If bitcoin is all you can think of when it comes to blockchain, you still have a lot to learn.
Something truly revolutionary is taking center stage and fundamentally changing entire industries.
It was said that metal objects were introduced as money around 5000 B.C.
Soon, countries started minting their own series of coins and giving them specific value.
Are we seeing it taking place again with bitcoin?
If so, blockchain will be the core component of this new-age digital currency.
In each decade or so, a leading-edge technology gets developed that shakes up industries.
Now, this new technology is changing the way various industries transact.
You might not be familiar with blockchain, but chances are you are familiar with bitcoin.
Simply put, blockchain refers to public digital ledgers used for facilitating transactions and data securely.
Blockchain is not meant to be a cloud,
It’s meant to be a series of effectively untrusted intermediaries on the internet that you don’t know.
…and you also don’t have to know or trust them.
All that data is not stored in one single place but in a bunch of nodes around the world. Think of computers people have around the world trying to compete to store your data. If they succeed, they get rewarded with 12.5 bitcoins. We will touch more about how this works in more detail in another blog post.
Besides money transfer, blockchain has been used in other industries, lowering costs and making their operations more transparent.
According to Rabobank, companies that want to remain successful in the future have to begin exploring blockchain initiatives.
A British company recently added the word blockchain to its name to On-line Blockchain Plc, and saw a surge in its shares to 394%.
Here are ten sectors that are likely to be disrupted by blockchain in the next decade or so.
- Banking Industry
Whenever you think of saving or sending money, you think of the bank. However, even though the bank will serve you, you might have to part with high service fees. Sending money can sometimes have restrictions, and might take longer depending on the destination.
Blockchain, on the other hand, cuts down the duration of such transactions significantly. Furthermore, bank customers will be able to access their transactions data anytime. And in addition to that, blockchain fees come at a fraction of what banks typically charge.
- Supply Chain Management
Companies that supply good understand the pain of making a successful transaction. They have to deal with several intermediaries, meaning the cost of the sales also rises. Moreover, there are chances of errors, and sometimes documents are misplaced. With blockchain technology, such records can be entered more accurately and stored in a decentralized ledger where they can be assessed with utmost transparency. Companies will eventually have an easier time monitoring their costs, and will no longer need intermediaries to complete the supply chain process.
The healthcare industry has for long struggled with keeping data secure. There are many platforms established to help this industry store and share confidential data, but almost all of them have leaks and are prone to hacking.
Should the healthcare industry adopt blockchain technology, which it has started doing, it will have a secure platform to keep patients’ data and medical records. Medical professionals would then be able to securely share this data with themselves and find proper treatments for patients. Also, with an assured secure system, patients will feel more confident and would easily open up about their conditions.
- Real Estate
As much as the real estate industry still rakes in billions of dollars annually, it is beleaguered with issues like fraud, lack of transparency, and worst of all, mountains of paperwork. And even if you manage to bypass all these matters, you might still experience delays with issues like the final financial transactions.
Once blockchain is integrated into the real estate industry, everyone will be able to manage transactions with more ease. You will be able to verify land and property documents, as well as store them safely for a long time. You will no longer need expensive attorneys, hence keep transaction fees at a minimum. One real estate company that has managed to integrate blockchain technology in its services is Ubiquity, and are already causing a lot of unrest.
Nowadays, almost all startups choose to crowdfund as their avenue for raising capital and creating awareness about their products. However, since the crowdfunding platforms act as middle-men, they charge a lot of money.
But now, startups are opting for blockchain based crowdfunding, which use smart contracts and reputation systems to build trust. Startups offer a token that represents a particular value in their company and later exchange these tokens for cash or other rewards. In 2017 alone, startups have raised a total of over $3 billion, and the figure is still increasing.
- Online Music
While you may think that musicians make a lot of money, they lose a lot of it to online streaming services, record labels, and illegal downloads. However, now there are companies using blockchain technology to allow artists supply music to their fans and earn royalties directly. The technology can also help in solving license matters, and artists can monitor how their songs are faring with the audiences.
One of the issues that have blocked many nations from attaining full democracy is illegalities during voting times. A lot of times tyrant leaders rig elections so that they can stay in power. Blockchain technology can come in handy during registration and identification of voters. It can also be used to count votes electronically and is efficient in that only legal votes will be counted, and there will be no chance of manipulating results. Democracy Earth and Follow My Vote are two significant startups that are already making steps in developing blockchain-based voting systems.
As much as online advertising has helped to boost a lot of companies to the spotlight, it also has its limitations. Nowadays more and more people avoid pop-up adverts due to fear of accidentally downloading viruses in their devices, and a solution to this problem might lie in the blockchain.
The technology could help end the use of intermediaries by connecting producers directly to their customers. The companies could also personalize offers for clients based on their buying trends. It could also help websites share ad space with companies directly.
- Legal Industry
The major factor that blocks law enforcement is doubt and forgery of documents. For example, you must have heard stories of family members disputing the contents of a will, in which case it is usually up to an attorney to certify the legitimacy of the document.
It may take a while to certify a document, but not with blockchain technology. With the technology, the contents of the will are kept secure and cannot be altered. When read, the information will be as intended by the deceased. Thus, will settlements will be even faster.
- Human Resource Industry
HR departments spend a lot of time and money when hiring new employees. They have to go through hundreds of documents, some of which might not be genuine. They also have to conduct background checks to ascertain the potential employees fit the position.
If blockchain technology is adopted in this industry, the HR department will have an easier time finding and storing peoples’ information. Storing education, health, and employment information in blockchain ledgers makes it easier for other companies to verify information about the people they try to hire.
The above information shows the amount of disruption blockchain technology is causing. Furthermore, these are just but a few of the industries it is revolutionizing. Experts are constantly involved in studies to find out how they could further implement this technology in other sectors to make them more efficient.
Photo: thanks to BTCKeychain