Blockchain technology started off being used in cryptocurrencies like bitcoins, ethereum, and litecoins. It is basically a distributed ledger for keeping and verifying records and it provides transparency, efficiency, and security. But it did not remain limited to the cryptocurrency and soon it has got interest in several areas including governmental and non-governmental, financial-based and non-financial based, and that is the reason this is the most promising technology of the future.
Here we will discuss several potential areas where blockchain technology can be used for new innovations, drastic improvements, and solving challenges and limitations in different sectors. We will cover several use cases and uses of the blockchain technology.
Blockchain was introduced by bitcoin inventors. Bitcoin is the digital currency used as an alternative to traditional banking systems, and it is based on blockchain technology. The invention of bitcoin had encouraged more organizations to create new digital cryptocurrencies, and that is why there are more than 1500 digital currencies has been developed.
The core idea of creating digital currencies was security, as centralized banking systems are insecure and can be hacked by the hackers or malicious codes, and another thing was to remove intermediaries, which are third-party entities so that two people can easily make transactions directly one-to-one without paying fees to banks or these intermediaries. Another important purpose was to provide the financial services to the millions of people around the world who don’t have access to these traditional banking systems. Digital currencies like bitcoins or ethereum allow us to instantly send and receive money across borders and without much fees.
There are several financial institutions like Barclays Bank which are investing money in blockchain to make their services faster, efficient and secure.
As new technologies are growing by every year and setting new benchmarks and trends, so are the cyber-crimes. Many institutions, orgranizations, and individuals have faced the security issues. There are several examples of financial data losses, stolen public records, health records, intellectual properties etc.
To overcome security issues, we can use blockchain technology, a decentralized system and a public distributed ledger which uses the consensus mechanisms based on cryptographic functions which keep data secure and prevent any fraudulent operations on data and provide data immutability, means once data is stored in blockchain it can’t be altered and removed.
Blockchain also removes the need for third-parties or intermediaries as in legacy systems, which increases even more security of the system
Blockchain provide the robust and secure way of establishing trust in insurance systems, and there are several insurance management systems implementing the blockchain to improve the verifications of digital identities, data fraudulent, data misuse and insurance contracts.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Blockchain has also been implemented by organizations which use the supply chain management system to document the data and records at a decentralized place so that they can monitor it transparently and securely. This process can greatly reduce the risks of human errors and time delays, and this decentralized system can also be used to monitor costs, labor, resources usage etc.
NETWORKING AND INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)
There are organizations using the blockchain to improve the networking issues and to make the devices connectivity more reliable, and makemore robust, secureand efficient communication systems. IBM and Samsung are working on the new concept called ADEPT, which aims to create a decentralized network of IoT devices, which will operate like public ledger and it will eliminate the need for a central location to handle the communications between them.
Blockchain can also be used to create decentralized peer-to-peer riding sharing apps, which will remove the need for third-party providers, and allow owners of cars and users to set the terms of conditions in a more secure way. ARCADE and LA’ZOOZ are the examples of private transport apps.
CLOUD STORAGE OR ONLINE DATA STORAGE
Data on the centralized server is insecure and create vulnerabilities of being hacked or changed by the attacks like DDOS(Distributed Denial of Service) come from attackers and hackers. Using this blockchain technology, we can make more robust and secure cloud storage systems against these attacks from the hackers. STORJ.IO is the example of decentralized cloud storage system.
As rigging is the most common issue seen in the most countries. Blockchain technology can be used to improve voting process by providing E-Voting system which will perform correct voters registration and voters counting and it will ensure that only registered votes have been counted and no votes are removed or changed. Followmyvote.com and Democracy.Earth are the two examples which aim to create a blockchain based online voting system for governments.
This sector strongly requires blockchain technology, as health institutions usually slow in working and they are still relying on old and legacy systems which contains many flaws. Hospitals and health institutions need a secure and reliable platform where they store medical records, and share that sensitive data only to authorized persons like doctors and patients. Blockchain can provide data security and it can help improve the accuracy and speed of the diagnosis and other treatment-related tasks. Two startups TIERION and GEM are working in this area using the blockchain technology.
There are several issues and problems we face in buying or selling properties and real states like fraudulent acts, low transparency, mistakes in public records etc. Blockchain technology can overcome these issues by eliminating the paper-based record keeping. It can also help in tracking and verify the ownership of a person for his property, and it ensures accuracy in the documents. Ubiquity is the blockchain-based record-keeping system which provides an alternative to old paper-based systems.
It has been the popular approach for fundraising used by startups for their projects. Crowdfunding platform develops trust between creators and supporters, but they charge very high fees. Blockchain can be used in crowdfunding process which will create trust through online reputation systems and smart contracts, and it will remove the need for middlemen.