Blockchain was founded as a technology that can store information digitally and provide a way to perform secure online transactions. The initial purpose of the blockchain technology was to provide a strong base for the operations of cryptocurrencies. However, over the years, it has emerged to be used in a range of applications in several industries. Let’s see how blockchain fares in the real world.
Blockchain is a digital ledger or database that is distributed across an interconnected network of thousands of nodes. The reason why it has the potential to change the world as we see it is because a blockchain can literally hold any kind of digital information and data of value. Moreover, it is very strong and highly encrypted against hacking and penetration. All blockchain transactions are stored in a ledger, which is distributed across multiple nodes and is almost impossible to hack or modify without the right keys.
The term blockchain first became widely known with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009. For some years, it was only being used in cryptocurrencies. But after the launch of Ethereum blockchain, it became easier for anyone to access the technology and develop their own decentralized applications on it. This motivated startups to develop blockchain solutions that organisations need in order to improve the security and efficiency of their digital data and transactions.
Healthcare is one of the industries where the security and reliability of data and services are always in question. Thankfully, blockchain can provide a solution to almost every problem of this industry. For instance, it is always troubling for medical consumers to find reliable and affordable medical services, especially while visiting a foreign country. Medipedia is a blockchain medical tourism platform that solves this problem by providing medical consumers with decentralized access to medical institution information and data so that they can compare and choose the best.
Another issue of the medical industry is of getting timely access to patients’ medical records to be able to provide the right care. Medipedia solves this issue as well. There are many other startups and existing medical research institutions working to enable the use of blockchain to ensure improved and cost-effective healthcare for all.
Blockchain ensures faster and timely delivery of the right medical care while protecting consumers from fraud activities and making it easier to receive the right medical attention when it is needed.
The blockchain technology was developed to ensure secure and faster financial transactions across the world. It is probably the only agent-free method to do that. The blockchain is free of intermediaries. It is a peer-to-peer network that anyone can use to send digital money and data directly to the recipient at anywhere in the world. The finance world can benefit a lot from this new technology in terms of faster and reliable transactions at a lower cost.
There are many benefits blockchain can offer to the industry, such as better reach to international markets, a more secure and cost-effective way to store data and perform transactions, instant money transfer and many more. There are already some startups working on such financial apps based on the blockchain.
The reason why the Internet of Things has better scope to grow with the blockchain technology is that both are based on the same purpose – connectivity. While IoT deals with the connected things (devices), blockchain provides a way to connect various things/points to ensure seamless peer-to-peer transactions. The present IoT system faces several issues, such as transactions between connected things and security of information. Blockchain can effectively help solve these problems by providing a way to perform heavy transactions while maintaining the security.
Cryptocurrencies can provide a mean for in-app payments and utilization of various services. The IOTA project is an example, which aims to improve the IoT system with the use of blockchain technology.
Blockchain smart contracts are digital contracts that are formed and exist on a blockchain and execute automatically upon fulfilment of a condition. The best thing about smart contracts is that unlike traditional contracts they do not require a third party to approve or validate the condition before they are executed. This saves time and money for all the involved parties. In addition, smart contracts are completely secure and reliable.
Smart contracts have applications in various industries, such as legal, finance, gambling, insurance, e-commerce and more. Any industry or business that works with conditional contracts can benefit from this technology.
Believe it or not, many governments have started realising the true potential of blockchain and are now accepting it as the next big technology evolution. In fact, the technology has already been helping under-developed and developing governments to get into the race of digital economy. Some common applications of blockchain in the public sector include efficient delivery of services, online voting, secure user data and identity management and more.
You may also be surprised to know that there is a country in Europe where cryptocurrency is not only legal but they openly use blockchain for digitization of all public services, which can be accessed by their citizens through a unique digital identity assigned to each of them. This is not it. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are now being accepted by many countries around the world. If used properly, blockchain can do wonders for the government and the economy of a country.
To summarize, it makes perfect sense to consider blockchain as the biggest technology evolution of our time. While it has applications in almost every field, the use is equally simple. With so many decentralized apps and blockchain companies out there, one doesn’t even have to understand the technology completely in order to implement it in their systems. Just understand how and whether it can benefit your business or the work you do and go ahead with the best way to implement it.
The above list is not all that blockchain can do. It is still a developing technology which has many more miles to go. We are still to explore a lot about the blockchain. However, it is the best time to start utilizing this new technology before it becomes too common.