The blockchain technology is undoubtedly driving a notable evolution in the systems of record. Several of the industry’s brightest minds have described it as the ‘magic beans’ due to the numerous high-level blockchain use cases promised by this technology.
Since its birth in 2009, interest and investment in Blockchain has taken off. Businesses were estimated to spend $2.9 billion on blockchain products in 2019—an increase of nearly 90% from the prior year—and blockchain investment is expected to reach $12.4 billion by 2022, according to IDC.
The reason for this is not far-fetched – According to Forbes, the application of blockchain brings the following benefits.
- It documents and validates every transaction.
- It does not require third-party authorization.
- It is decentralized
- It provides data security
- It eliminates middlemen
- It is readily available.
The first well-known implementation of Blockchain, known as the Bitcoin, received a lot of attention from the market. Today, a lot of such cryptocurrencies have also gained enormous popularity. People are investing loads of money in purchasing them. High-frequency trading firms have started writing algorithms to trade cryptocurrencies.
Now, the blockchain application and blockchain real-world use cases have stepped far beyond just powering the Bitcoin or ether transactions. Due to the generic nature of the technology, it has broad applicability in many areas across various industries, which has caught a lot of attention.
The technology is making headway into almost every industry, from banking and medicine to the government sector. The most compelling blockchain use cases, however, are those where trusted intermediaries are required to record, validate, and reconcile transactions, without really adding any value to the original purchase. In short, Blockchain can be used in practically all situations where intermediaries are involved.
By understanding the blockchain use cases across various verticals, you are able to recognize areas you can apply your skills after you have learned the technical aspect of becoming a blockchain developer. Here are some exciting applicable areas and use-cases where the Blockchain technology is currently being implemented.
Blockchain Use Cases
Blockchain technology has been infiltrating the healthcare industry in many profitable ways. In the healthcare system’s current state, patient’s data are held across different institutions in silos and in diverse formats and standards, thereby making sharing this information unsuited for the modern-day user’s expectation of instantaneous access.
With the increasing emergence of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), applications for blockchain technology will soon change healthcare with its interoperability, integrity, data portability, and security.
This distributed ledger technology’s enormous potential is best suited to addressing the challenges associated with the decentralization of medical data. Blockchain would also help tag and track medical supplies at every stage of the supply chain.
It will serve as a medium to assure the credibility of the drugs. Patients will also have control over the information stored in the Blockchain. Others can view their data only if the patients permit them to do so.
Patient data management is one of the most popular healthcare use cases of blockchain technology. Medical records tend to be separated by healthcare agencies, making it almost impossible to determine the medical history of a patient without first consulting their previous healthcare provider. This process could be time-consuming and is prone to errors due to the human factor.
MedRec is a dApp developed on the Ethereum blockchain that prioritizes patient agency, giving an accessible and transparent view of the patient’s medical history. MedRec stores all of a patient’s data in one place, making it easier for patients and doctors to access.
Government and Public Sector
One area that can use all the useful improvements it can get is the public sector. Anyone who has demanded tax or other financial records can confirm how impossible the process can be.
The volume of sensitive information processed by governments globally makes their processes the perfect use case for Blockchain. Governments of several countries are already exploring the potential applications of blockchain apps to make their record management more efficient.
Ethereum’s encrypted ledger and smart contracts will allow governments to develop trust, reduce costs, improve responsiveness and accountability, and create performance-driven government functions with better security, agility, and cost-effective structures.
As the blockchain applications catch on in the government space, we can expect to see a wide range of records stored via Blockchain. Examples of blockchain technology application in public space are:
- Public Taxes
- Public Welfare Records
- Government Healthcare Records
- Military Records
- Voting Records
- Government Pension Records
Estonia is home to one of the most famous blockchain-based digital e-residency portal. This portal enables people to become e-residents of the nation within 30–60 minutes at a cost of a hundred Euros.
Estonian e-residents can use this portal to establish a business, create a digital identity, execute business documents, and set up banking relationships. Estonia is also planning to float its own digital currency called Estcoin.
Supply Chain and Logistics Management
All transactions within the supply and logistics chain are subject to questions about trust and transparency. The global supply chain network involves many vital stakeholders such as raw material providers, brokers, etc., complicating the end-to-end visibility.
Furthermore, the supply chain can extend over several months and consist of many payments and invoices. Due to the involvement of many stakeholders, delivery delays are an enormous challenge.
Therefore, organizations are working on making the vehicles Blockchain and IoT-enabled to track movements throughout the shipment process.
Due to the lack of transparency in the current supply chain and logistics, a combination of the Blockchain technology and IoT can help improve the reliability and traceability of the network.
IoT sensors like GPS, motion sensors, temperature sensors, vehicle data, or connected devices make available crisp details about shipments’ status. This sensor information is then stored in the Blockchain.
Once the data is stored on the Blockchain, stakeholders listed in the Smart Contracts get access to the data in real-time. Supply chain participants can, accordingly, prepare for transhipment and run cross-border transactions.
Consumers can also verify the authenticity of goods purchased through a blockchain-enabled supply chain. Products can be accurately tracked across various stages and location in a supply chain. This way, stakeholders will be able to tackle any potential issues.
Conflict diamonds (also known as “blood diamonds”) are diamonds mined under violent circumstances or in inappropriate conditions. They are heavily produced in Africa, and proceeds from their sales are often used to fund conflicts in the region.
The largest diamond producer globally, De Beers, has taken major steps to end the sale of these diamonds by developing and deploying its blockchain supply chain and logistics program.
Through its program, Tracr, De Beers has been able to track over 100 diamonds from when they were mined, till when they were cut, polished and delivered to jewellers.
Pictures of a diamond’s progress are uploaded to the blockchain, as well as information of its colour, location, and quality. Track not only gives customers and jewellers peace of mind but if applied to all diamonds supply chain, it could halt the production of blood diamonds altogether.
A significant part of owning assets is in paper form. This leaves room for the data and records to be tampered with or subjected to fraudulent activity. Notarization is a fraud-deterrent process that assures the parties of a transaction that a document can be trusted and is authentic.
Blockchain technology will add immense value to the operation of notarization. The tamper-resistant and transparent feature of the blockchain technology makes it a suitable candidate for notarization.
Blockchain can be leveraged in notarization to ensure proof-of-existence. Blockchain aids in proving the document’s existence from the time it was produced, and modifications can also be detected.
Hashing a record can help with verifying if a document has been altered. If there have been any alterations, the document will result in a different hash, and the owner will become aware of the change.
Today, digital identity is becoming increasingly problematic as centralized entities are becoming increasingly prone to identity thefts and information breaches.
Ownership is wholly in the hands of applications and services to which we consent to make use of our data. Digital identity can be described as a virtual record of data about individuals and organizations.
A blockchain-based digital identity system makes a unified, interoperable, and tamper-proof infrastructure with key benefits to organizations, users, and IoT management systems.
The solution ensures protection against theft, assures entities storing customer information, and provides individuals and users greater sovereignty over their data.
In a blockchain system, users can have total control over their information. Rather than providing consent to many service providers, individuals can store their digital identity data in an encrypted digital hub.
Users can control access to the hub and can also revoke access when necessary. By using blockchain technology, the user can be in control of their digital data and how it is utilized.
Today, many smallholder farmers have limited access to the formal economy or formal financial products such as savings, credit or insurance, relying instead on multiple levels of financial intermediaries, or ‘middlemen’ who pass on costs to the farmer in the form of high interest or other fees.
This is often because vital information about a farmer is collected, stored and used in silos by agribusinesses, mobile operators, nonprofits and other service providers, providing each entity with an incomplete picture of the farmer’s life and their unique economic situation:
BanQu is a blockchain dApp which is aimed at connecting the poorest people in the world to the global economy by providing them with a portable, secure digital identity.
This proprietary blockchain-based platform allows farmers to create a unique digital profile and then connect them with peers, governments, aid organisations, payment companies, and banks to accumulate data on a variety of personal and financial transactions.
Blockchain technology use cases are already doing the impossible by allowing entities to secure digital relationships. Thanks to the advent of the Blockchain, information is now being recorded, disclosed, and secured differently.
Due to its enormous potential, Blockchain is being utilized by many smart and innovative organizations for optimizing their business processes and eventually becoming the business leaders of their respective industries.
As a result, many startups are also coming up in the Blockchain space where they provide Blockchain solutions to enterprises like Banks, Insurance companies, Supply Chain companies, Asset Management companies, and many others.
If you decide to go through this route, the above blockchain examples, use cases and applications give you an idea of how blockchain technology is revolutionizing how the world handles data and use them to develop ideas for scalable solutions.
To take your next step in becoming a high profile blockchain developer, watch the replay of our highly informative and engaging webinar replay