Bitcoin became popular way before its underlying technology. Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin through a white paper in 2009. Even in 2022, most people associate blockchain technology with cryptocurrency only. However, with a decentralised structure at the core, it can transform and revolutionise traditional industries. This article looks at various applications of blockchain, other than cryptocurrency.
Banking and financing
Using blockchain technology as an intermediary for transferring money can be quick and cost-effective. This application can replace slow and costly cross-border transactions. The technology can provide a secure way for international payments. Banco Santander launched the world’s first blockchain-based money transfer service in 2018. This service enables customers to make same-day or next-day international money transfers.
Moreover, lenders can provide collateralised loans using this technology through smart contracts. Smart contracts allow activating the loan repayment and releasing the collateral automatically upon specific actions. This can allow faster processing of loans, with lenders providing attractive rates. Blockchain can further aid in combating money laundering as encryption is a critical feature of any system. Additionally, it can work wonders for banks when it comes to record management and identification.
Similar to loans, insurance companies can use smart contracts to provide insurance services for their customers. With safe management of claims, this technology also brings in transparency. The underlying technology can also help eliminate the possibility of invalid claims, such as multiple claims on the same accident. The American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) recently launched an openIDL (Open Insurance Data Link). The openIDL is a network built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, and it automates regulatory reporting and insights for insurers.
Securing personal information
Due to the tamper-free nature of blockchain, securing personally identifiable information seems like the perfect job. The technology stores information in a decentralised manner. At present, it appears to be suitable for storing health-related data such as gender, age, medical history, etc. Having medical records accessible on a blockchain can help doctors obtain accurate details of their patients. A patient may have multiple health records with several doctors they consult. By having their complete medical data history, doctors can provide them with the best possible care.
Real estate transactions involve procedures and paperwork, such as transfer deeds, verification of financial information, and ownership. Applying blockchain technology in real estate is comparatively safer for transparent authentication and transfer of ownership. Adopting blockchain technology for real estate can result in quicker transactions, reduced fraudulent activities, cost-effective procedures, and decreased paperwork throughout a transaction.
Governments at multiple levels hold information such as marital status, birth and death dates, and other personal information of every citizen. Managing data for billions of citizens is not an easy task. Blockchain can help in simplifying the process of recording data. Another interesting use case is the voting system. Tallying votes can be more accessible and efficient, and creating fake IDs will become impossible. In a blockchain, each block is different from the other one, making it difficult to change or tamper with the recorded data.
Blockchain can help content creators get remuneration and recognition for their work. A major benefit can be reduced piracy. Several media companies have started incorporating blockchain technology to protect their intellectual property rights and eliminate fraud. MarketWatch has predicted that the global market for blockchain in media and entertainment will reach $1.54 billion by 2024. Eluvio’s Content Fabric has started using blockchain for distributing premium content to consumers without relying on content delivery networks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a drastic transformation in the education industry. Educational institutions across the globe adopted innovative ways to teach and evaluate their students. Institutions can adopt blockchain technology for tracking day-to-day information like homework, attendance, and extra-curricular activities. Moreover, organisations can use this technology to store long-term information like degrees and colleges.
Blockchain technology is slightly older than a decade. However, it is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. As blockchain sees increased adoption, this has led to consideration of issues such as privacy concerns, high environmental cost, integration, and uncertainty in regulatory frameworks. Considering the benefits of this emerging technology, the global community can overcome these challenges and rectify them over time.
Featured Image Credits: Bitcoin logo vector created by starline – www.freepik.com