If you have heard of the term blockchain, chances are good that you have heard how it operates in relation to the explosion of popularity of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
To put it simply, blockchain is the digital, globally distributed and decentralized ledger that exists at the core of the vast majority of virtual currencies. It is responsible for logging the millions of transactions that take place without the need for a financial intermediary such as a bank or credit union.
If that’s still a little confusing, think about it this way: Blockchain has become a new way of transferring funds for those who purchase, sell and trade cryptocurrency. However, that is barely scratching the surface when it comes to all of the incredible ways that blockchain has started to revolutionize the world.
In fact, it is starting to become more and more difficult to find a global industry or market that isn’t figuring out just how powerful and helpful blockchain can be.
But what is the sudden major demand for blockchain? It all started when the developers who created it came up with the belief that banks who act as third-party members of financial transactions are not only skimping too much off the top, but also delaying transactions for no reason. For that reason, blockchain was created in order to be able to complete real-time transactions no matter the location of the first and second parties.
Cut to the present day, there are numerous businesses listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average that are testing out the many different uses of blockchain in small-scale projects and controlled demos.
If you are wondering how blockchain can and will impact the worlds of business, government and more. Then you have absolutely come to the right place. Here are the top ways that blockchain is being used.
Let’s get started!
Form of identification
It might be difficult to imagine a world in which official forms of identification would be issued, controlled and protected thanks to the blockchain. After all, there is no doubt that the current system of identification is not working for anyone. Proof of that is the millions of people around the world who become the victim of identity theft each and every year.
Believe it or not Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the entire world has begun working on digital forms of identification that allow users the ability to control their digital identities. This would only be possible with the creation of the digital identity blockchain.
Not only would this form of identification help people better protect their private information. This will also allow individuals and businesses in less developed and impoverished regions of the globe gain access to financial services that they would otherwise be completely boxed out of.
Payment processing and transfer of funds
Though blockchain has been primarily used in the financial world related to cryptocurrency, it can also be incredibly useful when it comes to more traditional financial transfers. The reason why is because with banks removed from the equation and validation transactions being available at any hour of the day, people can depend on blockchain to get a financial transaction taken care of within seconds. This can take a lot of the stress out of financial funds when time is of the essence.
Accurately monitor supply chains
Blockchain is also incredibly useful when it comes to monitoring supply chains that exist across the globe. Because blockchain is able to remove paper-based information trails, businesses of all kinds are able to accurately identify and address inefficient aspects of their supply chain. On top of that, they are able to locate items far more quickly as they are much easier to search for and find thanks to the blockchain.
Moreover, blockchain could even help business owners and their customers see how products are handled when it comes to quality control.
Cryptocurrency IOTA recently launched a fascinating Data Marketplace that proved that blockchain could be used as a major tool when it comes to a digital marketplace to share or sell unused data.
This was identified as a highly useful niche thanks to the face that the vast majority of unused enterprise data goes completely unused. Thanks to that fact, blockchain could act as an intermediary to store data so that industries could work together to store what they needed and not pay for extra storage that they do not need. Though this is still admittedly in its early stages of creation, there are dozens of brand-name participants that are taking place and helping it grow.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last six to 12 months, chances are very good that you have heard a whole lot about the concerns related to voter fraud in highly impactful elections. Believe it or not, blockchain could very well offer the future of safe, free and fraud free elections. Blockchain would allow voters to vote digitally while also being transparent enough that any regulators would be able to see if something were changed or augmented in the network.
Blockchain voting would combine the ease of doing anything online along with the immutability of blockchain to make sure that everyone’s vote is counted and secure.
Protection for copyright and royalty
In a world where internet access is starting to be seen as a public good, copyright and ownership laws on music, television, art and more have been getting hard and harder to control. Thanks to blockchain, those copyright laws would be strengthened for digital content downloads. This would make sure that artists or creators of many different kinds of content are able to get their fair share of the purchase.
The blockchain can also offer transparent royalty distribution dates to musicians and content creators in real-time so that they can get a better idea of how their products are performing, what’s working where and when and more!
Transfers of estate, land and auto titles
As you now know, one of the best aspects of the blockchain is that it negates the need for a paper trail and expedites the transfer of important things such as money and information. The same can be said about the transfer of ownership of valuable things such as land, property or automobiles.
If you are buying or selling any of these highly valuable pieces of property, you can do so on the blockchain thanks to its ability to store titles on its network and allowing a transparent, seamless and very quick transfer. On top of that, it will also make the legal transfer of ownership highly visible and clear so there will be no concerns about disputes.
Tax regulations and compliance
One of the best aspects of the blockchain is that it improves transparency and immutability. That is why top marijuana companies are able to use the blockchain to record sales and prove that they are following local, state and federal laws. This is also highly valuable when it comes to taxes that individuals and businesses might have to pay.
The blockchain would allow such parties to easily prove to the Internal Revenue Service that they have paid their fair share of taxes to the federal government.
One of the most polarizing issues in society and politics in the United States right now is the issue with regulating weapons such as AR-15s and other deadly arms. One of the biggest issues that comes with weapons sales in the United States is how difficult it is to track weapons and weapon sales. Luckily, blockchain offers an amazing improvement in that regulation as it could create valuable transparency within an unchanging registry network. This would allow the federal government, state government and law enforcement to track gun or weapon ownership as well as keep an up-to-date and easily searchable record of weapons that are sold privately.
Keeping medical records
Finally, one of the industries that blockchain could absolutely help modernize and streamline is the medical industry. The reason why is because blockchain could finally help the archaic medical industry in the United States enter the 21st century. Blockchain offers not only a convenient way to store and search for medical information, but also offers an incredibly secure way to protect that information.
On top of that, patients records would be able to be accessed by the patients themselves if they had the access key to these records. This would allow a never before seen level of control when it comes to who can gain access to that data. It would strengthen HIPPA laws that have been made specifically to protect the medical information of patients.
As you can see, the benefits that blockchain can offer to all different kinds of industries and businesses are nearly limitless. While blockchain may have started small, there is a very real possibility that in the not-so-distant future, blockchain will be something that we all depend on and interact with on a daily basis.