The rise of blockchain technology has already led to many innovations and changes in the way we do business.
Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and recently Facebook Diem, but it’s capable of much more than that. Blockchain can be used to change how businesses function by making supply chains more transparent, providing greater security for data, and increasing efficiency of transactions.
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Blockchain use cases
Here are several blockchain use cases where companies are utilizing this new tech beyond cryptocurrency — from healthcare records to supply chain transparency.
Healthcare is one of the most expensive industries in the world, and quality care comes at a price. Blockchain technology could give us an opportunity to change that.
With healthcare applications built on top of this revolutionary new system, patients can be their own providers and payers for health services.
The possible blockchain use cases in healthcare are almost limitless – it can provide immutable data storage solutions without relying on third parties like Dropbox or Google Drive; it can create a peer-to-peer payment network with no intermediaries like Visa or Mastercard; and it will soon allow people to vote anonymously from their phones with Secure Vote Casting (SVC).
Data is among the most valuable assets in healthcare, but it’s at risk of being lost to hackers or corrupted by outdated systems.
Blockchain allows for better management of data and gives companies more control over their data than ever before. When data is encrypted and stored on a public ledger, it cannot be altered or manipulated without express permission.
In other words, a company’s data is protected from any company gaining access to it and making it their own. Blockchain provides both a cost-effective and easy to manage method for managing data.
The possibilities are endless when using blockchain technology in healthcare: there’s the potential for improved patient outcomes through telemedicine; cost efficiency and fraud prevention by removing third party intermediaries from the equation; and enhanced security by verifying the authenticity of medical records with the benefit of blockchain technology.
Paper ballots are easy to tamper with and can be subject to fraud.
Blockchain technology could help solve these problems by providing an immutable record of each vote, preventing tampering and allowing for auditability.
This would increase public confidence in elections and provide more transparency about how results are tallied.
Blockchain is one way to address security concerns around elections, and as we move toward greater use of online voting systems, blockchain technology will play an increasingly important role in protecting our democratic process.
It can protect election data from cyberattacks, and ensure that all voters have access to their ballot information after casting their votes—whether they choose traditional polling places or vote remotely online using computers or mobile devices.
3. Real Estate
Real estate is a high value asset, and for centuries it has always been transacted offline, in person.
Blockchain technology offers new ways to transact real estate online through smart contracts and digital currencies.
This can streamline the process of buying or selling property by eliminating several intermediaries involved in these transactions.
The benefit of this blockchain technology use case it that it allows you to connect directly with potential buyers, without having to deal with agents and brokers who traditionally take large fees for facilitating the deals.
Supply chain management is a process used to track the journey of a product from its point of origin to its ultimate use.
As one of the most commercially viable blockchain uses cases, it offers a new and secure method of tracking products to and from their destinations, and of sending that data to the companies who need it for processing or fulfillment of orders.
For instance, car manufacturer Renault was struggling to keep track of their supply chain with standard databases and paper trails. That all changed when they moved all of their supply chain documentation onto XCEED, a joint project between Renault and IBM.
XCEED certifies compliance of all vehicle components, from design through production, to aftersales, and during its initial tests, was able to archive one million documents at 500 transactions per second. It’s now being rolled out to other leading automative manufacturers.
Whether it’s determining where a product is originating from, or learning about its next destination, the blockchain enables traders to know exactly where their money is and how quickly it can be moved, while giving companies as well as customers improved security and efficiency.
This can be a huge win for both the consumer and the business, as it provides a better user experience, without incurring the cost of inefficient and outdated online or payment systems.
The Indian agriculture sector is plagued by inefficiencies and high transaction costs, which makes it difficult for farmers to get the best prices for their produce.
Agri10x has developed a blockchain-based platform that will bring together buyers and sellers of agricultural products at scale. This will allow farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers, without having to go through middlemen who charge them huge fees.
By using the blockchain technology, Agri10x’s online platform allows smallholder farmers and other supply chain participants (e.g., processors) from across India to connect with each other directly. This enables them to trade farm commodities on an open market and also exchange information about farming practices amongst themselves.
This digital marketplace provides transparency into pricing trends while reducing transaction costs significantly, and is one of the many blockchain use cases that could transform the world economy and the lives of its citizens.
6. Data Management
Up until now, organizations have been in the dark about data management and have had limited resources to fix critical problems with data storage.
By using the blockchain as a storage solution, businesses can finally have control of their data and store it securely. At the same time, blockchain technology offers the promise of transparency, making it easy for companies to share information with third parties and to see what those third parties are doing with that information.
With the blockchain, companies can easily view information about transactions in real time and track inbound and outbound flows of information. Companies can analyze their usage, and even reward employees for keeping an eye out for data breaches. This, in turn, makes everyone more cautious and responsible about the data they provide and how it’s used.
Blockchain technology has the potential to make businesses more efficient, flexible, and secure. Now is the time to use the benefits of the blockchain to power a more transparent, efficient, and secure data management infrastructure.
Startups like Circle are already demonstrating how blockchain could be leveraged to help speed up processes and improve trust in the financial world.
These innovations will have a profound impact on businesses of all sizes in the coming years, and those who can realize the full potential of this technology will be in a position to lead the way and revolutionize the way we conduct business.
7. Energy Exchange Platforms
Another possible application for the blockchain lies with energy trading.
Previously, energy transactions relied on opaque contracts that needed to be verified by a third party, such as a bank, in order to ensure that transactions were valid.
The blockchain, on the other hand, allows for a direct transfer of power from one party to another directly, avoiding the need for any middle men.
Because energy trading on the blockchain eliminates the need for middle men, transactions can be verified with fewer resources and in real-time. Moreover, it’s much more cost-effective to have this direct exchange with each party as opposed to sending a payment to a third party.
The world’s largest banks are testing blockchain use cases like this to streamline these processes, improve trust, and reduce costs, and there is already a robust ecosystem of startups and Fortune 500 companies developing and working with the blockchain to make energy trading and transactions a reality. The key is to explore this technology with a realistic level of skepticism.
The excitement surrounding blockchain has made it difficult for companies to realize its true potential. The technology is undoubtedly groundbreaking, but with real-world application, blockchain can present both risks and opportunities for businesses.
As businesses dive into blockchain technology, they need to be prepared for both of these scenarios.
The future of blockchain technology
Blockchain has been making an impact on many industries and in many ways. As the technology and surrounding ecosystems mature, it will become easier to develop effective blockchain use cases and integrate the technology into existing products.
Just as blockchain could change the way business is conducted, it can also improve our everyday lives.
For consumers, the application of blockchain technology could take the form of smart contracts that automatically adjust payments for services or items based on individual characteristics or their purchasing history.
Using the Ethereum platform, consumers could save time and money as well as get greater control over their purchases.
Smart contracts can also track and trace products in order to detect counterfeiting or fraud, prevent product recalls, and enhance security on products and records.
This type of technology can also be used to simplify the shipping process, reduce waste and excess stock, and make it easier for companies to service their customers – all while reducing the number of people needed on the delivery process.