Technologies bring innovation and better opportunities across the globe by transforming the way how businesses work and because of which we listed out industries to be disrupted by Blockchain. Blockchain is one of the fastest-growing technologies in today’s digital world that have come into the limelight in the last few years.
We have heard that blockchain technology has revolutionized finance, real estate, and many other sectors. However, not many of us are aware of what exactly blockchain is and how it will impact several industries apart from financial institutions that use blockchain in banking technology.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and platforms like Ethereum. In fact, it provides a way to record and transfer data that is transparent, safe, auditable, and resistant to outages. This technology has the ability to make the organizations that use it transparent, democratic, decentralized, efficient, and secure. It will likely to disrupt many industries in the coming years.
Following are the list of industries that will be disrupted with the blockchain technology:
Banking and Finances
The most common industry using blockchain is banking and finance where the transaction of digital currencies is done. By using Bitcoin, anyone can easily transfer their payments from one place to another, that too without the use of a third-party organization. As Bitcoin is decentralized, all the transactions are made possible without a centralized organization. Every day, millions of transactions take place in the banking sector and blockchain helps in maintaining a secure system that keeps permanent records of these transactions. This not only lowers the risk with better security but enables faster and cheaper transfer by the decentralization offered by blockchain.
Although the blockchain ledger is public, the data is verified and encrypted using advanced cryptography. This way, the data is less prone to being hacked or changed without authorization. The applications build on the blockchain are still young and there have been several hacks in recent months. This is something that future applications will need to grow up.
Supply Chain Management
With blockchain technology, transactions can be documented in a permanent decentralized record and monitored securely and transparently. It can also be used to monitor costs, labor, and even waste and emissions at every point of the supply chain. This has serious implications for understanding and controlling the real environmental impact of products. The distributed ledger can also be used to verify the authenticity or fair trade status of products by tracking them from their origin.
There can also be a hundred stages in a global supply chain, such as cargos, trains, inventory, etc. Applications of blockchain in transparency, agreements, tracking, and payments during the whole supply chain are practical. For example, every individual throughout the supply chain can have access to the previous block’s details and other relevant information. Big players such as Walmart are already embracing blockchain in their supply chain and reaping benefits.
The blockchain is set to change the entire approach to research, consulting, analysis and forecasting. Online platforms like Augur are looking to create global decentralized prediction markets. These technologies can be used to place and monitor bets on anything from sports to stocks to elections in a decentralized way.
Networking and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Samsung and IBM are using blockchain technology for a new concept called ADEPT, which will create a decentralized network of IoT devices. Operating like a public ledger for a large number of devices, it would eliminate the need for a central location to handle communications between them. The devices would be able to communicate with each other directly to update software, manage bugs, and monitor energy usage.
The global insurance market is based on trust management. The blockchain is a new way of managing trust and can be used to verify many types of data in insurance contracts, such as the insured person’s identity. So-called oracles can be used to integrate real-world data with blockchain smart contracts. This technology is very useful for any type of insurance that relies on real-world data. Aeternity is one blockchain project that is building tools that are useful in the insurance industry.
Transportation and Ride Sharing
The blockchain can be used to create decentralized versions of peer-to-peer ridesharing apps by allowing both car owners and users to arrange terms and conditions in a secure way without third-party providers. Startups working in this area include Arcade City and La’Zooz.
However, the use of built-in e-wallets can allow car owners to automatically pay for parking, highway tolls, and electricity top-ups for their vehicles. UBS, ZF, and Innogy are some of the companies developing blockchain-based e-wallets.
Moreover, sensors for street & traffic signals can be connected to the IoT by helping local government to re-route traffic for maximum efficiency. Using blockchain can significantly manage traffic with reduced commute times and vehicle emissions. Additionally, the supply chain for truck parts can be tracked easily by using a digital ledger for the commercial transportation sector. Blockchain helps the trucking industry to promote faster delivery with a resolution of disputes for payments. The processing and administration costs involved in transportation are reduced as blockchain avoid over-reliance on paper transactions.
Data on a centralized server is inherently vulnerable to hacking, data loss, or human error. Using blockchain technology allows cloud storage to be more secure and robust against attacks. Storj is one example of a cloud storage network using this technology.
Common complaints in the charity space include inefficiency and corruption, which prevent money from reaching those that are meant to have it. Using blockchain technology to track donations can let you be sure that your money is going to end up in the right hands. Bitcoin-based charities like the BitGive Foundation use blockchain’s secure and transparent distributed ledger to let donors see that the intended party has received the funds.
One of the most important areas of society that the blockchain will disrupt is voting. Blockchain technology can be used for voter registration and identity verification, and electronic vote counting to ensure that only legitimate votes are counted, and no votes are changed or removed. By creating an immutable, publicly-viewable ledger of recorded votes would be a massive step toward making elections more fair and democratic. Democracy Earth and Follow My Vote are two startups aiming to disrupt democracy itself by creating blockchain-based online voting systems for governments.
Aside from voting systems, blockchain technologies could be used to help reduce and eliminate bureaucratic red tape and corruption in government agencies. For example, welfare, disability, veterans and unemployment benefits could be more easily verified and distributed, eliminating fraud and waste. Smart contracts could ensure that government funds are only released when certain conditions are met whether to contractors or foreign governments in the form of aid. And security, efficiency, and transparency in government functions could be increased across the board. It has been analyzed that Dubai is aiming to put all its government documents on the blockchain by this year.
Another industry that relies on many legacy systems is healthcare. One of the challenges hospitals face is the lack of a secure platform to store and share data, and they are often victims of hacking because of outdated infrastructure.
Blockchain can be helpful in transforming the way medical data and records are stored and shared. The most common issue faced by these organizations is caused by fraud or medical data misuse leading towards loss of trust among consumers and healthcare institutions. Blockchain can help in building trust by securely storing medical records and providing timely access to doctors and concerned authorities when required. Moreover, ideal drugs for patients can be provided based on the patient’s history.
Energy management has been a highly centralized industry for a long time. Energy producers and users cannot buy it directly from each other and have to go through the public grid or a trusted private intermediary. TransactiveGrid is a startup using Ethereum that allows customers to buy and sell energy from each other in a peer-to-peer way.
Several startups are coming up with ways for musicians to get paid directly from their fans, without giving up large percentages of sales to platforms or record companies. Smart contracts can also be used to automatically solve licensing issues and better catalog songs with their respective creators. Mycelia and Ujo Music are two startups creating blockchain-based solutions in the music industry.
When you shop, your trust in the retail system is tied to the trust of the store or marketplace. Decentralized blockchain-based retail utilities work differently. They connect buyers and sellers without a middleman and associated fees. In these cases, trust comes from smart contract systems, the security of exchanges, and built-in reputation management systems. One startup disrupting the retail space is OpenBazaar.
Some of the issues in buying and selling real estate are bureaucracy, lack of transparency, fraud, and mistakes in public records. Using blockchain technology can speed up transactions by reducing the need for paper-based record keeping. It can also help with tracking, verifying ownership, ensuring the accuracy of documents, and transferring property deeds.
Real estate is perhaps the eminent asset class industry blockchain can disrupt.
Another benefit of blockchain for both parties is tokenization. The low-income buyer can own a fraction of the property, which means the seller will get cash immediately without waiting for the right party to buy the whole property. In fact, blockchain has a lot to offer in the real estate industry. With the help of blockchain, we can store all the documents and transaction records safely with lesser efforts and costs. The smart contracts can be created between the seller and buyer that release funding only when the conditions are satisfied.
Crowdfunding has become a popular method of fundraising for new startups and projects in recent years. Crowdfunding platforms exist to create trust between project creators and supporters, but they also charge high fees. In blockchain-based crowdfunding, trust is instead created through smart contracts and online reputation systems, which removes the need for a middle-man. New projects can raise funds by releasing their own tokens that represent value and can later be exchanged for products, services, or cash. Many blockchain startups have now raised millions of dollars through such token sales.
We have witnessed the growing popularity of gaming across the world. Research says that it will have projected revenue of $143 billion by this year (2020). Blockchain can unlock immense benefits for the gaming entrepreneur and developers by preventing fraud activities and offering a secure environment to develop, launch games or monetize them. There are many popular games that need to be purchased before using them. In such situations, blockchain can help in buying and selling in-game assets easier with the help of cryptocurrencies in a safe way. Bitcoin transactional technology can be a great way to build and manage in-game currency accounts. This will help in managing the rewards the players get on winning various stages, levels, competitions, etc. The usage of blockchain development solution in gaming enables players to purchase game assets without depending on third-party payment providers to process the currency transactions. Blockchain-based games include Somnium Space, Decentraland, Blockchain Cuties, Axie Infinity and many more.
We use blockchain technology to store and share information across a network of users in an open virtual space, which enables users to keep track of all the transactions simultaneously and in real-time. From fraud prevention to faster and transparent payments, the food industry can flourish with the help of blockchain. It can help in building trust between the users and the restaurant owners as users get more visibility and trustworthy food choices. Since all the data are readily available and validated, farmers no longer need to rely on marketing boards to sell their commodities. Selling can be done fast without the need of paying commission fees to the middlemen thereby, saving costs and promoting better pricing. The food supply chain can be made more transparent by enabling all the food products to be tracked at any time to reduce food waste and avoid any food safety disasters.
Online education and distance-learning are already a reality, and blockchain can take it further. By using blockchain technology, every record from KG to Ph.D., along with the individual’s achievements and skillsets can be made accessible to institutions and the concerned students. These records are immutable, transparent, and verified, which makes institutions and organizations find relevant students and eliminate fakes.
A blockchain-based system could serve almost as a notary for educational records, creating a way for employers and other educational institutions to access secure records and transcripts. In fact, it could also help universities and other large institutions collaborate. For example, no longer would a student have to wait for the course he/she wants to be offered at Harvard if Oxford is offering it online; his/her grades and records would be easily and instantly transferable.
As new technologies evolve, it is important to make sure that the affected industries stay updated with the trends to stay ahead in the competition. Blockchain is becoming the newest technology that will impact several industries in the years to come.
Thus, blockchain can disrupt any industry where transactions, data transfer, and security are involved. With its characteristics like immutability, cryptography, and decentralization, blockchain will likely disrupt the above-mentioned industries.
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