It is becoming more and more apparent that blockchain tech is far more than Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Every day I am excited to read about new innovative uses of the tech across healthcare, finance, media, entertainment, government, and many other sectors. Like I always say, despite the novelty of an idea or system, it is as good as useless if it has no real-life applications, and the same would have been said of blockchain, if it had no real-life applications.
In general, blockchain is a development platform that hold a distributed (decentralized) system of records in a secured and immutable fashion. As a result of this, there has been a major hype around the potentials of blockchain. This article explores some truly valid use cases of blockchain.
Government systems are without a doubt slow and prone to corruption. If you follow the news closely, then you’d have heard some rumors about the last US Presidential elections. Blockchain tech can help increase efficiency and transparency, while reducing bureaucracy. Also, the fact that information is encrypted and decentralized ensures higher security.
West African country, Sierra Leone was the first country to conduct presidential elections with the help of blockchain tech. According to Swiss-based firm Agora which worked closely with the country’s National Electoral Commission, voting systems were radically improved, making votes tamper-proof, verifiable from start to finish, and transparent.
Just recently, West Virginia successfully completed the first blockchain-supported voting in US history. Some selected individuals were allowed to vote via their mobile devices on a decentralized platform.
How safe do you think your information and data is online? Hacking is a serious business and hackers are always on the lookout to steal vital information; from email addresses, to phone numbers, social security number, and credit card details. Companies like Gaurdtime and REMME have deployed blockchain solutions to help tackle these challenges.
Guardtime has deployed keyless signature infrastructure (KSI) using blockchain that currently secures the health records of more than one million Estonian citizens. KSI is a privacy-centric security solution that is available in over 180 countries, and is being used in a variety of sectors.
REMME on the other hand is a decentralized authentication system that is working towards replacing logins and passwords with SSL certificates stored on a blockchain.
Similar to the cyberspace, healthcare has tons of sensitive patient data. How would you feel if your records get published online or goes missing? By storing medical records on a decentralized blockchain ledger, and restricting access, data will be more secured. Authorized doctors can access a patient’s data quicker and safer.
Some projects working in this field include Gem, SimplyVital Health, and MedRec. Gem for example is working with the Center for Disease Control to put data of disease outbreak on the blockchain. This will increase the effectiveness of disaster relief and response.
This is arguably the most popular and most recognizable application of blockchain tech. Bitcoin came as a decentralized, safer, cheaper, and more secured way of making payments. Pilot projects have confirmed that blockchain can reduce the time taken to confirm traditional transactions from days to hours.
There are countless real-life applications of blockchain; from manufacturing to industrial uses, charity, real estate, transportation and supply, amongst others.