Blockchain is a decade-young technology. But it can be a mere nothing for those unaware of the potential it holds and how it can transform major industrial processes.
It was initially used to create a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency that could revolutionize how people used and transacted money. Since then, the world has seen unprecedented developments in the blockchain technology and has discovered various other ways to put blockchain to use.
In one word, today’s banking system is obsolete. And when you see it in from the international payments or transfer perspective, it’s unnecessarily slow due to unautomated processes, costly due to the number of intermediaries involved, and inefficient.
On the other hand, blockchain along with digital assets put out a completely fresh definition to international payments. Bitcoin, which is the slowest of all blockchains, can transfer your funds across any country in less than ten minutes. That’s quite a zoom out in the time required as compared to the week’s time taken by banks to do the same. Faster, more scalable blockchains are able to do the same in a matter of seconds.
Additionally, data stored on a blockchain is cryptographically secure and immutable, unlike the data stored in the general ledger of a bank system.
On a different note, there are 1.7 billion unbanked adults across the globe. Two-thirds of them have access to mobile phones. When seen in contrast with how easy it is to access money since the inception of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, it can be said that the time is not far when companies such as Cellulant help these unbanked adults enjoy the benefits of banking services.
David Bleznak, CEO and Founder of Totle:
“Blockchain eliminates the third party. Consumers are now enabled to receive and access banking/financial services without giving up custody of their assets. It’s no longer a necessity for consumers to wait seven days to access their own money.”
Most healthcare organizations today aren’t able to interoperate due to the lack of a commonly functioning electronic health record management system. According to various surveys, an interoperable EHR system can save over $81 billion for the American healthcare industry, and improve medical services.
By storing patients’ identity and medical records on a blockchain, medical organizations can easily access that data from anywhere with ease. This would reduce paperwork and help doctors recognize medical issues more expeditiously owing to the availability of patients’ medical history.
Whenever and wherever money is involved, the risk of frauds and illicit activities shoot up. Financial institutions, as well as their clients, lose hundreds of millions of dollars each year due to such frauds. The major cause for this is the use of centralized money management systems that are prone to cyber attacks. Once hacked into, tampering with data and transactions to one’s own benefit gets quite easy.
Blockchain uses cryptography to secure all the data stored on it. This makes all stored data immutable and hack-proof. Financial entities can rest assured of the security of every bit of data stored on a blockchain ledger. Additionally, all transactions on a blockchain are verified in a decentralized manner which would make them tamper-proof, too.
Merging shared databases and cryptography, blockchain technology allows multiple parties that may not know each other to have simultaneous, trustless access to a regularly updated digital ledger that cannot be changed.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chains are everywhere. Every major and minor business relies on these supply chains to get accurate data about the raw or finished products they receive. Today’s supply chains include a tremendous amount of paperwork, which is both time-consuming and costly. In addition to that, ease of tampering with data in the current system results in counterfeit products getting into the chain of original products.
According to a WHO report, $75 billion worth of counterfeit medical products were sold in 2010 alone. And the same goes for every industry.
With the advent of blockchain, there’s hope still left. Blockchain is a digital distributed ledger system wherein the data once entered and approved cannot be tampered with. When coupled with smart contracts, blockchains can save time and cost by automating major supply chain processes. Hence, ensuring a more efficient supply chain system that is immutable.
Malpractices in voting isn’t a very uncommon thing. We’ve all heard or maybe even witnessed a single person casting two votes. To curb this issue, blockchains can be used to authorize each voter using their digital identity. This would make sure that each voter only casts a single vote.
At present, there are also mobile voting systems supported by blockchain that are helping overseas citizens to cast their vote despite not being present at the required place during the election. With wider adoption, this will help those serving in the army or working in a different city or state or country cast their votes.
Voting systems on the blockchain directly correlate to identity management on the blockchain. Identity management systems built over the blockchain can prevent the duplication of identity, creation of fake identity, and identity theft. In 2016 alone, there were 15.4 million victims of identity theft frauds that caused a net loss of over $16 billion.
Managing identity on the blockchain would mean that users control their own identity. They are aware of where it is being used, who is it being sold to, where is it being used in an unauthorized manner, and so on. This will also help users use a single identity to log on anywhere on the internet without having to fill in their details for every new website or application they use.
Real estate deals can be exhausting due to the amount of paperwork required to settle the transaction. Smart contracts on blockchain can automate the whole process and also ensure that no frauds are committed. It would also reduce the cost of deal settlement and the time taken to do so. According to a survey, the automation of real estate deal would save the industry a whopping $550 million.
Blockchain also empowers tokenization of real estate, where a property is divided into digital tokens stored in an immutable manner on the blockchain. This makes investment in real estate easier and accessible to a larger population.
Blockchain’s very first use case were cryptocurrencies. And the ease with which cryptocurrencies can be transferred and tracked needs no explanation. This was one of the reasons why ICOs in 2017 received huge amounts of investments.
On a social level, this ease of transferring value can be used to raise funds during the time of need. In May 2019, GiveCrypto, a nonprofit organization, set an example by helping citizens of hyperinflation-stricken Venezuela by donating cryptocurrencies to them as they were far less volatile and more valuable as compared to the country’s fiat currency, Bolivar.
Apart from the ease of raising funds using cryptocurrencies, records of funds transfer stored on the blockchain can be checked to verify that the donated funds are reaching to the right people and being used in a legitimate manner.
All the buzz around blockchain is certainly true. And if you happen to have a plan or even just an idea as to how you might want to implement blockchain to boost your business, we would love to hear you out.
At TheBlockBox, we are a team of blockchain experts who devise an unparalleled blockchain strategy for businesses and help them leverage the blockchain potential.
Drop us a line and we’ll make sure you get the best out of blockchain for your business.