Blockchain Applications Beyond Cryptocurrencies
When we hear about the blockchain, we often think about cryptocurrencies only. In this article written by Haithem Kefi, we show you that the blockchain technology has many more applications!
Blockchain Applications Beyond Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain has been closely linked with Bitcoin in the news, but there are endless uses for it beyond cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology affects many different fields because of its potential to increase transparency and impartiality while also helping businesses save time and money. We have provided a few examples of use cases of blockchain applications and their practical implementations below.
Blockchain applications in business
Supply chain management
Manufacturers, retailers, and consumers all have an interest in tracking supply chains from original sources to the consumer's shopping basket. Whether it is verifying that foods are free of inorganic contaminants or ensuring that import fees are paid accordingly at national borders, blockchain can play an essential role in tracking goods along their long journey from creation to use. For instance, the giant retailer Walmart is using blockchain technology to track the supply chain for foods it sells in its stores.
Blockchain technology is being implemented in the healthcare industry to help hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and other medical professionals securely store and share patient information. When used in the healthcare business, blockchain technology has the potential to enhance the efficiency, security, and openness with which medical records are exchanged.
The blockchain database architecture is ideal for storing personal health records. Users get permanent storage for health records accessible wherever there is an internet connection. They can share access with doctors and insurance companies with simple online transactions, and physicians with appropriate permission can add new data to the record. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by giving patients complete control over their health records.
The media faces issues of data privacy, royalty payments, and intellectual property infringement. According to studies conducted by Deloitte, the blockchain in media has the potential to provide the industry with a much-needed makeover in the areas of data rights, piracy, and royalty payments. Blockchain-based distribution could make each copy of a digital media file unique and provide a convenient mechanism for viewers to make micropayments directly to creators or publishing companies.
One good example is Eluvio, Inc, a platform that uses blockchain technology to enable content producers to manage and distribute premium videos to consumers and business partners without content delivery networks.
Blockchain applications in government
Governments are responsible for maintaining individuals’ records such as birth and death dates, marital status, or property transfers. Yet, managing this data can be difficult, and to this day some of these records only exist in paper form. Sometimes, citizens need to physically go to their local government offices to make changes, which is time-consuming, unnecessary, and frustrating. Blockchain technology could simplify this recordkeeping and make the data far more secure.
Blockchain technology can make the voting process more easily accessible while improving security. Hackers would be no match to blockchain technology because even if someone were to access the terminal, they would not be able to affect other nodes. Each vote would be attributed to one ID, and with the ability to create a fake ID being impossible, government officials could count votes more efficiently and effectively.
The blockchain for climate action
The blockchain is characterized by its distributed nature. This characteristic avoids monopolistic control of the system as seen in centralized or decentralized networks. Therefore, collective actions against climate change can largely benefit from improved governance and enhanced sustainability.
The United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat recognizes the general potential of blockchain technology. The major benefits of blockchain are transparency, effectiveness and efficiency, stakeholder integration, and the creation of global public goods.
Blockchain technology could be used in the following applications to tackle climate change.
Carbon emission trading
The blockchain could be used to improve the system of carbon asset transactions. For example, IBM and Energy Blockchain Lab are currently working together to develop a blockchain platform for trading carbon assets in China. Recording carbon assets on a public blockchain would also guarantee transparency and ensure that transactions are valid and settled automatically.
Trade of clean energy
Peer-to-peer trading of renewable energy is becoming achievable through blockchain technology. Simply put, consumers will have the ability to buy, sell, or exchange renewable energy with each other. This can be achieved by using tokens or tradable digital assets representing a certain quantity of energy production.
Tracking and recording of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Blockchain will make GHC emissions more transparent, providing a much-improved tracking and reporting for CO2 emissions. Thus, it will tackle the issues of double counting. Additionally, the technology will be significantly useful to accurately monitor the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be achieved by participating countries under the Paris Agreement. The same tool could be applied to monitor company targets as well.
Climate finance flows
Blockchain technology could help develop crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financial transactions in support of climate action while ensuring that financing is allocated to projects in a transparent way.
Blockchain technology is still in its infancy but is slowly gaining more momentum. This technology is a powerful tool to democratize data that will significantly foster transparency and ethical practices in numerous market segments and industries.
In short, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize our ways of thinking. We should look forward to its expansion in more complicated areas of economy and industry.