To many people, blockchain and cryptocurrency are two terms that mean the same thing. That is, however, not the case. While blockchain is the technology that powers cryptocurrency, it has many more use cases, other than as a mere payment option. Cryptocurrency was just a stepping stone to the long road that blockchain has to travel; its uses are now diverse and varied.
Here are some of the many use cases of blockchain technology.
Auto Title Transfers in the Real Estate Industry
One of the major goals of blockchain is to get rid of the paper, as paper trails are usually a source of confusion. The process of buying or selling a house, land, or car involves the transfer of a title. Instead of doing this on paper, blockchain has the ability to store property titles, historic value, and transactions on its network. This allows for transparency and also reduces the cost and time related to real estate transactions.
Blockchain isn’t the only buzz word; voter or elections fraud is something that has attracted media attention for the longest time possible. This is because the current methods and systems are extremely vulnerable and susceptible to tampering. Well, blockchain has come to help solve the problem.
Follow my Vote outlines how blockchain can provide an unhackable digital vote-counting system that is transparent and verifiable. This system combines the flexibility of electronic voting and the immutability of blockchain to ensure your vote is accurately cast.
Elimination of Counterfeit Products
Blockchain provides permanent and immutable ledgers that make it easy to identify and track the sequence of ownership of assets. The ability to store product identification details such as serial numbers makes it easy for all parties (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers) to certify that the product in question is original.
For instance, by using blockchain, Blockverify is able to provide anti-counterfeit measures by identifying counterfeits and preventing counterfeit duplication of items. It also helps companies to verify their goods and track their supply chains. De Beers, on the other hand, is using blockchain to create an unchangeable and permanent digital documentation of every registered diamond.
Smart contracts are self-completing programs that robotically check the rules of a transaction, verify and finalize the transaction, and in some instances, enforce the agreement between parties. This kind of automation can greatly help businesses to lower costs and increase productivity. Slock.it for instance, uses smart contracts to self-complete payments for leasing electric vehicle charging stations.
Legitimate gun ownership has become a big problem in our society today. Guns should not be left in the hands of every Dick, Tom, and Hurry; better gun control means lesser tragedies on the American soil. If gun-possession data can be recorded and connected through blockchain’s distributed ledger, it could provide a secured infrastructure for tracking the origin of weapons in case of unlawful use.
Medical Record Keeping
Most of us have digital medical records that contain very personal and sensitive data. The sad news is that these records are open to cyber-attack. The truth is, electronic medical records crave real innovation, and blockchain is here to offer just that. Blockchain provides an excellent way to protect, store, and share sensitive data among various groups.
Countries such as Australia and Estonia are already using this technology to manage medical information and broker transactions among concerned parties including patients, federal insurance programs, and healthcare providers.
Blockchain allows patients to be in control of their entire medical records, and only give it out to payers and providers as needed. Some of the startups that are already using blockchain to manage digital medical records include MintHealth and Medicalchain.
Copyright and Royalty Protection in the Music Industry
With growing technology and internet access, ownership and copyright laws in the music industry are becoming mistier by the day. Blockchain is here to ensure those laws are beefed up significantly for digital content download. This way, artists will be able to control their musical work and get their fair share. From ownership rights to first edition rights and royalty payments, this technology allows content creators to earn exactly what they deserve from their work.
Manage Supply Chains
The modern, global supply chain is a stream of comprehensive processes that require thorough coordination between different moving parts and players. Linking and creating these links can be a daunting task. Blockchain removes paper-based trails, allowing businesses to monitor their supply chains in real-time. This way, they can pinpoint inefficiencies quickly, as well as track items directly as they move from the manufacturer to the retailer.
An example of a use-case is Walmart, which is using blockchain to enable its employees to scan goods through the store’s app and trace it along each stage of the journey from manufacture to the store shelves.
Also known as secure messaging; encrypted messaging has become a popular medium for business communication. While there are various traditional solutions when it comes to end-to-end encryption, blockchain brings a new dimension that fosters decentralization. By using blockchain, you can make your messages masked (even IP addresses can actually be made anonymous). Also, some blockchain-based encrypted messaging apps include masked crypto-style payment options.
Startups such as Obsidian are already using blockchain to secure personal information exchanged in messaging apps, chats, and social media. Different from other end-to-end encryptions like those employed by iMessage and WhatsApp, Obsidian’s messenger utilizes the blockchain to safeguard user’s metadata. You will not have to use your email or any other form of authentication to utilize the messenger. The metadata becomes randomly distributed and therefore cannot be available for collecting at one single point. This reduces the risk of being compromised.
As we have seen, blockchain is the motor that drives cryptocurrency. While these two terms may go together like butter and jelly, the uses and benefits of blockchain go beyond bitcoins, Ethereum, and tokens. This technology can revolutionize other areas other than the financial sector.