Blockchain, the technology underpinning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, has the potential to revolutionize the world economy. In fact, blockchain is revolutionizing almost every industry.
But what actually is Blockchain and how is it going to disrupt almost every industry?
“The blockchain is basically a distributed database. Think of a giant, global spreadsheet that runs on millions and millions of computers. It’s distributed. It’s open source, so anyone can change the underlying code, and they can see what’s going on. It’s truly peer to peer; it doesn’t require powerful intermediaries to authenticate or to settle transactions.
It uses state-of-the-art cryptography, so if we have a global, distributed database that can record the fact that we’ve done this transaction, what else could it record? Well, it could record any structured information, not just who paid whom but also who married whom or who owns what land or what light bought power from what power source. In the case of the Internet of Things, we’re going to need a blockchain-settlement system underneath. Banks won’t be able to settle trillions of real-time transactions between things.”- McKinsey
The real disruption of blockchain technology is trust that is established through collaboration and code, rather than a central authority. You no longer need a company or central authority to facilitate a transaction of any kind. That is revolutionary and has the potential to revolutionize nearly every industry.
Blockchain-based startups have already designed many novel use cases that span the entire gambit of private and public-sector services. These are five of the best use cases that have emerged so far from the nascent blockchain industry.
1. Streamlining Supply Chains
Supply chains encompass the end-to end flow of information, products and services, and money. Organizations are exploring innovative methods to streamline their supply chains to meet evolving consumer demands and optimise efficiencies.
Managing today’s supply chains—all the links to creating and distributing goods—is extraordinarily complex, and an attempt to shorten the supply chain is every retailer’s goal.
Keeping in mind the complexity and lack of transparency of current supply chains, there is interest in how blockchains might transform the supply chain and logistics industry.
Major multinational retailer Walmart has partnered with IBM to work on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain, for example, to track food staples from supplier to shelf.
2. Facilitating Smarter Predictions
Forecasting and decision-making has attracted mass interest. With the invention of blockchain technology, forecasting has become an even more attractive area, offering even more opportunities. Apart from providing powerful peer-to-peer computing technology to financial companies, the blockchain has also provided a significant market-based forecasting solution for scientific applications.
For instance, by using natural language processing–the equivalent of typing in a question or query—blockchain-powered AI platform Endor uses predictive analytics capabilities to deliver answers in real-time.
3. Building Decentralized Apps
One report from Juniper Research, a market intelligence firm in the U.K., states that in the coming year we’ll see a “significant expansion” in the deployment of dapps built on blockchain technology.
Originally created using the Ethereum ERC-20 chain, decentralized apps offer a truly decentralized platform that inherits many of the benefits blockchain provides, including greater democratization, peer-to-peer interactions, and a fully trustless protocol based on consensus.
Qtum is providing developers a way to build and deploy dApps. Qtum’s blockchain integrates the bitcoin blockchain’s security capabilities and features with an Ethereum Virtual Machine, gaining the best of both worlds. Users can create apps on a wholly unique chain, while taking advantage of the best features of the two best-known blockchains.
The five most popular Dapps, including Idex, ForkDelta and CryptoKitties, are focused on crypto-asset trading of some kind.
4. Making Smarter Predictions
A Gartner study estimates blockchain will add $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030, and in another analysis the global IoT market is expected to grow from $157B in 2016 to $457B by 2020.
Blockchain-based IOT solutions are well suited for simplifying business processes, improving customer experience and achieving significant cost efficiencies.
Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology can record the immense amounts of data produced by IoT systems in a trust-less fashion and transparently analyze data points to produce valuable insights.
With a crypto token designed specifically for IoT needs, IOTA has emerged as a power efficient and scalable technology that uses connected devices to validate value transfers on the distributed ledger.
5. Fortifying Identity Management
Digital identity and user authentication is a crucial process in a digitally developed social and commercial world.
Blockchain can fortify the names, phone address, addresses and email addresses. It can also prevent the countless theft and data breaches. In 2017 alone, identity theft alone accounting for 69% of all data breaches. Using blockchain for identity verification gives a new dimension to security. Civic’s Secure Identity Platform (SIP) is designed for multi-factor authentication without the need for passwords or usernames and relies instead on biometric information verified by the blockchain ledger.
XinFin is one of the best platforms on this front. It only enables for identity to be kept on the blockchain. It also guarantees that it’s done without revealing the identities of the executing parties. That makes it prime for adoption by companies.
These are just some of the product use cases from industries that are likely to see significant disruption from blockchain technology. What opportunity do you see for blockchain to disrupt and improve your industry?