer views, convinced that today’s banking system has many huge drawbacks.
In particular, banks act as unnecessary intermediaries and charge robberies for their services, while checking and making payments takes up to 5 working days. Blockchain makes it possible to make real-time payments (including payments to other countries), completely excluding banks from the equation.
Of course, blockchain has other applications outside the cryptocurrency space. Major companies are actively testing blockchain in small projects and prototypes. How can this revolutionary technology change our world?
Here are 20 possible ways to use blockchain.
1. Payment Processing and Money Transfers
This is probably the most logical use of this technology. As noted earlier, banks are completely excluded from the equation, the system works round the clock and 7 days a week, most transactions are made through blockchain in a few seconds.
2. Supply Chain Monitoring
Blockchain is perfect for supply chain monitoring. By eliminating paper-based workflows, companies can accurately and rapidly identify inefficiencies in their supply chains and track the movement of goods in real time. Moreover, blockchain will allow organizations and consumers to monitor the quality of products as they move from origin to store shelves.
3. Retailer Bonus Programs
Blockchain is able to make a major difference in the interaction between stores and consumers, allowing for unique bonus programs. Retail chains will be able to develop loyalty programs based on tokens and manage tokens via blockchain. As a result, customers will be tied to a specific store/shops in the retail network. Blockchain will eliminate fraud and wastes associated with coupon and discount card-based bonus programs.
4. Electronic Passports
More than a billion people around the world are periodically faced with the need to prove their identity in the digital space. Microsoft is committed to helping them. The company is currently working on an Authenticator app. It allows you to manage your personal data and create electronic passports. Digital identification will allow people from the least developed countries to access financial services and start their own businesses. However, Microsoft’s efforts to create decentralized digital passports are still at an early stage.
5. Data Exchange
In November, the IOTA foundation (IOTA/USD) launched a beta version of the blockchain-based Data Marketplace app. It allows companies to share or sell excess information. Since most corporate statistics are not used, the blockchain acts as an intermediary, storing and transmitting it to consumers in various industries. The project is still in its early stages of development, but 35 large companies (including Microsoft) have already expressed their willingness to participate.
6. Copyright and Royalty Protection
The number of users of the World Wide Web is constantly growing, so it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect the copyrights of music and other content. Blockchain makes a difference, guaranteeing fair rewards for content creators. Blockchain can be used to list royalties/cash transfers to musicians and content creators in real time.
7. Digital Voting
Worried about throws and mistakes at pols? Blockchain will put an end to voter fraud. Not only will the new technology move the voting process into the digital environment, but it will also be transparent enough for anyone to follow election results and manipulation attempts. Blockchain combines the benefits of digital voting with the immutability of the information it contains (this is the nature of the technology), ensuring that all votes are recorded and counted correctly.
8. Assigning Rights to Real Estate, Land, and Vehicles
One of the main purposes of blockchain is to derive paper documents from the equation. When selling/buying land, real estate or a car, ownership is transferred. Blockchain makes it possible to store rights digitally, providing transparency and clarity of ownership.
9. Food Safety
Another intriguing application for blockchain food tracking from the source to your plate. Because blockchain information cannot be changed, anyone can track their food from the manufacturer to the shop. Moreover, during foodborne infections’ outbreaks, blockchain will make it possible to identify the source of infection much faster.
10. Data Backup
Blockchain can be the ideal way to back up your data. While cloud storage is designed for maximum data security and safety, it may face hacker attacks or infrastructure issues. Using blockchain to back up data stored in data centers (or any other type of data, e.g., Boeing plans to store data from GPS receivers on aircraft in blockchain) will help solve these issues.
11. Tax Regulation and Control
The importance of transparency and permanence has already been repeatedly stressed. For example, a marijuana producer may use blockchain to record sales and demonstrate compliance with local and federal laws. Such blockchain-based sales are circumstantial evidence that a company has paid all taxes to the government.
12. Workers’ Rights
Another promising application of blockchain is the protection of workers’ rights. According to the International Labour Organization, 25 million people around the world work under pressure. Coca-Cola, together with the U.S. Department of State and other organizations, is working on a blockchain registry with built-in smart contracts – a code that checks and enforces the terms of the agreement. It will improve labor policies and force employers to follow digital contracts with their employees.
13. Medical Records
For some time now, the healthcare system has been moving from paper records to electronic records. In this case, blockchain provides additional security and convenience. Not only will the system store patient records, but patients will also be able to control access to them using digital keys.
14. Gun Control
Gun control is currently one of the most discussed topics in the media. blockchain allows for the creation of a transparent and unchangeable record of gun owners. It will enable law enforcement agencies and the Government to monitor and record privately traded weapons.
15. Will and Inheritance
Blockchain can make the lives of older people much easier. Instead of making a will at a notary public, it can be registered and stored electronically online. Smart contracts will allow heirs to acquire their rights subject to certain conditions, e.g., after reaching a certain age. Electronic wills will be transparent and legally binding, eliminating any uncertainty about who and what assets will be received after the owner’s death.
16. Stock Trading
At some point, blockchain can replace modern stock trading platforms. Because blockchain-based systems take seconds to check and register transactions, investors will have access to their funds immediately after they are sold and will be able to withdraw them or use them for further investment (in modern systems, funds arrive at the investor’s account in a few days).
17. IoT Network Management
Network giant Cisco Systems is developing a blockchain-based app that controls the Internet of things. IoT brings together a huge number of network-connected devices that send and receive data. The app will be able to determine the authenticity of devices in real time, including those that are constantly connected and disconnected from the network, e.g., cars and smartphones.
18. Trade and Contracts Control in the Energy Market
Even in the energy industry, blockchain will find its application. As in the stock market, blockchain will help energy companies to trade contracts in the market much faster than they currently do. With this new technology, businesses will be able to track their resources and comply with regulatory requirements.
19. Access Management
Smart contracts in blockchain networks can be adjusted to the needs of a particular company or customer. As an individual, you can use blockchain to provide access to your home for service providers, or you can remotely open your car for repairs. Without a digital key, all these people will not be able to access your belongings.
20. Prescription Drugs Tracking
In a world where returns and counterfeit products are a real problem, blockchain will allow manufacturers to track their products by serial/batch number to ensure that the products dispensed by the pharmacy are authentic. Merck is currently testing such a system.