Without a doubt, there’s no shortage of hype around the technology that makes most cryptocurrency projects viable, the blockchain. What’s best about this hype is the fact that it’s actually entitled, as blockchain tech has already played an impressive role in the disruption of multiple industries, and there are big chances it will continue to do so for years to come.
Blockchain makes use of a so-called distributed ledger that it’s cryptographically secure, and, as Ethereum proves so well, also has the ability to run smart contracts. These key features have the potential of unlocking hidden values within various industries and, with it, reduce inefficiencies and even completely revolutionize them.
There is a lot to talk about the ABCs of blockchain as a technology, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus mainly on some of its coolest applications, its most compelling and most astonishing use cases, skipping the almost mainstream financial industry, for which blockchain has already proven its worth.
Due to their decentralized nature, blockchains are the perfect platforms for establishing strong systems for digital identity. It means that there is no centralized point of “weakness” which could be exploited. With blockchains, a well-thought-out ID/single key identifications system means that users are in control of their private data more, taking away the power from companies and governments that want to either monetize or control the said data.
One could argue that global commerce has seen a phenomenal rise over the past ten or twenty years, especially since the Internet started to become an ever-increasing part of our lives. Currently, there’s a real need for organization in the supply chain industry. Everyone from suppliers, warehouse managers, and logistics providers can benefit from a less intricate system. If there’s one thing that blockchain is good at, is streamlining supply chains. Thanks to its immutable nature, the blockchain can help to track any product from the supplier to the shelf, regardless of the type of product in question.
Blockchain has also made possible the creation of decentralized apps, or dApps, for short. There are a lot of advantages offered by dApps in general. However, two of the biggest are the way data is stored and accessed. Unlike traditional apps where data is centralized (in one location), dApps store transactions and other types of data on the blockchain’s distributed ledger. This allows for greater democratization, a better protocol based on consensus, removes single points of failure and the whole process gets a lot more transparent.
We can’t talk about the future and not at least remotely touch upon the subject of IoT. In short, IoT can be considered the epiphany of all humanity’s efforts to develop automation. Imagine a future where all the devices surrounding you are interconnected. Smarter cities, autonomous vehicles, and incredibly complex ecosystems where devices can “talk” to each other – these are all possible thanks to the Internet of Things. Interestingly enough, blockchain will play a big part in the future developments of IoT, as they have the capacity of recording immense amounts of data produced by these systems. Best of all, blockchains can do this transparently, making it perfect for both the public and private sectors. A quick look at a project called IOTA should be enough to at least help you understand just how valuable blockchains can be with their identification, verification, and data transfer features.
Medicine has made incredible progress over the past couple of years alone. Nowadays, thanks to some of the latest medical inventions and developments, there are very few things we cannot cure or fix. Be that as it may, the global healthcare sector still has one, very big problem. It’s still incredibly hard to transfer patient data across different institutions. As you can imagine, this is yet another aspect that can be fixed with the usage of blockchain technology. By putting the patient data on the ledger, any different stakeholder can access that source of data. It makes the patient’s health data more accessible, and that simple fact could very well be enough to save millions of lives.
It may surprise some, but blockchain technology is, in fact, so well rounded and displays such amazing potential that it can very well be used in a plethora of other industries, and its use-cases far exceed that of any other past technology. Blockchain can provide useful for reforming the voting systems, the energy field, the mortgage and real estate markets, as well as the charity “industry,” to name a few.