The Blockchain Beyond Cryptocurrency
While the blockchain may have risen to fame through the popularity of cryptocurrency, many individuals and industries have already discovered the multiple ways it can be used to improve everything from international payments to healthcare.
The uses of the blockchain are so varied that it is only a matter of time before we see it in almost every facet of life. Here are a handful of ways the blockchain is being utilized outside of cryptocurrency.
When it comes to finances, the future of payments in this sector is surely going to be built on the blockchain. International payments and money transfers have already improved astronomically thanks to the technology.
Banks are now able to automate the process of sending money overseas, which not only cuts out the need for human interference and work, but also makes the transfers faster and cheaper for all parties involved. There is also no limit to the amount that can be sent; you can either send $500 to your family, or a company can transfer millions.
Securing personal information
While we want to believe that government-run services are secure, they are still prone to hacks and data theft. Keeping personal information safe has become a top priority for people worldwide, and the blockchain can make that happen.
The blockchain, which is inherently safe and tamper-proof, can store personal information that can then be accessed whenever it is needed. This will enable you to prove your identity for whatever reason, whether it be for voting or for buying a house.
Speaking of voting, voting on the blockchain would be far more accessible and also limit the chance of anyone hacking the system or changing any data. Since data on the chain is immutable, any possible changes can be traced back to the IP that made the changes.
Combined with personal information storage, it will make it easier for people to vote and also ensure that only one vote is cast per identity, eliminating any potential for fraud, as each identity will need to be verified by the holder.
Logistics & supply chains
Every business, no matter how big or small, understands the importance of a well-oiled and well-maintained supply chain. Not only can one problem spiral, but it can also often lead to businesses losing their edge over their competition.
The blockchain has already proven to be highly effective at managing a supply chain. It can track in real-time where everything is and keep companies updated; they can know where a shipment of supplies is, as well as watch their products move from the factory to the retailer.
On the customer side of things, they will be able to verify the authenticity of a product by being able to see what it’s made out of, where it was manufactured, and trace its entire journey from parts/ingredients to the shelf of a retail store.
Smart contracts are easily one of the best things to come out of the blockchain outside of cryptocurrency. In simple terms, a smart contract is a series of mini-programs on the blockchain that only execute when the prerequisites for that program are met.
These terms and programs can’t be changed, and therefore both parties involved in the contract have to complete their parts of it for the contract to be valid.
While NFTs have been getting a bad rap of late, and for good reason, in some cases they do still hold a lot of potential. From ownership of music to video game assets, NFTs can be used to add permanent ownership and value to online creations.
Game developers want to use the blockchain and NFTs to enable players to truly own weapons, character skins, or whatever else they may have earned while playing their game. Considering many new games are guilty of charging real money for “worthless” in-game items, this type of blockchain system could revolutionize how we play and enjoy games.
The world of healthcare is so vast it is almost unimaginable, and within that world are mountains of paperwork, both real and online. Connecting a person to their identity and medical history is far more complicated and time-consuming than many think.
Having all of the data available on a medical blockchain will allow it to be accessed by any doctor in any hospital whenever they may need it for you. Combine this with medical devices, and all the data required to treat someone will be right in front of them in a matter of seconds.