The Blockchain is a disruptive technology that is slated to change the face of various industries – from the public to the private sector.
But first, a brief roundup of what the technology is all about. The Blockchain is a decentralised database. Unlike a traditional database, it is not limited to a single spreadsheet running on one computer. The Blockchain distributes the spreadsheet so that it can run on mindboggling millions of computers. Further, the whole system is encrypted and hence any record once appended cannot be assessed without a passcode or a secret key.
However, the real disruption is that the process and trust of data security is founded on collaboration instead of a central authority or institutions. Hence, most third-party agents and intermediaries are eliminated in transactions.
Take the case of real estate. You will not need a real estate agent or an escrow account to buy a house. Neither will you need a bank to facilitate a transfer of money anywhere across the globe. In fact, you do need any central or regulatory authority’s intervention to push through any deals.
The concept is revolutionary, and it is, therefore, no wonder that industries are slowly incorporating Blockchain technology to run their systems to increase operational efficiencies.
While most industries over time will benefit from the Blockchain, here is a list of them that have the potential to reap rich rewards from this technology.
The decentralised nature of the Blockchain and the security it offers makes it ideal to be incorporated in the Banking sector. That any transaction is safe and secure on this platform has been proved by digital currency Bitcoin. A deal that takes about a week in traditional banking channels can be done in minutes with hundreds of thousands of miners on nodes ensuring that there is no possibility of fraud. Further, there is no possibility of a collapse of the Blockchain as there is no centralised vault, every individual has a personal vault for transactions that others cannot access.
One of the biggest challenges of the healthcare sector is to keep millions of records in secured custody and access them quickly when required. Even if the paper records of the past is discounted in today’s digital environment, there will be a wide-ranging array of systems where your files will be stored, sometimes in different countries if you have availed healthcare facilities there. However, on the Blockchain, there will be a single record of all healthcare services availed by you which will be continuously updated and will remain with you for life. In case of an emergency, doctors can immediately access your full medical history.
A Blockchain app development agency offers a host of services based on Blockchain technology. This includes groundwork and preparations for an ICO - Initial Coin Offering - launch (the equivalent of IPO in typical business environments) and smart contracts development. A Bitcoin wallet app development is also a crucial functon as is Ethereum app development.
The paperwork involved in real estate transactions is enormous, not to speak of the complexities involved in the processing of documents. On Blockchain, smart contracts ensure that the deal is executed only when the stipulated conditions are met including funding. Besides, the very nature of Blockchain offers a fully secured setting and hence all documents can be stored securely. Cryptocurrency powered deals are offering further benefits and a start-up called Deedcoin is offering agent commission rate as low as 1% for such transactions.
The huge quantum of records generated by the Insurance industry makes it highly susceptible to frauds. Further, the time length of policies often run into decades, and it becomes tough to calculate the amount payable at maturity. The best solution, therefore, is to move records on to a system that is both tamper-proof and immutable, and this is what Blockchain has to offer. There are two sides to it. Insurance sellers can quickly verify the authenticity of all data provided by clients. On the part of buyers of policies, they can evaluate through smart contracts whether the insurers are providing the services as promised. Both taken together ensure that customer service is optimised while reducing all risk factors.
The Blockchain can be used in the public sector to get around red tape and eliminate corruption in Government agencies. It becomes easier to verify the correctness of veterans and unemployment benefits and welfare disbursements, thereby reducing frauds and waste. Smart contracts can be used to ensure that funds are released only when the laid down conditions are adhered to. Transparency, security and efficiency can be improved in Government-run departments across the board.
Supply Chain and Logistics
The biggest problem of supply chains and logistics is one of transparency in transactions and traceability of goods in transit. All these are taken care of on the Blockchain which is perfect for tracking and monitoring products in transit from the time of despatch to receipt at the destination point. Blockchain also authenticates products, thereby making sure that they are within the pre-agreed standards and parameters. Another advantage here is that Blockchain can be linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) to remotely know whether goods are being handled well or storage conditions are right.
These are some of the industries that are destined to optimise operations based on Blockchain technology.