When the word “blockchain” is mentioned, the average person’s mind is taken to cryptocurrencies or at most non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Blockchain as we know it is still in an infantile stage and could do a whole lot more in the future than we already know it can. Blockchain technology creates infinite opportunities for individuals and businesses who can tap into them.
The technology has been around for a few years now and people, businesses, experts, etc., are exploring other ways that this utilitarian technology can be applied other than in the world of digital currencies. With the ever-increasing amount of digital data we consume day-to-day, the need for data security, transparency, and immutability that a technology like a blockchain provides cannot be overemphasized.
The major reason why the technology was so successful with Bitcoin, and eventually other cryptocurrencies, was because it helped to solve the challenges of double-spending plaguing digital currencies. Blockchain, as devised by Satoshi Nakamoto, is an unchangeable ledger of transactions that chains together blocks of data using digital cryptography. While digital currencies were the main reason behind blockchain, the technology has transcended into other applications and will continue to do so.
Here are some of these applications;
STORAGE OF DATA
Blockchain technology can ease the many challenges being faced by businesses in the data storage space. Storing data in a decentralized manner can reduce susceptibility to hacks and loss of data. Storing data in a centralized way only reduces but does not eradicate the susceptibility to hacks and the loss of data. A centralized system also means that data is more accessible.
Using a centralized method is storage can be expensive and in many cases of data storage, blockchain technology has proved to be less expensive. Blockchain technology is therefore a safer way to store data and could even be a less expensive way to do so.
LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN TRACKING
Using blockchain technology for logistics and supply chain tracking means that data is available on a secure public ledger and items can be tracked as they move from one point or network to another. It will also help to deal with problems of discrepancies between or amongst partners as it will provide greater security while ensuring the integrity of data. Remember, data on a blockchain cannot be changed. Thanks to blockchain technology, business in logistics and supply chains do not have to worry about facing so many difficulties and developing trust issues. The blockchain will always provide updated and accurate information they need.
EXPRESSING THE RIGHT TO FRANCHISE
Yes! Blockchain technology can be used to manage voting processes, but how? The technology can be used to ensure the integrity of votes and ensure that no voter exercises their right to franchise twice. It will also ensure that only the information of eligible voters is collected during the process. The personal identity of eligible voters just needs to be added to the blockchain. The technology can, therefore, be used to conduct free and fair elections.
Blockchain technology can also go a long way in reducing the costs associated with election processes. Elections can be made into simple processes that’ll involve the use of a smartphone or internet-enabled device. Blockchain technology will ensure that votes cannot be tampered with.
SECURING AND ACCESSING INFORMATION
Blockchain has shown reliability when it comes to keeping information safe and far away from prying eyes. Blockchain can be used to store information from personal such as date of birth, national identification numbers, etc to records of history and what have you. While keeping this information safe, it can be used to secure access to them by people who need such information such as students, researchers, companies, etc.
Integrating blockchain technology into the world of insurance can make a whole lot of changes. For insurance companies, it’ll ensure that there are no duplicate claims and transparency is increased between them and their customers. It’ll also prevent customers from duplicating their claims. To do this, a smart contract will have to be used on the blockchain. Smart contracts can also ensure that payments for claims are received on time.
Smart contracts are simply programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met, according to IBM. They typically are used to automate the execution of an agreement so that all participants can be immediately certain of the outcome, without an intermediary’s involvement or time loss. They can also automate a workflow, triggering the next action when conditions are met.
PROTECTION OF IoT NETWORKS
Blockchain technology can be used to protect IoT networks by storing passwords and related data on a decentralized network. This way, data cannot be changed and these networks are protected from harm. The internet of things, referred to popularly as IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IoT makes life across different endeavours easy but they can be susceptible to attacks too, hence the protection by blockchain.
Blockchain technology can be used to keep track of music and film being distributed over the internet and ensure that royalties are received. The technology will ensure that the same file does not exist in more than one place or be duplicated, in other words, it can prevent cases of piracy. Smart contracts can be used to ensure payments are made swiftly and ensure that processes are transparent and efficient.
KEEPING/SHARING MEDICAL RECORDS
Keeping medical records on a blockchain can ensure that they are up-to-date and accurate. They can also be accessed swiftly irrespective of location. Patients, especially those seeing multiple doctors at the same time will be able to access the best care possible.
Storing medical records on a blockchain also ensures timely treatments as patients’ information can be quickly accessed. Doctors will be able to see information about patients such as personal records, family and medical history, and insurance information.
In the future, the application of blockchain technology is expected to expand but for now, these are some of the ways the technology can be applied apart from digital currencies.
Source: TechBooky Business